So what can be said about contemporary music nowadays – especially after attending Toronto’s third annual Twenty-First Century Music Festival?
It’s a harsh, atonal cacophony, or it’s consonant with a vengeance. It’s a high-volume assault on the eardrums, or it’s a barely audible whisper. It’s a dense, opaque wall of sound, or it’s sparse and spacious. It’s a through-composed stream of consciousness, or it’s repetitious in the extreme. It’s jarringly experimental and iconoclastic, or it’s deeply rooted in ancient traditions. It is all these things, and more.