five interesting questions
Keith Rowe Trio
(concert, wed., april
1) What do you think is music's place in society? Particularly your
2) In performance and composition, are you trying to translate a sound
you hear in your head or do the instruments and materials provide the
sounds and you just go from there?
3) How and what do you practice?
4) How much of your playing is based on conscious thought and how much
5) What have people who love hearing your music told you about it?
-I was wondering throughout the concert what the musicians were feeling
while playing. Their expressions didn't seem to change at all- so
what kinds of emotions were they feeling?
-What other kinds of music influence your own?
-I noticed natural rises and falls in the pieces- the timing of each
contributor was completely in sync. Is that trend due to the
musicians having played together for so long or is it a feature of this
particular type of music?
-What do their wives/children think of this music?
-Personally, the concert was incredibly soothing and I started to feel
very relaxed. Is this a normal response to this music or was that
1. Is there any chronological order or sequence in the order in which
you orchestrate different sounds or is it 100% improv?
2. What identifies a good piece? To me, much of the music sounds very
similar and it would be difficult for me to decipher between a good
song and a bad song? Does the timing in which you make these sounds
play a big role?
3. What type of emotion or feeling do you believe this music
brings out in people? What do you believe your audience is thinking
when they are leaving the concert?
4. If someone adressed you and said, " I don't exactly understand your
music and I have trouble finding any kind of rythm or harmony in it.
What is the difference between this and a compile of random sounds?
5. If a movie producer approched you and said that he would like to
incorporate your music into his upcoming horror film how would you
1. What do you wish to accomplish with your music?
2. What would you say to people who tell you that your work is
3. How do you practice?
4. Does it take special talent to do what you do?
5. Why did you decide to pursue such an abstract type of music?
1) Where do you derive your inspiration to make this type of music? Are
there any composers that are especially significant to you?
2) Would you consider your music/sound to be natural? Or are they
sounds completely different to nature that explore something that has
never been created before?
3) How long does it take you to compose a piece of music? Conversely,
if it is improvisational, how do you prepare for this type of a show?
4) What do you consider to be an instrument? Do you think that a
synthesizer and computer can be classified as musical instruments?
Would you say you were a composer who uses and plays musical
instruments during your performances- like the one here at Dartmouth?
5) From your perspective, how do you differ from the traditional
musical composers like Mozart. Or would you say that you are more
similar than what it would seem?
1) When does one draw the line between noise and music?
2) Does it bother you that "most people" can't recognize your
music as being technically difficult?
3) Is your music tecnically difficult, or is it more artistic?
4) How did you start with computer/electronic music?
5) Is there an open dialogue between you and other electronic
music composers concerning new ideas/etc?
1. Why would you create this?
2. Where do you come up with something like this?
3. Does he really enjoy what he does?
4. What boundaries is he pushing? Where is this
going, is it going to lead to anything else?
5. What is music, and why is this considered music?
1. I noticed that several of my classmates fell asleep during
your performance. Do you find this offensive or do you believe
there are an infinite number of possible responses to your music, all
of which are valid?
2. After working with the same people for some time, do you think
that an element of predictability enters into your performances?
3. I know that for a time you believed that all your music should
be performed for political purposes. Do you still consider this
to be true? If so, how does this performance reveal any political
4. Do you consider improvisation to be the most (or only) valid
form of music? What does this offer that other forms of music do
not or cannot?
5. While a member of AMM neither you or the other musicians
discussed pieces after their completion. Is this still the
case? If this is so, I am curious as to how you agree upon titles
for you recorded materials, considering that pieces are neither
discussed nor inspired by anything in particular.
1) What do you gain from publicly performing your music? I mean both
monetarily (are you able to make a living composing/performing or do
you have a square job) and emotionally (audience feedback, criticism of
peers, desire to share and perform)?
2) Without any notes or program to work from, I came to the conclusion
that your music involves both sounds you produce, and some form of
radio feedback from those sounds. Am I anywhere near correct?
3) In a similar vein as question 1, has the audience become unnecessary
in your opinion? (I ask this b/c personally I don't see how you could
answer no. As I was sitting in the concert I felt like it must have
felt to sit in a church in the dark ages while priests faced away from
you speaking in a language you didn't understand, and at the end you
were told mass was over and to go home.)
4) What difference did spending five minutes making sure that one
speaker worked make on your overall performance? What would have been
5) Has your music reached a compositional limit? Could it be made more
abstract? Is there any concrete form underlying your work besides
the predetermined length of a concert?
1) What is it about this music that makes it more
than the sum of its parts? What makes it special?
2) What is your issue with short notes? Almost all
the notes were sustained so long that I couldn’t track any melodies,
only gradual changes in timbre. The exception was a few seconds where I
heard two notes from the same player that felt like half notes at a
more accessible speed, and they promptly crackled into white noise like
they were being burnt.
3) Were these two short notes wrong, an unfortunate
accident breaking the continuity of the improvisation? Or were they,
perhaps, played to be destroyed, so that the listener had a chance to
experience a sort of epiphany like I did?
4) Does the dichotomy of right and wrong in your
music even exist as I’m trying to define it? What wouldn’t be all right
to play (as long as it’s in time, I assume)?
5) Did you grow up playing classical?
-To what extent do the psychological affects of certain
sounds/frequencies factor into your music?
- After you get to know your fellow musicians and play with them for
awhile, it is presumably easier to tell what they will do in a
concert. Do you consider this as having a positive or negative
effect on your sound? If neither, how will your sound change
after playing many concerts with someone?
-What is attractive to you about broadband sounds such as radio static?
Do you use slight variations in noise as different "colors" in your
music? How do the pitched sound of a guitar string and the buzzing of a
toothbrush fit in one composition?
- Early on you made the decision to figure out your own style and
techniques in palying music, what would you say to someone who was
trying to imitate your technique?
- Would you say your greatest influence on music was your sound, or
your desire to discover your own voice as an artist? As an
innovative artist, what do you think is the place of outside influences?
E-a Graduate student
sunday, april 29
(Brown, Arroyo, Shapira, Zarillo, Caruso, Peuquet)
- To Carmen: I have heard you perform your piece “Cusp” with tape
rather than with live piano before. Do you feel that these two versions
are interchangeable, or do you prefer one over the other? How did you
envision the piece originally, and did this vision change as you
performed the piece?
- To Courtney: In your piece “Things that Breathe,” the theme seems
to be the relationship between humans and machines. While composing, do
you feel that you have complete control over the machines that you use?
Do you ever feel that the machine has control over you? Do you prefer a
certain state of balance or imbalance of power between you and the
machine while composing?
- For Danny: Your piece “Do you mind”? was fun to listen to and had
theatrical elements although it was a tape piece that was pre-recorded.
Was the conversation with Courtney scripted at all? Did you draw
inspiration from the drawing floating, drifting, drawing that was
included in the program? Did you record the conversation with composing
a piece in mind, or was it just a recording of a conversation with a
friend for the sake of recording it?
- For John: “En la Selva” from Good Food Bad Food is quite
narrative based on the program notes, which describes the piece as “the
wandering observer has stumbled upon a group of Macaques discussing
their upcoming feast”. In your research with macaques, where these
calls really discussions about a feast? How seriously or literally do
you take this narrative? Also, why do you choose to title your piece in
Spanish, which means “in the jungle”?
- For Katia: Your piece “Noises: Movement and Immersion”, although
one of the most abstract of the pieces in the concert, at the same time
to me felt very visual, or aware of its spatial context. Do you see the
composition visually at all? To me, the piece sounds almost sculptural
with its contextualizing of layers and emptiness/silence, and seems to
be playing with translucency and opacity. Have you ever thought of
creating some sort of visual accompaniment to the piece as an
1. Is there any kind of rythm or harmony to your music because
there is obviously a lot of freestyling? It is difficult for me to
tell, is there a great deal of preperation that goes into some of the
electronic music or is just made somewhat instantaneously? -- Courtney
2. Where do you find the motivation or incentive to make a piece about
"breathing" Does this piece have any personal meaning to you at all or
is it simply just a piece about breathing? There are a million
different songs, sounds, noises that can be combined to make a song
similar to these. How did you come across or end up choosing to make a
song about "breathing"?---- Courtney Brown
3. It would be fare to say that the majority of the audience wouldn't
be able to tell when you miss a note or mess up in some manner
(electronic music). How does this affect the way in which you prepare
to perform infront of people. Do you have particular notes, lyrics,
etc. that are vital to the piece? Especially the man using the turn
tables, do you do the same thing everytime, with the same timing? ---
4. When you hear, compose music similar to the jungle song does it help
to picture yourself in the jungle or in that environment?---John Arroyo
5. This is a type of music which gives people the opportunity to
express themselves.... how are you expressing yourselves through this
type of music? Is it through the harmony, volume, randomness, body
language involved, lyrics, emotions, etc.... What are you trying to
convey to the audience when you are composing a piece of electronic
sound, only sounds and there is no particular rythym? ----Carmen Caruso
1) What inspired them to make this type of music
2) How do they make this type of music
3) Is there some sort of transition stage that is in
between everyday music and this new music? It just seems to be in
sharp contrast and entirely different, I was wondering if there is
something that maybe combines the two
4) What sort of backgrounds do these artists
have? Do they have classical training or any sort of other
5) Where do their ideas come from? And why express
them in this way, it seems that maybe you could reach more people in
some other form
1. (for the 2nd piece) How do you define the line between natural and
artificial sounds created (as exemplified in your music, using
electronic sounds to imitate natural ones), if at all, in your music?
2. Do you intend for the listener to "travel" to another place
that you are creating with this music? If so, is it a specific
location that you have in mind? Obviously there are certain
elements of the piece that seem apparent, the crackling of fire, the
howling of wind, while the music is being created by electronic
elements, but is this machine/nature junction aimed at blurring such
boundries? Are you sending your listeners to an in-between Matrix
3. For the mix-table performer; To what extent was this piece a
performance, as opposed to the creation of music? Obviously
the technical knowledge of the instrument was profound, and we were
thruroughly impressed as viewers. However, was the aim to produce
a piece that was extremely difficult to perform, or to create a piece
that is musically interesting and valuble?
4. For the performer of "I keep talking to Machines" >
Music is generally seen as a natural part of life. Do you feel
that machines, so to speak, are simply new ways to express the music
created within the mind (as Roger Waters might say), or instead,
it seems that through your lyrics, you seem to resent these machines,
yet use such machines in your music. Explain this apparent
paradox, and the reasoning behind it.
5. For the first performers > I sensed two emotions
during this singers performance, supressed rage, and nostalgia.
Did you intend to juxtapose these two emotions by combining fff
dynamics with smooth flowing vocals, and both polished piano riffing,
with crunchy electronic music? Or, was this piece simply about
blurring the boundries between such emotions?
1. (Cusp) The blending of the voice, the piano, and the tape were
incredible in this piece. Since you describe the piece as "the
unraveling of the voice into the chaotic electronic soundscape,"
what line were you trying to discern between the instruments? A
large swell and the beating of the pitches was evident in the filling
of the space, but was there a specific effect you were looking for when
the unraveling occurred?
2. (Noises: Movement and Immersion) There is a different
reception that occurs when the surround sound is exploited in the
piece. The bombardment of sound from all directions certainly
create an altered experience. Was this related to your concept of
immersion in the music or was the immersion intended as a different
effect? Certain sounds were combined and seamlessly flowed
together. Why were only certain combinations used in the
progression? Were there specific reasons for the selection of the
progression, for desired effect? Or were only certain
progressions selected because the connection was more easily made?
3. (Compromise) Compromise is easy to follow from the progression
printed in the program. Is your intention to inform the audience
of the music you are performing? Is there a specific pattern to
the sequence that is the initial number of each line? Since all
the lines with the exception of the first number are identical, was
there an algorithm or pattern that was selected for the initial
numbers? Why was this progression chosen?
4. (Good Food Bad Food) I notice that in this piece, your sounds
are compartmentalized extremely well. The compartmentalization
creates individuality and separation, but was that your intended
effect? Are specific sounds combined in your setting to describe
the narrative of the discussion? Or are the selection of sounds
combined randomly to create the effect of the discussion? Is the
compartmentalization intended to mimic the discussion that occurs
between groups of people?
5. (Kindly Explain) This lilting pieces explores the complete
range of sounds that can be made with not only the voice, but with the
mouth, lips and tongue. Since you explore all the complete range,
do you think you could do this piece by having the singer use different
languages as well? Specific Asian and African languages use
clicks, whirs, and sounds that can be created only if you have been
trained to speak like that, and that most Americans have trouble
speaking because they never use that part of their mouth to create that
sound. Have you considered expanding the range of sounds that the
voice can use in this piece?
New Musics Festival,
Tuesday, May 1
1) The concert began rather awkwardly, or rather not at all, because
the first piece was preceeded by a "pre-concert environment". And yet
the music was beautiful. Do you think the concert format is not the
best way to present your music? What would be a better way?
2) Do you think that audiences know more about music than performers?
3) The piece with the video accompaniment actually made me slightly
nauseated. No joke. I had to close my eyes because the video, in
combination with the music, was seriously disturbing me. Is this a
response you had anticipated? If so, what is your intent in providing
your listeners with such an experience?
4) How do you feel when playing the Alvin Lucier piece? Very relaxed or
very tense? It is certainly relaxing to listen to, but I can imagine it
would be physically strenuous to play.
5) Do you think that if no professional symphony orchestras existed
there would be more groups like yours and more people interested in
your style of music? Or would people mostly form groups to play
traditional classical music still?
1. What was your incentive or motive behind displaying the movie/
projection of the man? Do you feel that it is possible that that
action, in some manner, drew away the audience's attention from your
music? I found myself focusing more on the body language and
expressions of the man than listening to the music.
2. There is such a large variety of sounds and noises in your music,
everything but vocals. Have you ever thought of incorporating some
singing into your music? I think it would be interesting if some noise
coming from the natural mouth was involved.
3. From just listening to each piece once it was difficult for me to
tell if there was a definitive rythm involved. Do you repeat certain
notes or is there ever anything like a chorus in any of your pieces?
For example in the pre- concert environment when the glass bottle was
hit repeatedly; do you have anything else similar to this?
4. How did you originally think of taking that object from a doll and
incorporating it into your music with the trombone? It is a great sound
and I loved hearing it but how do you decipher when to use it? I
noticed that you would keep taking it in and out of your mouth..
5. Is there any kind of a lead instrument in your piece? Do you key off
of a certain person or instrument at all because there are a lot of
instances where there is an extended period of silence? Is your
re-entry into the song specifically timed?
-The first thing the gentleman played on the trombone sounded almost
NOTHING like a trombone. At what point is it no longer
significant that he uses a trombone to create these sounds?
-It wasn't until the end of the first piece that I noticed some
semblance of a melody (I hope that wasn't just me). Why did he
pick then to bring all of the components together into a specific note
-The second selection seemed to be very different from the
second. Do the artists link both types under the same genre of
-The trombonist mentioned that he has held clinics were people from the
audience ask if he has tried certain techniques that he described as
"noise." Isn't that contradictory of his own musical
philosophy? Some of what he did sounded like plain old noise to
-How often do the artists incorporate new playing styles into their
-What would their music be like if they interpreted a specific,
well-known, mainstream song under their own terms? or a style
(reggae, for instance)?
1. How hard was it for all three of you guys to agree on the
style and technique of your particular type of music? I found a
lot of the pieces very peculiar and was wondering how you guys found a
medium in which you were all interested and had a passion for?
2. You guys play a genre of music that is abstract and not
mainstream so I'm assuming that there is not a big fan base or big
audiences in the concerts. Currently I'm writing a paper on Brad
Mehldau and he is big on playing for the audience and seeing their
reaction to the music that he plays. If the audience is happy and
receptive to his music then he knows that he has done a good job.
My question for you guys is do you play the music for yourselves or the
audiences? If the audience were to boo your music because they
are not familiar with it, how would you feel?
3. I thought it was interesting for you to play the trombone with
a clarinet mouthpiece. It created sounds similar to that of a
helicopter and at the end of a piece I could make out some sort of
melody. What made you combine the two instruments together?
Besides the unique sound that it makes, do you think that it creates a
beautiful sound? Do you prefer that sound to that of a regular
trombone? Also, what would you say to traditional trombone
players who tell you that you are ruining the beauty and essence of the
sound of the trombone?
4. The noises and sounds that you guys make with your instruments
is something that most audience members are unfamiliar with. So
as a member of the audience, what am I supposed to get out of your
music? How do I know whether you have performed the piece well?
5. Throughout this class, if there is one thing I've learned it
is that music is an art form and some types of music are very abstract
and creative like paintings. When ordinary people look at
paintings, they miss the creative and abstract features of it that make
it so special. When I was listening to your performance, I felt
like I could not understand or relate to the significance of your
music. Is this because I fail to listen outside the box and do
you think that if I observed your music and listened various times
carefully, that I would be able to understand what you guys are getting
1) The Cage piece: By following along with the performers, I could feel
when this piece was ending, but I'm not exactly sure how I was able to
do that, because it seemed like part of the piece (if not all) was
improvisational. Was there an overarching time structure to it?
2/3) Lucier Memorial piece: There seemed to be a lot of audience noise
during this piece, which I thought was indicative of the audience's
opinion of it (not so good). What would the implications be if this
piece was a guerilla piece where the composer secretly recorded all of
the audience noise while the "sham" piece was being performed, and then
used it in another composition on the program. A) Has this ever been
done? And B) wouldn't that bring some much needed levity to avant garde
music? C) Is there some levity to avant-garde music that I'm not aware
of, b/c if there is I'd like to know about it.
4) Wolff piece: What are the challenges of performing a piece that is
written more for the players than for the audience? (I ask this having
come to this conclusion about Ex. 18)
5) To the Barton Workshop (didn't get to ask this during the class): As
avant-garde as many of your compositions are, there is often some
sonorous portion for the audience to "hold on to". Is this an
intentional signpost for the audience, or do you just like juxtaposing
radically different musics?
1) In the Lucier Requiem, I heard an oscillator drone
in the bass register, and a bass wind instrument producing only 3
different tones (and silence). One was the same pitch as the
oscillator, and the other two were very close in pitch and produced
beats with the oscillator. Again, it was so slow and repetitive that I
had trouble understanding any sort of structure. What is the aesthetic
value of this piece?
2) In trying to analyze abstract and minimalist
pieces like this by breaking them down into their individual
components, am I missing something?
3) In the Zwaanenburg piece, how did the performers
change the effects on their instruments without operating anything
visible like foot pedals? Max/MSP?
4) How do attitudes toward performing the music of
today differ between students and professionals? The idea is that when
classical systems of pitch and rhythm are flipped on their side or
thrown away altogether, it is almost impossible for the audience to
know when a performer errs, but it is also harder for audiences to get
into the music.
5) How do performance attitudes differ for students
and professionals between new musics and classical music? Are they more
nervous when performing new musics than when they have to produce
“perfect” performances of classical music? Do they perform new musics
more for themselves?
- You permormed in your concert and you inlcude in your CDs music by
contemporary composers such as Lucier and Wolff. Do you consider
yourselves as much a contemporary "orchestra" as contemporary
composers? How does making CDs of music by other composers contribute
to your vision as a group? Do you see other groups forming that
would play only the music of other ocmposers or would that be contrary
to the thinking behind this new music, that it is important to be
- Your use of elctronics in combination with traditonal tambres creates
an interesting sound - have you ever written a completely electronic
piece? Do you see the group moving in that direction- why or why
- How important is the element of live performance to the group?
Have you ever played any pieces completely offstage? Even with all of
you on stage, it was sometimes difficult to tell from where/whom sound
was coming, was this intentional? Do you think an audience
prefers when there is a human element tied into the music of today?
Musics Festival Music by Living
Composers, May 2, Vaughan Recital
Faulkner (Reich, Vierk, Doug Perkins, et. al)
1) The snare drum piece was very funky, but I wonder how
much listeners can get out of music that's purely percussive. Don't you
think music like that is intended to get people moving, and not
thinking or consciously listening? I felt stifled being surrounded by a
bunch of attentive statues staring straight ahead into the void. Shake
what you got.
2) I found the Steve Reich piece for two marimbas to be the most
beautiful of the concert by far. What does it mean that this piece
doesn't raise a single question in my mind?
3) In the last piece, Io, I thought the orchestration was very poor.
The instruments neither blended smoothly together nor seemed to stake
out unique sonic territory. The piece sounded full of noisey clashing
to me. Perhaps that was the point, or perhaps not. If you had to sit
next to three people talking like that in a restaurant, how would you
4) In the phase piece, don't you think the need for in-ear click tracks
damages the magical effect music is supposed to have on an audience?
And written music? And the obvious use of virtuosic technique?
5) Do percussionists have a philosophy of music or a perception of
music that is significantly different from other instrumentalists and
1. ("Snare Drum For Camus") This piece seems to be organized
according to a general shape, but how do the performers know when to
move on to different parts in the piece?
2. ("This Mind Made War") Who originiated the style of playing
vibraphone with wide mallets to hit note clusters like that?
3. ("Once Removed") Is the style of this piece related to playing
4. ("Io") As the guitar player, what elements of this piece were
the most challenging and required the most practice? How many
hours did it take for you to prepare this piece?
1. For the first student performer: When you made a
mistake during the middle section of the piece, you smiled. It
seems then that you recognized that you played the piece incorrectly,
and were perhaps embarrased by it. Do you think that everytime a
written piece is played, it should sound the same?
2. For Doug Perkins - How difficult is it to change from the
dynamic from playing with 4 people in a quartet to playing with just
two people? How, if at all, are personal relationships expressed
through the music? Does it make it hard to play happy and joyful
tunes if there is anger or annoyance between performers?
3. For the Drummers - When you were playing, each of you were
moving your heads, feet, etc. in different ways. In essence, the
physical manifestation of the music was different in all of you.
Do you think it is the same music you all were hearing in your minds,
just expressed differently, or do we all hear different musics, and
consequently express it differently?
4. The piece, just like the shape of the drum, seemed to be
circuar, beginning where it ended. Do you think that music in
general is this way too? When we begin learning music, there is a
certain fascination and excitement, then after a while, we change our
views, and it becomes hard, work, even boring at times, then with
greater knowledge and appreciation, fascninating and exciting
again. Just the same, a piece of music starts with silence, and
also ends with silence. Yes or no?
5. For Larry > Would ancient oriental elders throw their hands
over their ears and run for cover when hearing the loud, in-charge,
electric guitar? How does one approach playing modern music based
on old traditional music? Does it at all depend on the audience,
or ones relation to the origin of the traditional music?
1) in the first piece played by three player on a snare drum, were the
three players alternating double-paradiddles, or was there more
2) in the second piece, i noticed that while you and the young lady
were playing primarily the same things at different times (echoing each
other) her sticking was essentially right-left, right-left, while yours
3) are the elongated felt mallets you used to strike many notes
at once mainstream, or were they assembled specially just to play that
4) during the piece in which you were moved "one note over"
from what your partner was playing: a) how was that written (did
you see his notes on your score, or no?, etc) and b) in your
headphones, did you hear what you were supposed to play, or what id
just a time keeper, and c) i noticed that you had one head phone in and
one out, while he had both in. why?
5) some of the pieces we've listened to this year have been part
intrepretation, and part written out exactly, while others have been
entirely interpretatoin, and still others have been entirely
notated. it seems that part of the korean piece was left to
intrepretation by the composer. to what extent is this true?
1. (Snare Drum for Camus) There was clear progression between the
increase and subsequent decrease in sound of the piece, but I couldn't
see any clear interaction between the performers. There were no
glances at each other or looks at each other to make sure that they
were changing their sounds at the right time or if they were playing
the correct sequence at the right time. How were the performers
sure that they were changing their beating at the right time?
They were concentrating so hard on their sticks and not on each other,
destroying the sense of interaction that I would think would be needed
in playing a piece like that. Is there someone leading and the
others follow? Or is the piece clearly notated so that the
switches occur simultaneously? The interaction seen on the screen
is amazing, and the sonic effects are clearly understood when observing
that, but is that why the performers don't even look at each
other? Either following someone's direction or playing the piece
from memorization does not require the performer to look at the
drum. Only sonic effects are needed for both. So then
why are the performers concentrating so hard on what they were doing
and not listening instead?
2. (Steve Reich Marimba Piece) There appears to be a melody and
accompaniment that switches between the two marimbas before a woven
texture comes through the piece. Is that the intended effect that
you were trying to project? Or is there some deeper effect that
is intended between the interplay of the marimbas? The sonic
effects are impressive within the layering of the textures because of
the increase in sound as the marimbas start playing things
together. Since the piece appears to be notated, is the direction
of the piece to become more frantic and increased as time goes
on? Or is there another intended effect that is to be projected
while playing the piece?
3. (This Mind Made War) There was much more interaction between these
two players. Does this allow more time to be taken because the
performers are intent on each other's reactions? Does this allow
the piece to be less rushed and more easily have its effects heard
because of this extra time that can be taken, unlike the Snare Drum for
Camus? The combination of dissonant intervals allow a clear
beating to be heard by the unmatched frequencies. Is the time
taken ever determined by how long the beating can be heard or discerned?
4. (Once Removed) Since the out of phase is constant while the notes
are being played quickly, is it even possible for one person to play
this on a single marimba while hitting the same note twice? Or
are two people absolutely needed because the sound of the marimba can't
recover that quickly for the same tone to be struck again? If two
people are absolutely needed, why do you think the piece was written
with this effect? Why do you think that this piece wouldn't work
with only one marimba, besides the constant interaction that occurs
between the performers by playing out of phase? Is this piece
always aided by headphones? If so, what is playing in the
headphones that aids in your playing?
5. (Io) Is there a specific reason the certain combination of
instruments is used? Is the combination specific to the piece or
are various combinations available for use? Is the sound engineer
absolutely necessary for the piece to be played correctly? Or can
the piece be played indepently by just the instruments without the
adjustments made? Have you ever heard the sonic effects of the
piece and how the piece is heard without the sound engineer? If
so, which sound do you prefer, and why? Do you think that the
current alteration of the sound makes it more interesting or destroys
its intended effect?
-The first group of percussionists projectected the image of the drum
head onto the screen behind them as they were playing. It was
difficult to see which set of sticks was playing what part, so what
were they trying to achieve by putting it up there? Was it just
something "cool to look at" or does it make a broader statement about
the piece itself and the way rhythms flowed from one person to another,
indistinguishable from player to player?
-The second piece (marimbas) was fantastic. As a musician I was
curious if the performers thought of each of their parts as fragments
of the main melody or as separate from one another?
-I was trying to connect the title of "This Mind Made War" to the
actual music- how was the song an interpretation of a "mind made war,"
and, for that matter, what is a "mind made war?"
-"Once Removed" was phenomenal! Has this piece ever been played
without headphones and if so, I wonder if the composer him/herself
could actually play it? Does it seem silly to compose something
that hardly anyone can play without a headset?
-Doug mentioned before "Io" that the inspiration for the composition
was traditional Japanese music (is that right?). Aside from there
being a flute, I didnt hear anything very oriental. Where do
these roots lie?
1. In regards to the first piece, I was very interested how the whole
entire piece was timed. There is a great deal of similar sounds being
orchestrated over such a long period of time; however, the sounds
complemented each other perfectly. What is the timing system you use to
harmonize or keep this particular beat?
2. The last piece "Io" was my favorite due to the variety of
instruments involved. In general, I know it is helpful to work
with somewhat similar instruments. Was it difficult for any of the
three composers to play with the other two due to their vast
differences? I.e. was it hard to be playing the guitar in coordination
with a flute?
3. Where does the name "once removed come from?" How is that
significant to the piece?
4. In once removed- where do you draw the line between trying to play
the correct notes and timing it so perfectly?
5. If an expert in the Gamelan music listened to this piece what would
he/she say about incorporating these nontraditional instruments?
1. Does the Celli piece for snare drum always for the same length
or are the switches in rythms or visual cues?
2. How does the perfect intonation of the vibraphone affect the
ability to express? In other words, how can you play musically if
the instrument sounds the same pitch every time?
3. and 4. For the piece Once Removed, the two musicians wore
earbuds so that they could more easily play in hacket. What was
playing in their ears?
Since the vibraphone resonates for so long, what is the advantage of
playing in a hacket? won't the sound be relatively similar?
5. For the Io piece, when the music is loud, to what extent does
it become two following the loudest instrument as opposed to the trio
working together as one?
1. Snare Drum-was that improvised or was there just
like a few parts and would move on when someone decided to? I noticed
that one of yall was nodding to the others and then there would be a
change. So were there parts that each of you knew and would just
change when he decided?
2. I’ve never seen the long mallets before to play
multiple notes at one time. Where did that idea come from? And
just curious, did you make them yourself?
3. Once Removed made me wonder about that idea of
just moving out of sync, and it made a really cool tone and effect, I
was wondering if there are a lot of pieces that explore that
effect? Are they all as complicated at that one?
4. I’ve never seen a flute and an electric guitar
play side by side, is that typical and I just don’t know it? Was
it difficult, or fun maybe?
5. How do you find a marimba partner, it just seems
that marimba players would be few and far between, I guess I’m asking
how did you find this guy from Baylor university, and how do you
practice? Or when do you practice, the marimba isn’t exactly the
most mobile instrument. Basically, how did you get so good at
playing with each other?
1) What exactly was on the "guide tracks" used on the second to last
2) Do vibraphone "keys" sustain their notes for a significant amount of
time? Is this controllable? For example, can you make one
note a petal but not others?
3) What are the steps between the keys? It doesn't seem like they
could correspond to a piano keyboard...but I'm not sure, perhaps they
4) What does the sheet music for one of these pieces look like?
5) Why does all the music sound so minor? Is it the nature of the
instrument (see question 3) or the way these particular songs are
1) I was very interested in the piece that you played, in which you and
the other performer could not play the same note. You mentioned it was
very difficult to play--I am curious to know whether you were
successful at accomplishing the goal? I certainly did not hear you play
on the same note, but nonetheless could have very well been the case.
Furthermore, how long did it take you to prepare to play this piece? Is
this something you have been practicing for a very long time?
2) How do you believe that your graduate school training has impacted
your music? Do you believe that now you are able to play pieces that
harder in difficulty? Or was it more training as a composer? Without
graduate school do you believe you could have played that extremely
hard piece that I referenced in the previous question?
3) Where do you see yourself in 10 years? You commented that you have
started a duo band with the guest artist. Do you hope to perform music
as your full time job? Do you want to reach out to many people or would
you prefer to keep your music very niche?
4) Do you enjoy performing? Or on the contrary is it very
difficult for you? Does an audience intimidate you? Can you sense a
difference between performing alone and performing in front of a group
like this one? Do you believe that with practice you can eliminate all
types of "stage fright"?
5) Can you explain the duality of your role as both a performer and an
educator? Do you believe that you could be a better performer or
educator if you only dedicated your time to one of those things? Do you
think that if/when your career as a performer takes off, that you will
still be able to do both things? If you were forced to choose one of
these things, which would you choose and why?
1) How improvisatory was the snare drum piece? Were
the performers counting like mad or did a leader signal the others or
2) I would feel very restricted if I had to play with
a click track or a recording. Do professional performers of new musics
become comfortable with this particular loss of freedom in the
occasional pieces that require it?
3) Were the click tracks synchronized or was the one
on the beat panned to one side and the other—presumably a sixteenth
note ahead—panned to the other side? How can the performers listen to
each other while maintaining their own separate place in the hocket?
4) How do performers emote in pieces such as this,
when the music is so challenging that you can barely listen to the
other player without losing your own space, and so strict rhythmically?
Or do the intended musical ideas come through from supreme musical
integrity on the player’s part, as in the music of Bach?
5) “Io” was supposed to evoke a Japanese rock
garden; did it also have something to do with Io, the volcanic moon of
Jupiter: a double meaning?
1) The Joseph Celli piece was done without any sheet music, and it
seemed like it would be difficult to coordinate with each other on the
changes in rhythm. Were there cues that the performers give to each
other before moving on to the next timbre/rhythm change in the piece?
2) I noticed that Doug made small remarks right before each piece to
help the audience’s listening. Do you do that for all your
concerts, or is it mostly the contemporary music ones that you feel the
audience needs some background or musical information to lock on to?
3) How involved were Doug and Todd in the composition process of their
friend’s piece “This Mind Made War”? Was it written specifically for
them in mind?
4) In the piece “Once Removed”, did the click tracks prevent Todd and
Doug from hearing each other? It must be theoretically possible to play
it without click tracks with practice—do you think it would be more
fulfilling to learn the piece based on listening to the other player
rather than only to a click track, even though with a click track it
may be just as accurate if not more so?
5) Has Lois V. Vierk studied Japanese opera formally? How does she feel
about the “authenticity” of her use of this style?
May 5th, New Musics Festival Concert,
Improvisations (Woody Sullender, Newton Armstrong, Nate Wooley, Tim
Feeney, Kui Dong, Larry Polansky)
-Woody Sullender hardly played anything that could be termed typical
guitar music. Did he have formal training on the instrument or
has he been playing this type of music as long as he has played the
-One of the pieces seemed to be specifically aimed to unnerve the
audience, with creepy guitar scratching a frightening poem read softly
in the background. Was the point of the piece to frighten me and
if so, what is the artistic message behind this goal?
-At one point, one of the women in the ensemble began rubbing newspaper
against the wall as a kind of rhythmic accompaniment. Was this
-Was the guitar scratching a rythmic or melodic element?
-Would Sullender call some of his songs "happy," "sad," or
"rageful?" Do his songs convey standard emotions?
1. how does your personal style vary from traditionally-accepted
[I talked to him about this...he said he basically plays Slayer (speed
metal) on the banjo]
2. are the endings of ensemble electroacoustic improvisations
always dictated by reaching a collective silence, and do you have to
worry about reaching these silences early in longer-form improvisations?
3. do you find electroacoustic improvisations sound different
depending on the performer who initiates (if the trumpet starts, if Mr.
feeley starts, etc.)?
4. how does your playing/the sound of the group change with
christian performing as well?
Nate Wooley: Do you see yourself as a trumpet player? Do you see
yourself gradually phasing out any resemblance of the trumpet, or do
you prefer having the trumpet present in some form?
For this performance, was it difficult to play with other performers
who were using electronics?
How do you think your quieter sound complemented their sounds?
Did you ever feel as though you couldn't be heard, and if so, did you
Your statement in the program mentioned you try to distance yourself
from conventional playing, to stay on the cutting edge. Why is
this important to you? What is your motivation for distancing yourself
from others musically? Are there certain things you want to acheive as
an artist by doing this?
Does this keep you from doing certain things in your music even
though you may want to?
You instrument produces different sounds(voices?) and thus moods.
Do you often change voices during the same piece? Do you know
your intrument well enough that you know what mood you will get, or do
you constantly try and create different sounds?
-You play music that does not seem to have much of a precedent or rules
for composition. Is this an accurate statement? If so, how do you make
musical decisions during a performance? If there were "rules," would
that help or hinder you as an artist and your music?
- Do you still have in your mind conventional compositional elements,
such as rhythm or meter, or do you try to steer away from these? Are
you creating a new musical or compositional language with your
music, or would you rather not allow any paradigms to form?
- Does your music affect you emotionally when you listen to it?
Do you practice technique or does your playing grow technically out of
trying to get a certain sound?
How do your influences show themselves in your music?
Why is the banjo an attractive intrument to you? How have you modified
conventional banjo playing to fit your voice? Do you like playing
with the connotations of a banjo?
Was that stuff really completely improvised?? As an improvisor, does
your sound change much from show to show? How much do you practice?
New Music Festival, Sunday, May 6th
concert, Student Pieces
-After so many concerts of completely unfamiliar music, it was jarring
to hear major chords, structured verses, and even backup singers used
in a more familiar way at the beginning of this concert. I found
myself wondering about how much creativity compositions such as these
took in comparison to the more confusing (for me) pieces. Does
the creativity lie in throwing rule books out the window or in trying
to create under the strict guidelines of more "typical" music (kind of
a broad question, I know)?
-I assume that in the piece consisting entirely of spoken voices, one
of them was either said backwards and replayed forwards or digitally
created to respond to the woman's comments and questions. Did the
topic of conversation have anything to do with the creation of the
speaker's voice or was the dialogue unimportant?
-Was the piece with random monosyllabic "words" improvised? If
not, was there a meaning to the phrases chosen?
-Many of the pieces performed reminded me of our "Shoes in E flat," the
composition of which was rushed and mostly random. What was the
thought process behind their compositions (I'm really trying to explore
the POINT of pieces here)? Or do they simply exist to be
interesting in and of themselves?
-One piece I remember was composed entirely of recognizable sounds (a
door closing, bubbles, etc.) as opposed to the sounds at other
concerts, which I couldn't identify with closed eyes. This
comparison led me to wonder if the more easily distinguishable sounds
were telling a story? Was there a particular sequence to them
that I didn't catch?
Dodge class visit
1. Do you find it more challenging to work with computers to make
music or with instruments? And also, which sound do you
2. The sounds that the computer can create is indeed very
fascinating and interesting. Do you believe that computers can
one day take over for instruments or do you think that computer music
and instruments can co-exist?
3. Do you ever regret going into making computer music or are you
satisfied with your decision. In addition, do you think that
computer music can ever become a mainstream genre?
4. I enjoyed your last duet piece with the piano and recording of
the singer. It was awesome how you were able to blend the two to
make such a beautiful and flowing piece. What made you decide to
use the piano and the recording to create such a piece? What were
5. You're known as an expert and master in the computer music
area, but your composition for the piano in the last piece was very
nice and beautiful. Do you compose non-computer music pieces as
well? Also, what is your musical background like besides computer
Tran's Honors recital (classical guitar)
1. In "El Decameron Negro" I noticed that there were
three different sections. What was the correlation between the three, I
remembered you saying that they dealt with stages of love. How did the
music from each section correspond to its meaning?
2. In your improvisation piece with Yuri Spitsyn I
noticed that you would play certain keys repeatedly to strike or attain
an alternate path in the piece. Would you say he responded to most of
those callings or not?
3. You have spent the majority of your time studying
the work of one man, Brouwer. If he were to say one sentence to you
after hearing you play "El Decameron Negro" what would he say?
4. How would you change your concert the other day if
you had another year to prepare? Would you change the songs you played,
the way in which you played them?
5. How has spending the majority of your time
focusing on one musician, Brouwer played a role in shaping you as a
composer/musician? Do you find yourself wanting to play a certain kind
of music or feel more comfortable playing a certain type?
Handler Concert (and/or class visit) May 23, Senior Fellowship Project,
String Quartets based on T.S Eliot's Four Quartets
1. You stated that your composition stemmed from the feelings that were
evoked from reading the poems. Is that the only source of your
inspiration, or do you combine other sources within the experience of
the poem in order to help you compose? In composing, do you hope to
evoke the same emotions you feel, or do you have another purpose
through your composition?
2. You mentioned the elemental representations of each of the
poems. Do these representation affect your compositional "style"
for each quartet? Do you try to essentially bring out these
elemental forces in your compositions by how the music sounds when
played, or do you focus on only the words of the poem and not so much
the elements that they represent?
3. Some of your movements are quite long, while others are very
condensed. Was the length of your movements dependent on the
length of the stanzas of the Eliot poem to which you were
referring? Or was the length of the movement dependent on the
amount of inspiration you gleaned from reading the poem? Or was it
dependent on your personal feeling of how the movement should begin/end
and your own personal preference for the length of the movement?
4. In these two quartets, you specifically duet the 1st violin and the
cello and the 2nd violin and viola, but you do not utilize other pairs
or trios very much. Is there a specific reason why you chose to
pair the instruments in this fashion, or was it a spontaneous
reaction? If it was planned, why did you choose these specific
duets and not others? Was it based on timbre or color of the
instruments? Or was it based on something else?
5. In composing the pieces, did you consider how the poems were
read? Are the rhythm of the words incorporated into the music, or
is the rhythm inspired from the emotions evoked from reading the
poem? For example, you mentioned the juxtaposition of words and
opposites in "East Coker." Were you trying to contrast
moods within the movements based on the stanzas of the poems, or was
the composition purely spontaneous for each movement? Were you
trying to contrast moods between movements as well as within movements?
1) what are some of the specific challenges about composing
pieces for a string quartet? where there any things you didn't
plan on that you had to readjust?
2) when hearing your music played by the quartet for the first
time, where there passages that sounded differently in your head than
when they were played out loud?
3) was it your own idea to write music about ts elliot's
quartets, or did someone else suggest it? have you been a long
time elliot fan, and decided to pay your respects this way?
4) if you could ask elliot one question, what would it be?
5) did it bother you that the musicians where wearing different
colors? i felt that it was very distracting how the lead violin
had a red tie, while another girl was wearing pink, etc. this may
seem like a very odd question, but i feel that the presentation of the
music is very important, and i feel that the quartet could have matched
their dress better for the concert.
6) while listening to some of the plucked cello parts, i couldn't
help but feel that rock and roll was one of your influences (especially
during the fourth movement of east coker, if i remember correctly) to
what extent is this true?
7) what is your next step? where does your music go from
1. You told us that your quartet piece is based on T.S. Elliot's
poem "Four Quartets." Does this poem have special meaning to you
or did you decide to base the piece on it because of its particular
2. The first part the piece involved an unusual amount of tremolo
for the instruments. Do you like the style of using the tremolo
or did the tremolo describe a part of the poem?
3. Where else do you get your influence from when you are
composing music? Who and what are your inspirations? Which
composers do you think you feed off of most?
4. What would you say is the style of your music? During
the piece, I was not sure what category your composition would fall
5. Is composing and making music your passion or is it something
you did to fulfill your senior thesis? When did you know that you
would want to make music instead of just play it? Finally, after
the performance of your piece during the concert, how did you feel and
at any point was there a sort of revelation telling you that this is
exactly what you want to do in the future, to make music?
1. When you are inspired by a specific poem, etc., what elements
of music do you begin with in your musical interpretation of that
2. Do you believe you could express any literary work musically,
or only certain works that were themselves inspired by music?
3. Do these pieces set a precedent for your future work?
That is, do you intend to use literature as inspiration for all your
4. Are the movements of each quartet named for a very specific
reason or simply because the lines make for interesting and profound
5. Certain of the movements contain more plucking of the strings
than others - is this meant to be a musical representation of specific
aspects of the literature?
1) Can you describe in which areas as a composer the senior fellowship
helped you develop and grow in? Do you believe that the teaching
methodology of the senior fellowship was effective in your case? Do you
best on your own, without direct and daily instruction? Or do you
believe you would have grown more as a composer if you did not do the
senior fellowship and could have taken more classes directly related to
2) Can you explain you relationship between you and the string quartet?
Are you happy with the product? Did the quartet play it exactly the way
you desired? Was it difficult to tell them to do certain thing while
not to do others--considering they are also students like ourselves?
3) What do you hope to do with this composition in the future? Is this
something that can be published and sold? Or what was the main
intention of composing this piece? Why did you make it?
4) How did you choose your subject matter? Why the string quartet by
T.S. Elliot? Do you believe that your piece did justice do his
tremendous literary work? Furthermore can you succinctly discuss the
main resemblance between the two pieces? How do they build on one
5) What do you hope to do in the future, as a career? Do you want to
continue composing? Or was this experience so awful that you are
considering other career paths? Would you like to be a professional?
1) Is there any temptation / tendency to put direct textual
representations in your music?
2) Was there any attempt to reconcile traditional string quartet
structure with the poems? For example, did a section of one of
the poems scream out "scherzo" to you (Burnt Norton mvmt. 3
maybe)? Did this even come up in your thoughts when you were
plotting out the quartets?
3) Was it a conscious choice to use harmonics not as an ornament, but
as thematic / structural material? I could understand there usage
more in Burnt Norton, which you said had a connection with air, but not
so much in East Coker.
4) Even though you described your music as atonal, it doesn't lack all
tonal structure, for example the end of the 2nd mvmt. of Burnt
Norton. What led to this conscious decision to end with a
5) You mentioned the theme of tension and release as key to the 1st
mvmt. of Burnt Norton. I found that the 5th mvmt. was a better
example of this tension / release. Was it supposed to be there as
1) Did you read these poems and immediately feel a
deep connection to them, one you knew you would like to explore
musically? Or had these been your favorite poems from a younger age,
and you felt that they would make for interesting topics for a major
2) Once you finish these four quartets, if you do
intend to finish them, will you prefer that they are always performed
as a set, or do you feel they could stand on their own? (Also, do
composers even use opus numbers anymore, or has that become
3) Were you nervous during the performance? If you
were, would you say there was reason to be? Your work had already been
4) How did you come up with the melodies and textures
for this piece? Was it something natural that just came from reading
and rereading the poems? How tightly were they based on the
interactions of words within lines, and lines within stanzas?
5) It’s hard to believe that individual phrases of
music aren’t at least a little bit arbitrarily based on their
corresponding words or lines of poetry. I know very little about atonal
music, but does that system allow you to rationalize that arbitrariness
in creating a certain mood by making all valid melodies sort of equal
Hart School of Music
Sunday, May 27
1] for "Ghost Light Trio": Are the electronics pre-recorded, or
is there a generative process that creates them in real-time? How
is the stopwatch used to keep time in this piece? For the
performers, what are the particular challenges of staying in time with
computer-generated sounds? Is this piece exactly the same length
every time it is performed? Did AMM inspire the technique of
bowing the cymbal? The rhythmic density of the piece appeared to
be very consistent throughout, so what other ideas did the composer use
to unify the piece and give it an arc?
2] for "Glimpses": There was a lot of stylistic contrast between
each movement, but how are they related? The use of space seemed
to be very important to the piece, particularly in the most
traditional-sounding contrapuntal movement--what ideas did you use to
maximize the effectiveness of this technique?
3] for "Study in Sequential Fragments No. 2": What ideas did you
use to give these fragments a feeling of interconnectedness and create
an overall sense of unfolding for the piece? Was it always
apparent to you (the composer) that the piece should have an aprupt
4] for "Momentum Piece #3": Are your electronics using the
microphone to process or react to the live sounds of your
trombone? If so, how? How do you try to make the live
trombone part relate to or contradict the textures produced by your
5] for "*(see insert)": Is extended marimba technique (such as
hitting it with the sides of the stick rather than the mallet head)
common among contemporary composers for this instrument? How in
particular did you try to make the music relate to the stamp and the
quote? What compositional ideas did they inspire for you?
1. Ghost Light Trio: The title of this piece alludes to the
ethereal "ghost" like sounds of the combination of an eery tape track
and high pitched percussion instruments. Why was this airy,
imprecise sound juxtaposed with the use of a stopwatch to cue each
member extremely precisely?
2. Glimpses: Each "glimpse" ended mid-musical phrase, not
on the appropriate or usual pitch. What mood does this form
attempt to inspire or convey?
3. Momentum piece #3: This piece is said to be for solo
trombone, yet a tape accompianment is employed. How does the tape
affect the music? Did the performer improvise the timing of the
4. Bathory-Peeler piece: Music, of course, is not semantic,
yet this piece is inspired by a quote. As a composer, how do you
go about attempting to interpret text as music?
5. Cobra: Cobra is technically an improvisation
piece. To what extent do you think of musical ideas to use before
sitting down to play cobra?
1. Were the electronics in the piece "Ghost Light Trio"
pre-recorded or composed? How do you balance the electronic
sounds with the other instruments in order that any one element is not
more prominent than the others?
2. The piece "Glimpses" is comprised of several different parts.
The last two sections seemed musically dissimilar to the previous few -
how do you think these relate to the others?
3. You mentioned that you wrote "Momentum Piece #3" in only a few
days. Do you feel that you must inevitably make sacrifices when
composing in such a short amount of time? If so, what elements or
quality of elements are you willing to sacrifice?
4 When conducting "Cobra" do you go into the piece with some idea
of what you may want it to sound like? Or are all the directions
spur of the moment decisions and completely improvised?
5. How long has this group performed "Cobra" together? Do
you find that your relationships with the other musicians change or
influence the dynamics or predictability of performing this piece?
1) In reference to the musical piece "Study in sequential Fragments No.
2.", I wonder what it is life to perform a piece you have composed. It
seems that oftentimes composers choose not to do this, but why have you
done so in this occasion? Are you satisfied with the way it was
performed? Does it encapsulate your intentions?
2) In reference to the piece "L'Été", in the insert it
says that this piece is based on Canadian stamp and a quotation from
Jonathan Safran Foer; how do you draw inspiration between these two
things? How do we see them represented in the musical piece? Are there
specific parts of the piece that figuratively mimic either one of these
3) The first piece, "Ghost Light Trio", really impressed and moved me.
Can you comment on the title a bit? It seemed to me that the piece
seemed was trying induce a sense of fear or horror. Was this your
intention? Was this music mimicking what a real specter may sound like?
4) I found it interesting that the piece Cobra did not use the "gorilla
element" – in which the performer can put on a hat and refuse to follow
the rules. The piece is sometimes performed in this manner and is part
of John Zorn's instructions. Why was this not incorporated into the
performance? Do you believe it ruins the effect of cobra? Is there a
particular reason why it was not used?
5) The "Ghost Light Trio" was a very novel and fascinating piece. Can
you describe where you got the inspiration for the piece? Was it from
personal experience, nature or some other source?
1) The first piece used a repeated sound that sounded “train”- like at
a certain pitch. Why did you wait for the very last time for this pitch
to be moved up? Could this repeated sound have been developed more?
2) The piece “Glimpses” was in short movements, that seemed based on
registral or textural experiments on the piano. Where these pieces
meant as short studies to be developed into larger pieces?
3) If you had more than the hour that “Momentum Piece #3” was written
in, how would you change it? Or is the fact that it was written in one
hour too integral to the piece to change it? Perhaps the piece would
not be as interesting, or fresh, if composed over a longer period of
4) Did the group choose to not use signals in Cobra to call cards on
purpose? How much did the group have to rehearse, and did the Hartt
students rehearse by themselves before playing with the Dartmouth
students? How did the dynamic of the group change?
5) How did the Bathory-Peeler deal with both text and visual cues, from
very different sources to inspire his piece? How literal were these
inspirations, and was the composer trying at all to translate the
visual/textual cues into music directly?
Fire and Ice, Handel
Society Anniversary Concert, May 19th (and class visit)
art baron (for andrea clearfield)
1) Do you prefer work that forces you to
derive inspiration and direction from extra-musical ideas (such as the
Frost poetry and your Dartmouth research in "Fire and Ice") to absolute
music that uses strictly musical ideas?
2) Do small things you notice in your surroundings (sounds of
birds, rhythms of people walking down the street, etc.) ever inspire
parts for unrelated works absolute music?
3) How long did it take you to feel comfortable composing for a
living? What was it like for you as you tried to establish
yourself as a composer?
4) What in particular do you feel popular idioms like rock and
roll and rap have to offer to art (I hate to say classical)
music? And do you feel pop music can also be art music or at
least benefit from being informed by its techniques and traditions?
5) What gives you the greatest hesitation when you are
composing? Do you feel like you are working efficiently most of
the time? Do you ever become distracted or frustrated to the
point where it harms your workflow? Have you abandoned many
art baron (for HANDEL SOCIETY):
1) Is it difficult to learn the pieces, particularly the new
work, without the presence of an orchestra at your rehearsals? Do
you ever practice with tapes?
2) Did you rehearse with the soloists much before the show?
It seems like everything has to come together the day of the show or at
least a few days prior. Is this stressful?
3) Why was Andrea Clearfield selected in particular for the
commission? Why not a Dartmouth or local composer? Is there
a hierarchy of famous composers?
4) What aspects or parts of "Fire and Ice" demanded the most
rehearsal time? I noticed it featured a lot of mixed-meter and I
would think this could be very challenging.
5) Why is Nänie considered one of Brahms most important
works and yet it is performed so infrequently? Are there certain
nineteenth century pieces that drift in and out of popularity these
1) Why did you decide to use Fire and Ice as the
focus for the composition? Did you consider it to be the most
emblematic of the college? Furthermore, why didn't you use some of
Frost's latter works such as "The Road Not Taken" which is often
referenced here at the College
2) How did you use the order for the concert? Why did you have Fire and
Ice come on as the second piece as opposed to the first? Also why did
you select the Beethoven piece to precede Fire and Ice? Do you believe
that it help to set the stage or mood for Fire and Ice, or really had
3) How long did it take you to compose Fire and Ice? Do you believe
that if it was strictly an extemporaneous work--meaning that it was
derived and commissioned for your own pleasure, do you think it would
have been completed quicker?
4) How much of an impact did the Handel society have over what would be
in the composition? I understand that you incorporated certain elements
from the college, but were those voluntary or part of the criteria for
the commission? Furthermore, did the Handel society ever ask you to
change aspects of the composition if they disagreed with them?
5) Are you content with the way the piece came out? Is Fire and Ice
everything you dreamed it could and should be? Would you consider this
to be your masterpiece as a composer?
1. How does she translate the poems to music?
Does she create her own methods or techniques? Or does she use old or
other peoples techniques?
2. Does she attempt to actually say what the poem
says? Or to just find some sort of common theme or mood or style that
both the music and the poems can exhert?
3. She talked about how much research and time she
spent making this piece, is it common for her to spend that much time
researching and looking to so much, so many different sources for
4. What would Robert Frost say about her
interpretation of his work?
5. Where do you start when writing a score for an
entire orchestra and choir? Do you start with the cello? Or the
choir? And once you start, how do you progress? It just
seems like an overwhelming task to accomplish, and I guess I’m curious
as to how one person could do it, I think it would be an exciting
challenge, just don’t know how it is done?
1. Your piece "Fire and Ice" is based on Robert Frost's poem and
also you told us that you incorporated the Dartmouth baker tower melody
throughout the whole piece. How challenging was it to compose a
piece that has so much Dartmouth spirit in it when you yourself did not
attend or graduate from Dartmouth?
2. When you interpreted the poem to compose your music, did you
ask others for their opinions or did you compose based solely on the
feelings it brought out of you?
3. When I think of classic composers, only male composers come to
mind. Do you find it challenging to make it as a woman composer
and do you think that there are people out there who judge your
compositions on the basis that you are female?
4. How long does it take to compose one whole orchestral piece
such as "Fire and Ice"? And if you are composing a particular
piece, do you spend your entire time working on it or do you pursue
other musical activities as well, such as playing and teaching?
5. From what you told us, it seems that you are often
commissioned by various groups to compose pieces. Is it hard to
compose music for various groups who have certain visions they want
fulfilled rather than you following your passion and composing what you
are feeling? If you had a choice, would you spend your life
composing pieces for groups paying you lots of money but you have to
follow strict guidelines, or would you rather compose pieces for
yourself and be able to use your own experiences and influences but not
get much money?