John McLachlan

Challenging Heights
Composer Ed Bennett's latest release with his ensemble Decibel has just the right number of swerves and asymmetries, writes John McLachlan.
Grappling with Diversity
Music critic Tim Rutherford-Johnson's new book on modern composition since 1989 covers a massively broad range of creative musical approaches and techniques, writes John McLachlan, and will inspire a new generation.
Crash's Free State: Freedom and Responsibility
John McLachlan attends Crash Ensemble's 9th 'Free State' concert, which offered a range of work from emerging Irish composers.
Diatribe Live: M.C. Schmidt/Jennifer Walshe/Nick Roth
A night of improvised music hosted by the Diatribe label was experiential, experimental and more, writes John McLachlan.
Feeling and Thinking About Music
Alfred Brendel's new book is a reminder of how the really dedicated musician goes about things, writes John McLachlan.
Boulez is Alive
Boulez is alive, writes John McLachlan, but who is engaging with his work?
The MacGregor Adventure
There is arguably less adventure in classical music recitals today than at the time of Liszt, but not in the case of Joanna MacGregor, writes John McLachlan.
The Boundaries in Music
Despite the clichés, music is full of boundaries, writes John McLachlan, and traversing them needs a 'strong musical mind', as in a new recording by composer Karen Power.
Repeat with Caution
After the rejection of repetition by many modernist composers in the mid twentieth century, the extreme repetition of minimalism seemed inevitable. But, writes John McLachlan, composers don't always know when to stop.
All is Chaos
The idea of a common language in composition is a thing of the past: the world of contemporary music is now entirely chaotic, the result of individualism, tradition and cosmopolitanism pulling, irreconcilably, against each other. John McLachlan found this world in action at the ISCM World Music Days in Zagreb earlier this year.
Separate and Together
A concert in Donegal found unity in the vitality of contemporary Irish composition's diverse strands.
Beware of Consensus
Recent concert and competition jury experiences suggest to John McLachlan that only the best music sparks disagreement, and that mediocre work enjoys consensus.
Why Systems?
Composers are afraid of using the basic building blocks of their trade.
Highway of the New
Now that we no longer have a common practice in music, novelty moves in different directions and at different speeds, all depending on the context.
To the Country
Being cut off is a state of mind, writes composer John McLachlan
Why the Arts are Funded
The challenges facing the funding of the arts go beyond the current economic situation, writes composer John McLachlan.
Have a Little Faith
Promoters of art mislead audiences by suggesting that there is meaning where there is none. Sometimes you just have to trust the artist, writes John McLachlan
ISCM World New Music Days
ISCM World New Music Days, Visby, Växjö and Gothenburg, Sweden, 24 September – 4 October 2009
From the Raw to the Cooked
How is music written? A short bit, then extended, and soon the whole piece is there? John McLachlan discusses the subtle paths from conception to finished work.
In With the Old...
The future of the orchestra is in composers’ hands
Don't Bother Reading This
The discourse around music serves only to divide us
Ideas in Flux
No discussion of Lithuanian composers can avoid the political dimension
Joining up the Dots
What we can learn from contemporary music festivals in Portugal and Finland
New Work Notes: Critical Mass
John McLachlan asks if we have what it takes to develop a thriving contemporary music scene.
John McLachlan's regular column on composers and composing
Little Bells make Living Music
The sixth RTÉ Living Music Festival, featuring Arvo Pärt, took place on 15-18 February 2008 under the artistic direction of composer James McMillan. John McLachlan was there.
Music and Beyond
John McLachlan reports back from the ISCM World Music Days in Hong Kong.
Crash's 10 Years
John McLachlan looks at the achievement of the Crash Ensemble as they celebrate their 10th anniversary.
Composer John McLachlan argues that there is a sixth musical parameter which never gets mentioned in musicology or theory
Terry Riley in Drogheda and Benjamin Dwyer's Guitar Concerto No. 2