Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 New Music Predictions

Image by Egle Oddo

During the last minutes of 2015 I asked and collected from as many composers, musicians, sound artists, radio artists, field recorder artists, other artists and people generally working in the field of new music what their predictions for 2016 would be. Where are we going with this?

What come out is an interesting collection of serious and not so serious (musicians are notoriously humorous) predictions about what the new year will bring with it to music.

Taking a look back personally, sure there were things that I didn't like and things I did, like always, but the things that emerged as interesting and important I think were:
The clear rise of awareness about women composers.
The increase of online platforms catering for new contemporary music.
The growing aesthetic similarity between young contemporary musicians/composers and young contemporary artists.

As my own predictions race, gender, and climate awareness will further move into the consciousness of new music. Race and gender will be the themes that will become more and more necessary to address properly, and I would love to (finally) see the rise of POC in new music, and will be keeping an eye out to see how Afro Futurism will impact new music. Climate awareness, though so very important, being perceived anti-technological, will remain a harder sale in practice.

But for the meat of this blog, in alphabetical order:

I might compose some new pieces - and probably others might do so as well!
Peter Ablinger

2016 will see the continued, and welcome, erosion of the concept of the 'professional musician'.
James Andean

This year we might reach the peak of new works written for symphony orchestras that will never ever be played again.
Aleksi Barrière

What I would like to see is less capitulation on the part of artists to corporate mentality for the sake of their careers, more expression of freedom of thought and imagination - sensitivity rather than prejudgement, fewer predictions and more openness.
- Richard Barrett

The unhoped-for.
Antoine Beuger

It will finally be the end of minimalism and drones based music since it is at a dead end since many years already, supported by established musicians and imitators that are trying to survive in a a lame way. Creativity will take over new music once again.
Vincent Bergeron

In 2016 electronic music will move towards theatricality in a way that it has never existed, accounting not just for sound quality, but paying specific attention to the curatorial narrative between songs, and, most importantly, the grand narrative enveloping it: the relationship between the music and its maker and what this edifice is being raised in order to say. Im thinking Aaron Copeland’s Fanfare For The Common Man (1942), Kenji Kawai’s haunting Ghost In The Shell OST (1995), The Knife’s Colouring Of Pidgeons (2010), or Kanye West’s infinitely textured Yeezus (2013), as processed through the narrative lens that Oneohtrix Pointnever (Daniel Lopatin) wrapped around his 2015 album Garden Of Delete, a concept album created by an alien whod hacked into Earth’s satellites to master human sounds. Finally everyone has realized he is a sound god, and will follow his lead. Projects such as his will succeed in finally obliterating the '20th century experience' of an album. Plus, his weird, vague videos (outsourced to contemporary art) and fictional auxiliary fragments extended the lore of the music far past its mere sonic limits. Musicians are turning into artists in an exciting way. In 2016, musicians will strive to bring local, unique sounds into their fray, focusing on basal elements like wind and rain, for example, instead of synthesized noises, as humans continue to shuffle into the unknown post-analog post-digital jungle. Also: Dean Blunt is gonna blow the fuck up. 
Andrew Birk

Radio art will be huge!
Colin Black

Anyone who is not white and male will continue to be underrepresented in concert halls, radio stations, and textbooks around the world.
- Elisabeth Blair

In 2016 a band will create an otherwise mediocre mainstream hit using microtonality (with AutoTune), inspiring a string of truly terrible copycats. But in this manner, some of the terms of the xenharmonic community will become household terms, such as 'lemma', 'schisma', and 'diesis'.
Philipp Blume

I believe that, because artists are a mirror of what is happening in the world, Music and Art in general will focus more and more on the environment and the protection of all species. We are living through music a time of increased consciousness and awareness. The concept of universal spirit is being emphasised as we move into a period of great change, this will be reflected in the Music of the coming decade.
- Antara Annemarie Borg

More Latinamerican universities accept a musical creation (instrumental, electroacoustic, etc.) as research, or will work for it.
Alejandro Brianza

"As we slide further towards the endgame of capitalism, western popular music will continue to scrape the barrel of vapid, tried and tested formulas to sell (and by proxy produce) music. In their desperation big industry will turn to something they don’t fully understand and we may end up all having to watch the next FKA twigs birth herself out of a giant latex alien vagina live on stage 24/7 for a portion of the year. We’ll think it’s brilliant in the ‘now' but 10 years later it’ll be the event horizon of cringing. Conversely the queen of commodity, Nick Minaj will release a new album which won’t get the recognition is deserves until the same 10 years pass."
Alexander Paul William Brigden

'I will be surprised and delighted by what I hear but I can never really anticipate the Work of others - I can say that I Hope Frederic Kojevnikov's music will a last find the favour it richly deserves and I look forward to Vito Polumbo's new Vn Concerto - too many wonderful things are gonna happen and I shall be there to document some of it through DCM - the Contemporary Professional's window on the world of New music.'
Julian Broadhurst

I predict that post-genrism will become a genre.
Scott Bruzenak

Musicians will begin to employ artificial intelligence into their creative process. A handful of leading musical computer programs will role out musical personal assistants which will advise humans midstream during creation of works.
J.C. Combs

The amount of information compounded in a period of time continues to increase. LPs sound like, EPs sound like city centre libraries, and singles sound like album previews. The capacity for erudite language grows, as does the ear’s insatiable hunger. More. Silence casts a familiar shadow on the horizon ahead; it appears a peaceful refuge. A mirage? An interior voice begins to emerge but is silenced quickly, drowned by the distracting noise of the bottomless pit, clanging her dinner bells from below.
- Kara-Lis Coverdale

More of the same! More "contemporary music" on the pile of contemporary music.
John Croft

New music will continue to become less of a social event and more of an individual experience; the internet and digital downloads will disperse music to new listeners who do not come together in public spaces as traditional audiences. A golden age of new music begins at home.
Noah Creshevsky

"2016 will see an increase in glissandi for brass and woodwinds"
Korhan Erel

What I predict for new music in 2016: We will experience an extended sense of revisionist nostalgia in 2016. Music written for traditional presentation formats (especially the symphony hall) will persist in following the neo-tonal and neo-romantic trends, just more distilled and spliced up for our digitally distracted age. The resurgence of all forms of recording media (vinyl, tapes, even the USB key) and their nostalgic auras will continue to shape the creative boundaries of music creators’ work. The “classics” of electronic music will continue to be arranged for analogue forces and performance. 
Art rock will become entrenched as the new classical.
What I wish for new music in 2016: Composers use the digital realm to free themselves of the strictures that other formats impose (Kenneth Kirschner as a case in point) Music programmers and presenters take a much more nuanced approach to thinking about sound and space. Site-specific practices evolve to connect music, people and place in more meaningful ways. Curators learn to treat music and sound as an even-more accepted and respected part of increasingly transdiciplinary art practices. The next Fausto Romitelli emerges.
Jason Van Eyk

In 2016 I will probably feel even more alienated from the currents of popular AND experimental music, descending further into whatever my old friends are doing, and whatever young art-punk bands (most likely from Melbourne) make me *FEEL* again.
John W. Fail

2016 will be the year of acouscenic listening.
Mikael Fernstrom

More than ever, Iranian musicians in the field of alternative electronic, electro-acoustic and sound art will perform in and outside Iran and the world will finally discover them.
- C-drík Fermont

Not so much a prediction as a wish for fewer concepts and more sonic imagination.
- Christopher Fox

positive: continuation of the interest in different aspects of the listening & not only the content itself.
negative: continuation of the hardening of lines between different interest groups within sound culture.
Jez Riley French

There are those that believe evolution is induced by disasters, and those that feel change is more gradual. I sit somewhere in the middle and short of major musical mishaps, 2016 will probably be not all that different from 2015. Perhaps an increase in experimental Motörhead covers on the back of Lemmy's demise, perhaps less free downloads. But who knows, things might get more interesting! I'd be up for an improvised Star Wars extravaganza with me in the role of R2-D2. But then again, that wouldn't be all too different from 2015
- Iris Garrelfs

A desire to free music from the computers we all spend too much time with, hence toward live human interactions and collaborations.
- Kraig Grady

In 2016, we will see digital music be more physical than ever. There will be more interfacing to acoustically produced music, there will be more tangibility in the music-making and there will be a new rise of affectionately produced physical sound carriers countering the omnipresence of cloud-based music. We will encounter more pragmatic approaches, in the sense of a digital arte povera, keeping a distance to the complex technological advances in academic electronic music. This unpretentious music-making will lead to a broader base of practitioners, in the best sense of an inspired, low-threshold digital musicking.
Thomas Grĭll

The bourgeois stagnation that has been affecting new music in 2015 will superficially continue to retain way too much attention in the major festivals and venues, while the alternative ways of messing up with sound will continue to strengthen the connection between their wills and means. The "exceptional" (awkwardly beautiful solo performances and way too ambitious installations) works by people like Jennifer Walshe and Peter Ablinger will slowly continue their way towards a better recognition. And we'll wake up some morning realizing that the king is nude and that the queer is well and healthy.
- Symon Henry

Slightle more equality regarding women composers / performers / conductors.
Slightly less overboarding music with video / art / electronics / dancers / you name it, especially everything at the same time.
More silences in music - get people to listen more, and communication! especially between performers / composers and audience! What's that sound, why is it here, how is it produced.
Sylvia Hinz

I think it's safe to say there will be more and better new music next year than there was this year. Unfortunately, I don't know that it will be any better funded, attended, or otherwise supported.
Colin Holter

NewMusicPredictions - in my country I think we will see a continued increase in 'agile' and /or 'pop-up' productions. Integrating delivery across all platforms (online/offline/live) will increase right from the initial conceptual development stage as artists strive to increase audience reach and associated income. State funding will continue to decrease and be targetted to organisations that can be badged to promote the government.
Greg Hooper

Don't know for sure, but on the industry side if the trends set this year continue more and more huge major label artists will be pulling their music away from streaming services with unfair compensation policies. In production values we are entering an phase where lo-fi and/or more "organic" (god, I hate that word in this context, but everyone knows what it means.) are prefered to over-quantized, streile and machine-like techniques that have been prevalent since the late 90's. As far as songwriting and composition it's pretty much safe to say that unless you conform to the industry standards and have a huge machinery behind you, you will continue to struggle to gain exposure for your work. So let's struggle gracefully.
Masi Hukari

Communications will become an issue one way or the other also in music......the masses of new immigrants need to become recognized.
- Sirpa Jokinen

De la catástrofe económica, la única real catástrofe institucional, se completará la necesaria revisión de la acostumbrada estética futurista que nos dijo siempre que nuestros corazones sólo se moverían gracias a incentivos violentos (9/11). No más conformidad con la aceptación a entrar en la torre de Babel del primer mundo. La crítica de la crítica se acentuará en las periferias.
Nicolás Kliwadenko

No idea what will happen even next minute!
- Dmitri Kourliandsky

My predictions for 2016 in Electronic Music summarized in a few thoughts. A few years back I had the strong belief that technology could bring us, composers in general, much further into a society with higher musical standards as people can adjust to a new sonic world and new forms of music and its creation. As computers are growing more powerful the need for hardware synthesizers will decrease. Hopefully we can 'let go' the by Bob Moog introduced keyboard. New interfaces will be created to play new concepts in music. Merging music and technology was not enough. It is still a human decision what to create with this immense power. There is still a great gap between the few researchers/pioneers and the average user of these technologies. The first are seeking new horizons - a new liberation of rule-inventing musical thoughts. For the last group mentioned here, it will become more easy to fit these powers into sentiment. This is tragedy. The mass will get again 'more of the same' and it will become more difficult to break out. We have to find a way to close this immense gap between the technological means and human consciousness in music by education. In my lectures I explain the symbiosis between technology and sound, morphing technology into music. A different kind of music with new forms. We have to find suitable platforms for this new (electronic) music. New spaces for listening multi channel performances. (Internet)Radio shows broadcasting these new concepts. Make people aware there's more!
Roland Kuit

More musical community forming / less traditional concert practice.
Leigh Landy

"There will some momentary excitement about some new things that have actually happened before in one form or another, after which we'll promptly forget again. And so it goes."
Steve Layton

My prediction -- or is it rather a wish? -- is that the countries of the periphery will play a more active role in the new music scene than ever before.
Dimitri Papageorgiou

The main prediction is that there will be even less (western) government support for the arts, fewer composers who can read notation, fewer who deem harmony of any use, more who use technology and conceptual art as springboards for the music they make, and more interdisciplinary projects generally. That said, music will continue to live on in all it's aspects no matter how much the materialist values of our current western political systems attempt to devalue it as a useless luxury. Reflecting humanity's soul, music is a life force that can't be eradicated
- Zoe Martlew

"Musically, 2016 will be full of those who are filled. Those who aren't will have to wait. "
Will Middlemiss

Music is a great tool for feeling more connected to others and yourself, and to helping you be who you need to be. I hope to dance with you in 2016.
- Kimmo Modig

1. Lemmys Resurrection. 2. Some new plugins coming. 3. Again not hear anything new. 4. Slalom over the bitterness and disgust. 5. No reinvention of rock'n roll. 6. But hypochondria and the fear of death.
- Janne Nummela

I predict 2016 will see a strand in music making where analogue and digital are no longer differentiated and performers will begin to accept more responsibility as composers. In 2015, more and more music has involved performers improvising in composed works, moving out of traditional performance halls and an importance placed on the use of visuals. I want to see an integrity in the audience's experiences from composers. Move out of the concert hall and into reality.
- Mariam Rezaei

Well, I believe the most interesting thing that could happen to music and musicians would be the end of the "play for free" convention. Others shouldn't make a profit out of exploiting musicians' work.
João Ricardo

As the mass paradigm shift in cultures and societies around the world are shifted by global phenomena natural and human made, so too will creative and new music practitioners bring back the art of music as protest en mass.
Rent Romus

Listeners will continue to be oversaturated with too much music streaming at them from all corners of the world, real and virtual, but over time we will increase our ability to listen to more sounds and variants of sounds simultaneously, and learn better how to move from one track to the next, one cilmax and resolution to the next, someday learning to hear all of this cornucopia as one giant musical composition that encompasses all....
At the same time, I hope that in 2016 someone will figure out how to fairlly compensate musicians for all their work that is coursing through this interconnected planet for free! It's going to be something new, huge, magnificent and surprising, but so far I haven't heard about it, though it might already be here....
- David Rothenberg

My hope is that freely improvised music continues to develop and grow and receives greater acceptance and understanding from those who work for cultural funding bodies. I suspect there will be the usual attempts to commodify and parcel off parts of the music as the latest thing and they will fail as they always do but sadly not before taking energy from the real music and musicians whose life it is. This happens in all music but I hope for more awareness of authenticity and less reliance on opinion.
John Russell

My prediction is that more classical new music will branch out into other genres and will reach a more diverse community of concert goers due to meaningful artistic collaborations between artists of different musical backgrounds, and that more great music will be written for toy piano!
Nadia Shpachenko

My 2016 prediction about music: governments will finally see how music is important for people health, so a decision is taken in all over the world: funds for weapons will be diverted on musical activities. 
Mauro Squillante

The full makeover of Europe. Just the beginning!
Caspar Stracke

Next year I think music will struggle for substance just as in 2015, 2014, 2013... the crowdfunding we saw this year only demonstrated the bold class lines for me.
Ronald Sword III

1. British post Birtwhistle Modernism 2. Complexity and marginal versions (sighs and whispers) 3. New anodyne ( nice chords for half an hour) 4. Neo Satie - ( however thinking about it that sounds like number 3 ) 5. Kkkrazy....anything goes in any unrelated way you want.
Jamie Telford

1) There will be more people interested in playing live music who learned some basic instrumental skills largely from Youtube. 2) This "social computing" will contribute to interest in live playing as opposed to home studio scene, which already has benefited from www. 3) Fashion of home studio music will carry on with new sounds that evolve from dubstep and trap. 4) A part of analog synth module build scene will continue to move towards digital platforms like microcontrollers, raspberry etc.
Kalev Tiits

Sound art will continue to have a greater presence in both the concert hall and in the more established museum and gallery scenes, yet the financial support of sound art will continue to struggle with problems of valuation and collecting.
- Spencer Topel

2016 Will be a year in which governments worldwide will decide that arts and culture are important. New music will benefit from this. Important new composers will be dicovered coming from very unlikely places such as Teheran
Daan Vandewalle

In 2016 there will be lot of really great music that comes out... maybe some people will even get an opportunity to hear it.
Steve Vanoni

The year 2016 will bring current music nearer to societal awareness and previously marginal themes. The infrastructure for electronic sound production as well as notation software will advance towards more mobile and seamless forms. More or less the same subgenres of new music will prevail. Year 2016 will further separate current music from conventional concert and academic platforms. Some groups performing interdisciplinary music will firmly establish themselves and new ones will evolve.
Juhani Vesikkala

As a freak side-effect of the New York Stock Exchange self-destruction in the Black Summer of 2016, the price of Edition Wandelweiser Records CDs takes a surprise investment hike, surpassing the price of gold. Antoine Beuger, Michael Pisaro and Eva-Maria Houben become billionaires overnight; they set up a charity devoted to encourage the formation of zones of quietness in the metropoles that used to house the world's former major financial centers. Live, however, the music is still just played all over the world for living-room size audiences of long quiet music aficionados.
- Samuel Vriezen

I predict that contemplative music will become more pervasive in the contemporary music culture.
- Michael Vincent Waller

Film music will move further away from the skill of acoustic orchestral scores to ever low dynamic sampled music with little content. Arts funding will be increasingly pressured by social agendas Soundtracks used in gaming will be a significant access point for 'new music' of a range of genres The 'genre' of Einaudi type music will come to be seen as 'contemporary classical music' to the expense of all other styles in the eyes of the general public. Commission fees for new music acoustic compositions will continue to decrease in value as access to money ever tightens, the musical establishments of all countries will increase their hold as cultural gatekeepers to opportunity, development and growth, freezing out innovation and encouraging nepotism and cronyism. Composers will continue to use social media more effectively for promotion and gaining a voice.
Marc Yeats

It's going to be even more boring as in 2015 with the only exception of pieces written for daxophone.
Victor X

Silent contemporary music in Russia in 2016 will be completely absorbed by the breath of the audience.
- chose to remain anonymous


  1. Music will evolve, but the people who evolve it will be mostly ignored.

  2. I wasn't asked for my opinion, so I'm not giving it. Suffice it to say that my own symphonies will be launched on CD at the National Film Theatre, London. The orchestra is the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

  3. Interesting to read this - food for thought etc. Also to contrast the author's own ideas on race, gender, POC, climate change and new music, with the contributors thoughts has been revealing. Thanks.

  4. The world will continue to become a smaller place and the scope of human ambition accessible to everyone will (hopefully) become larger. In 2016, dramatically and exponentially, this will continue to be more and more apparent.

  5. Thanks Timo Brilliant Idea - very happy to be a part of it.