About Common Sense
"What we can use more of is Common Sense’s infectious, eager energy and expert writing."
-- Kyle Gann, Village Voice
The Common Sense Composers' Collective consists of eight composers spread throughout the United States and Canada. Although well pedigreed, completing music programs at Yale, Harvard, Columbia, and Cornell, we emerged from our schooling dissatisfied and restless. Our attitude can best be described by the slogan, coined by journalist Wes “Scoop” Nisker: “If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.”
Since 1993 the group has explored alternative ways of conceiving, developing, and presenting new works. For each project Common Sense seeks out and collaborates with a different group of performers. Our initial project was the creation of, and collaboration with, an eleven-member ensemble. In 1993 the 19 musicians began meeting periodically for workshop sessions. In 1994 we presented the World premieres of eight new compositions. The results were a joyous success.
We have since gone on to complete ten such collaborations with ten very diverse ensembles: San Francisco's Alternate Currents Performing Ensemble, the Bay Area period instrument ensemble American Baroque, the NYC duo Twisted Tutu, the Meridian Arts Ensemble, Albany Symphony's chamber orchestra, Dogs of Desire, the New Millennium Ensemble, Essential Music, the Robin Cox Ensemble, and most recently the Afiara & Cecilia String Quartets.
Our next project will be a recording of 8 pieces developed at the Banff Centre, to be recorded by the upcoming Friction String Quartet at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch in the Spring of 2017.
Our 2002 recording of the works written for American Baroque received a 2003 Chamber Music America/WQXR Record Award. Other discs of the Collective's work can be found on the New World and Albany labels.