Here's a YouTube of Milton Babbitt's Fanfare for All. I haven't yet reconciled the composer's elitist reputation with this notion of a fanfare for more than just common people. And I haven't decided if it is particularly ceremonial. But as music, it's worth a listen...
I was listening in the car to the local classical radio station ("warning: may cause drowsiness") and lo and behold, the taped announcer promised music by Villa-Lobos and new music somehow related to New Jersey. They played Brazilian Medley but it's now an hour later and nothing related to the Garden State. And the last 10 works played list hasn't been updated for awhile. ??? Fortunately, one can never get enough of that Muffat and Albinoni.
So, how does one find notable composers from New Jersey? The composers guild of new jersey lists numerous candidates but it's not clear if these are residents or what.
When I think of New Jersey composers, the ones who come to mind are Milton Babbitt, John Harbison, and Benjamin Lees. A quick google reminds me of Paul Lansky and Steven Mackey, both at Princeton. And I was wrong about Lees -- I must have been thinking about his Delaware commission. Out here on the West Coast, all those I-95 Eastern states (NJ, DE, PA etc.) blur together. Wikipedia reports, among other arcane facts, this:
I-95 is the only long-distance Interstate in the original plans that is not yet completed. Due to the cancellation of the Somerset Freeway, the section in Pennsylvania is not contiguous with the main section in New Jersey.
Back to the music, the odds of a commercial radio station playing Babbitt or Lansky are zero. Maybe Harbison or Mackey?
From the program notes of Milton Babbitt's solo marimba piece Beaten Paths:
Of the multiple references of the title Beaten Paths, probably the
least apparent is that which suggests the adaptation of properties of
other of my works to a medium in which I cannot realize fully or at all
salient characteristic traits of much of my music.
Napster has the Naxos reissue recording of Beaten Paths. Not safe for KDFC listeners...
Pardon my housekeeping; my Firefox browser currently has 25 open tabs and some of them may be bloggable...
Praceta Manuel Faria warns of his visit to the land of Elliott Carter, Mark Rothko, Philip Roth, W.C. Fields, Babe Ruth, Milton Babbitt, etc. It's not odd that Babe Ruth and Milton Babbitt are mentioned together--well, it's not completely odd, anyway--Frank Oteri interviewed Babbitt where they discuss baseball. Interestingly, Babbitt thinks the modern baseball innovation of the designated hitter is ridiculous.