Music: Up From The Underground

Composer Anthony Davis is no longer an invisible man

It's the slurs that are bothering Anthony Davis. Not racial cracks or snooty disparagement -- not those slurs at all. No, the slurs that have drawn his ire are the little hemispheres that composers write over groups of notes to indicate a phrase. Musical slurs. Value-free slurs. And, insists Davis, they are all wrong.

"No!" Davis exclaims, sitting in an empty Midwestern concert hall listening to the first rehearsal of his new Violin Concerto by the Kansas City Symphony. "I know I wrote slurs over those eighth notes, but they're all jumbled together. They sound like mush." Davis jumps up and...

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