Over the past two years in cities throughout the U.S., groups of people have been gathering, digital music players in hand and headphones in place, to watch the sun rise or set. It must be an odd sight for anyone stumbling across these scenes—25 to 50 people all “plugged in,” intently facing in the direction of the sun. They are all listening to the same music by composer Nat Evans.
I have been keeping notes about what I learned during the process of creating my orchestra piece, and there are so many things that could be helpful to others that I wanted to begin putting them out there for other composers who are or will be working with an orchestra for the first time.
Designed to take place in the grand lobby of Benaroya Hall—a welcoming space with gigantic windows overlooking the city—the inaugural concert of the Seattle Symphony series called [untitled] celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair by presenting works composed exclusively in 1962.
An assortment of tempting recordings to accompany Halloween escapades–from the creepy to the quirky and beyond.
This is what a movie score is supposed to do—blend so seamlessly into the entire picture (so to speak) that you don’t even notice it.
In the liner notes of her latest recording, Almost Truths and Open Deceptions, Annie Gosfield writes of her “parallel lives” performing music with her own band and writing fully notated compositions for other musicians and ensembles. With both of those worlds represented on this recording, it seems more that her two creative worlds are deeply interconnected, influencing one another and sharing common musical elements and sources of inspiration.
Whatever type of notation we use—minimal, maximal, standard practice, or completely made up from scratch—it is not only a road map to bring sounds to life, but it also often tells a parallel story of the lives communicating those sounds.
Both composers who are prolific and those who are not have reasons for working at their own paces, and it seems that both options (not to mention those in between) can be valid. There has been life-altering music written at the speed of light, and also in the thickest molasses of slowness.
Sometimes when a theme presents itself, the best action is to run with it!
Composer, sound artist, and performer Brenda Hutchinson is a natural storyteller. Her great love is documenting the stories and interactions of others, creating oral histories that reveal the transformative power of everyday moments.