Music For Writers: Q2 Music And Nadia Sirota On a Roll — ‘Meet The Composer’, Season 2

Nadia Sirota, Q2 Music, Meet the Composer
Nadia Sirota, Q2 Music, Meet the Composer

Accelerando Toward A Major Stretch Goal

As of this moment, only a very small subset of the world listens to it.

But if Nadia Sirota and her friends listening to her in 70 countries have anything to do with it, that will change and keep changing.


Sirota is talking about “contemporary classical music,” the most nearly accurate term we have for the sort of sound that’s the focus of our #MusicForWriters series of articles here at Thought Catalog.  She’s the host and guiding spirit — along with her faithful collaborator, producer Alex Overington — ofMeet The Composer, an ambitious and important series of audio documentaries.

Now we’re getting excited for our secondary goal, which is $35,000. if we can get that, we can hire another producer to put together the bonus tracks.

Nadia Sirota. Image: Samantha West
Nadia Sirota. Image: Samantha West

Talking almost faster than she can bow her viola, the violist Sirota is speaking, jubilantly, backstage at a concert hall in South Korea, in her concert blacks, musicians warming up around her. She’s hemmed in by an awful lot of percussion gear standing in place for the show. (We should hold a name-what-they’re-going-to-play contest.)

Sirota has recorded this video on tour because the Kickstarter campaign that began with a goal of $20,000 has scrambled past that mark and now (as of April 24) has $23,664 from 420 backers — and 12 decisive days to go. Sirota and her associates at New York Public Radio’s Q2 Music have opened a new goal of $35,000. If achieved, that mark will trigger an additional infusion of $10,000 from donor David Weller and will see new music — never before recorded — brought to world’s attention.

What Q2 Music is doing, an Internet-only service of Graham Parker’s WQXR in Manhattan, is highly significant because this is the most maker-ish factor in its admirable work.

Beyond #NowPlaying — This Is New Work

mtc-season-2Meet The Composer goes way past Q2 Music’s nonstop carriage and purveyance of this music (elegantly packaged and delivered) and generates utterly original explorations of the minds behind that music. In an hour-long Meet The Composer piece, you do that — you meet the personality quite close-up, you hear doubt, pride, confusion, certainty, ambition, fear: something intensely human comes to Sirota’s microphone with a depth far beyond the standard quick hit or fast profile.

Through no fault of its own — and, in fact, to its well-earned credit — Q2 Music is normally a superb Net-caster of music in an exceptionally mellifluous moment in history when, by some lucky aspect, we have an enormous brace of extremely potent composers working in many parts of the world. Q2 Music, under Alex Ambrose’s guiding hand, has capitalized on this happy fact and has, in about five-and-a half-years, made Q2 Music into a sonic switching station that takes in and beams back out the extraordinary output of these creative intelligences, night and day.

It’s a formidable functionality that I talked a bit about in my interview with the Royal String Quartet’s cellist Michal Pepol: the Net is able to connect and reveal composers and musicians to each other, worldwide, in a way never before possible. Q2 Music is enabling this as a locus of talent, interaction, collaboration.

And when Q2 Music takes to the Internet with its Meet The Composer series, it’s going beyond that baseline function of beaming the music worldwide — it’s actually making something of and about this music that we didn’t have.

The first season of Meet The Composer — completely free to you to hear — features:

Having been listened to more than 200,000 times, these seminal pieces now become the honored backlist to an all-new season of documentaries featuring:

  • Meredith Monk — easily one of the most acclaimed American auteurs of her generation, she is to music what Martha Graham was to modern dance
  • Nico Muhly — the fast, fast-rising orchestral, vocal, and operatic composer whose Two Boys has yet to be fully appreciated but whose following among Q2 Music fans is passionate
  • Kaija Saariaho — we wrote about her in Music For Writers here, a powerhouse of darkly moody, dramatic work
  • Ingram Marshall — with JLA, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and several others, among the real icons of the “new music” movement of the late twentieth and early 21st centuries
  • Anna Thorvaldsdottir — one of the astonishing Icelandic school of new and challenging voices unafraid of the hard surfaces of modern musical evocation

Read More

There’s more: Read the full story at Thought Catalog

By Porter Ander­son

Writing on the Ether: Music For Writers: Q2 Music And Nadia Sirota On a Roll — ‘Meet The Composer’, Season 2

Originally published by Thought Catalog at



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