The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director José-Luis Novo can now add “author” to his list of professional credits as his writings are featured in a newly published book – “Practicing Sustainability.” The book presents ideas on creating a sustainable society with insights from innovators and thought-leaders from various industries including the arts, sciences, business, health and more.
The chapter written by Maestro Novo – “Recycling Reinvented: Music and Sustainability” – was inspired by an actual concert program entitled “Recycling Redefined” which was performed by Novo and the ASO during the 2010-11 Classical Season. In this chapter Novo writes, “Recycling of musical material is one of the best examples of practicing sustainability. It involves creating something new from the old, with a healthy dose of imagination, novelty and discipline. In music, as with any other work of art, the basic material is transferred from one generation to the other. Artists work with what they have inherited – they then enhance their inheritance with creativity and novelty…What’s discarded by the previous generation could be up for grabs by the next generation as ‘artistic recycling.”1
Novo goes on to discuss such instances of artistic recycling as evidenced in two compositions by Brahms and Rachmaninoff, which were offered by the ASO in the abovementioned program. He notes, “Great artists like Brahms and Rachmaninoff recycled not only the resources from previous scores but also certain features that people liked about them. That’s what makes music sustainable.”2
Also expressed by Novo in his writing is his perspective on music’s power over words – the emotions, experiences and positive effects it can inspire and create. He also shares his thoughts on the creative changes that may occur in the process of music being passed from generation to generation noting the “hyperactive society”3 in which we live and “music of our generation that is generally noisy and remixed – a reflection of our busy minds”4 with an effect on the brain that Novo views as unhealthy.
“It’s exciting to see José-Luis included in this book,” remarks Katharene Snavely, Executive Director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. “We recognize his talent and expertise as Music Director of our Symphony. But he is also recognized on a much larger scale as a thought-leader representing the music industry. We’re proud to have him leading our orchestra and proud of his published works in this new book.”