Profiles

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Getting To Know Who I Am

Rudresh Mahanthappa standing in the yard outside his home with trees and a hill behind him.

Rudresh Mahanthappa explores his composite cultural identity through an extremely wide range of fascinating musical activities. Some of these projects have been direct attempts to synthesize contemporary jazz and much older Indian traditions. Perhaps even more intriguing, however, has been music in which jazz and Carnatic elements co-exist alongside many other components.

Kate Soper: Real Communication

Kate Soper

Extended techniques and integrated theatrical elements are a hallmark of Kate Soper’s compositional style, and presenting her work herself is a good way to push the performer into new territory with confidence. “I will do anything as a performer that I as a composer ask me to do.”

Royce Vavrek: So Many Juicy, Amazing Words

Royce Vavrek sitting down in front of a graffiti-strewn wall.

While an extremely wide range of composers are writing operas in the United States today, many of these disparate operas share an important trait—a libretto written by someone who was born in Alberta, Canada: Royce Vavrek. The gregarious Vavrek at first seems like an unlikely candidate for the mysterious, and regretfully somewhat anonymous, profession of writing opera librettos, but he loves telling stories and collaboration.

Mary Jane Leach: Sonic Confessions

MJLHomepage

For decades Mary Jane Leach has been composing music that explores and exploits various psychoacoustic “ghost” sounds such as beat tones and combination tones. As a result, she has created numerous works for multiples of the same instrument or voice. She is also drawn to physical spaces where such sonic phenomena are at their most pronounced, such as churches, which is why she lives in one.

James Moore: The Hunt for Sonic Solutions

James Moore

With three guitars, fifteen balloons, a talking doll, and a serious commitment, composer and guitarist James Moore recorded John Zorn’s The Book of Heads, a challenging collection of 35 etudes now available on a CD/DVD set from Tzadik.

Arto Lindsay: Space, Parades, and Confrontational Aesthetics

Arto Lindsay

Not only did Arto Lindsay found arguably the most important band from New York’s early-’80s No Wave scene, he is a well-known figure in Brazilian pop, collaborator of Matthew Barney’s, leader of parades, and thrower of sounds in space. He sat down with Sam Hillmer to chat sound design, confrontational aesthetics, and much more.

Linda Oh: Lean In and Listen

Linda Oh

Bassist and jazz bandleader Linda Oh offers insights on bridging training and personal expression, ditching stifling preconceptions, and the fundamental value of truly listening to the people around you.

André Previn: How Lucky I Am Now

Andre Previn sitting and holding a microphone. Photo by J. Adam Fenster, courtesy G. Schirmer/Music Sales.

Composer, conductor, and pianist André Previn has been equally comfortable making music in and for concert halls, jazz clubs, opera houses, Broadway theaters, and the silver screen for three quarters of a century. But now he’s composing more prolifically than ever before.

Andy Milne: Putting the Theory Into Practice

Andy Milne

Being an astute listener to the world around him and playing in a wide array of styles throughout his career has enabled Andy Milne to operate fluently in all of them, whether its his hip-hop infused jazz combo Dapp Theory, a collaboration with traditional Japanese koto players, or his soundtracks for William Shatner’s series of Star Trek documentaries.

Sarah Kirkland Snider: The Full 360

Sarah Kirkland Snider

In advance of the release of her second full-length album Unremembered, Sarah Kirkland Snider opens up about integrating disparate influences, embracing deeply emotional content, and the process of developing her signature works.

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