Articles written by Orlando Jacinto Garcia

Listed below are a selection of articles written by Orlando Jacinto Garcia.

Below each excerpt, there is alink to a downloadable PDF file.

Reuse or reprinting of any of these articles or content therein must be done with the written consent of the author. You may contact orlando via the “contact” page or by e-mailing him at Please reference which article you would like to use. Thank you in advance.

Another Approach to Electroacoustic Music
At times I find myself feeling somewhat out of place at some of the electroacoustic music events where my work is presented. This is not because I do not find this genre of interest or because I am not pleased with my work or that of my colleagues, but because my aesthetic concerns, and as a result approach, are somewhat dissimilar to those employed by a number of my fellow composers who work in this world. This is not to criticize other approaches, as my aesthetic criteria for judging music is not so much based on how you make it, or what software or hardware you use, but what the resulting work is. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to describe my aesthetic concerns regarding this very important medium…
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Boola Boola Revisited
Slightly more than 15 years ago, soon after finishing my doctoral studies, I had the great fortune of studying with Morton Feldman for 3 intensive weeks. These sessions proved to have a great impact on my career as a composer and pedagogue and I was fortunate to be able to count Morty as a friend as a result of those three weeks. One day not long after his death in 1987, I came across an article he had written entitled “Boola Boola” published in a collection of his essays by Berlinger Press, in which he strongly criticized academia. At first this seemed a bit contradictory; he was after all a Professor of Composition at SUNY Buffalo when I met him. However the article written much earlier was still consistent with the criticisms he continued making even after he was in academia. Given my own continual strong criticisms of the composition world in the US (which consists of large numbers of people involved with academia), I have been challenged by several colleagues to write a short article expressing my concerns at the end of the 20th century. The following is a summary of these concerns…
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Teaching Composition: Some General Thoughts
Teaching someone to compose is impossible! We all know that Bartok said it and refused to teach composition. My mentor Feldman taught composition but always claimed you couldn’t do it, for which he was often criticized by students. His now somewhat famous response to a student who asked him how he could possibly be so hypocritical as to teach composition classes and yet at the same time say that it couldn’t be done was to say that it was a sign of “matooority”…
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What is Art Music?
As we enter the next century the music world can seem a bit confusing. Twenty five years ago what was considered the Western Art music canon consisted of music from either Antiquity or the Renaissance through the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and into the 20th century. The music called by many in the general public “classical” music was relatively well defined in so far as the composers and their works. Today, this repertoire is not the only music deemed as relevant. Especially in post-modern times where categories are being redefined, it is easy for many to assert that a tango, a rock tune, and a Beethoven symphony are all the same except perhaps for the musical parameters that define the style. This can have its positive as well as negative ramifications. The positive perhaps being that all types of music are understood as having similar importance, the negative that everything is considered in many ways as being the same…
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Why References?
When I was in graduate school in the early and mid 1980s, I had the good fortune to work with an Asian American composer and teacher at the University of Miami named Dennis Kam. At that time he was very much involved with the idea of musical stasis or a music that by its nature, changes the perception of time in the listener. He wrote a music that because of its slow evolution of material caused a freezing of time in the listener. These ideas came from a variety of sources including the minimalist composers, his own musical heritage, and Morton Feldman and the New York School. Being very interested in minimalism and the New York School, these aesthetic notions were very attractive to me and I spent 5 years working with Kam taking in and developing these ideas. I am very grateful for this opportunity as it very much impacted what it is that I am doing today. As importantly, in 1985 shortly after completing my Doctoral studies, I had the great fortune to work with Morton Feldman at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. During the 3 weeks at the Center, I spent 10 to 12 hours per day with Morty and his then student (and later wife) Barbara Monk, and another composer David Maves. The 3 weeks were the most intense and important of my artistic life. This experience initiated my very positive relationship with Feldman that lasted for the next two plus years until his untimely and tragic death in the fall of 1987…

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