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The Rest Is Noise Festival: New World Order

Pluralism is the defining feature of music at the end of the 20th century – from the minimalist film music of Michael Nyman to the lush sounds of Toru Takemitsu to the spectralist works that explored sound itself, writes Gillian Moore

"We live in a time not of mainstream but of many streams," John Cage mused as he surveyed the musical scene shortly before his death in 1992, "or even, if you insist upon a river of time, then we have come to the delta, maybe even beyond a delta to an ocean which is going back to the skies … "

The 12th and final episode of The Rest Is Noise festival is called New World Order. It may still be too early to have the historical distance to tell what really mattered in classical music at the end of the 20th century. What is clear, however, is that in the closing decades
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