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Mark W. Phillips
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1. If you could be an active composer in any other time period, when and why?
Never thought about this issue. I've been a composer long enough to have been active in several "time periods" already and despite all oft-discussed negatives, I'm glad to have been composing when during the time periods that I have been active. I guess I have a slight sense of having been a little "late to the party" for the period of reaction to post-WWII serialism. I think it would have been fun to have been mixing it up in the 1960s.
2. Dog, cat, or goldfish?
Dog (but nothing against cats).
3. Would you rather…be a dinosaur or be a narwhal?
Easy. Narwhal. Much more relatable and intelligent. Also, can't think of any advantages of extinction.
4. You’re trapped on an island. There is one electrical outlet connected to a boombox from 1992. When you were stranded here you only had time to save one cassette out of collection of singles. What is the one pop song you will listen to for the rest of your life?
Rolling Stones: "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
This was a tough one. But this title "popped" into my mind as a candidate very early in my ruminations, so I'll just go with it. In part, it's because of the message of the lyrics, which might prove useful while coping with being trapped on an island. ("If you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.") In part, it's because the recording has such a wide stylistic range (a cappella choir, quasi-blues/gospel, rock 'n roll ... a build up that is almost symphonic).
5. Who are 3 composers from the past -AND- 3 of your own generation whose music you respect, enjoy, inspires you, etc…
Past: Igor Stravinsky, Bela Bartok, Edgard Varèse
Present: Don Crockett, Michael Daugherty, Dan Godfrey, Stephen Hartke, Oliver Knussen, Jim Mobberley, Russ Pinkston
Violin Power for violin and interactive electronics. One of the absolutely brilliant aspects of live electronics is the ability to create almost anything out of just a few bits of material. As Mark writes about the piece, "The accompaniment consists of three main components: 1) many layers of granular synthesis of the opening few measures of the violin solo; 2) nearly continuous doublings, distortions, and filtering of the solo line that mimic those used by many rock guitarists; 3) percussive outbursts and bass tones created from processing noise-based samples (tapping on the instrument, bow scratching, etc.)."
Absolutely listen with headphones or speakers that have decent bass response. Your feet will appreciate the sound massage.
T Rex (1996) for trombone and tape. This piece is so fun. I think I tend to forget that music has the capacity for levity and humor. This piece while very structured and intricate in its rhythmic content, it keeps you smiling the whole time. It grooves. This would be a killer closer to a show. Short, fun, and it allows the performer show the non-serious side. And I've never met a trombonist who was serious even 50% of the time. Awesome!