L.A.’s ‘Synchromy’ Musician Collective Helps Composers Gain Visibility

By Steve Nagel on Aug 31, 2015 05:09 PM EDT

The west coast is growing its very own Tanglewood.  Based more on the community and less on the training, it's called Synchromy and is based in Los Angeles.  Playing off the regional attitude, Synchromy's slogan, "new music, locally grown," pretty much says it all.  The organization offers local musicians and composers the chance to organize, find work, gain visibility, and hone their craft in a body of their peers.

L.A. isn't typically thought of as the land of contemporary classical music, but a few local composers thought that with the city's notable diversity and ambitious youth, there's no reason it shouldn't be.  Operating since 2010, Synchromy has hosted a slew of events, including dozens of worldwide premiers and west coast premieres. The key founders and composers behind the project are Jason Barabba, John Frantzen, Vera Ivanova, Nick Norton, Ann Noriel, and Marilyn Newton (chair of the Southland Opera Company).

Their name, Synchromy, is also a reflection of their diversity.  It comes from the early 20th century 'Synchromy' art movement (founded by artists Stanton MacDonald-Wright and Morgan Russell) which, much like tonal synesthesia, relied on the notion that color could be manipulated just as sound is in an orchestra.  Their work comprised of art that was an amalgam of color patterns: controlled, coordinated, and finally painted.

Similarly, the Synchromy organization prides themselves on the amalgam of influences behind their collective's creations and, to a further extent, on their style-less approach---that is, shying away from the east coast propensity to rear students in various traditions, no matter how fresh the concept.  Synchromy instead aims to keep its members feeling free to explore their own version of 21st century music.

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TagsSynchromy, synesthesia, Jason Barabba, John Frantzen, L.A. composers

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