Composing is an identity forming ritual. It also teaches us to identify sounds we love and to commit to them in a form. I like to think that each of us has a melody that can stand for us long after we are gone.
Compose that melody by singing it. And when you have it, write it down. And share it.
Now it’s your turn: write, record, or otherwise draft your response using any method that suits your style and skills, then share it in comments. You can embed a SoundCloud player, a YouTube video, a link to a score file—whatever works. Here at NewMusicBox, we talk about music a lot. This project is our way of shifting focus and actually making some music, too. We can’t wait to hear what everyone creates.—MS
A Rome Prize and Berlin Prize winner, Ken Ueno, is a composer/vocalist who is currently an Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. As a vocalist, he specializes in extended techniques, such as multiphonics, circular breathing, and throat singing. Musicians who have played Ken’s music include Kim Kashkashian, Robyn Schulkowsky, eighth blackbird, Alarm Will Sound, BMOP, SFCMP, and Frances-Marie Uitti. The Hilliard Ensemble has featured Ken’s Shiroi Ishi in their repertoire for over a decade. A former ski patrol and West Point cadet, Ken holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University.