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1. If you could be an active composer in any other time period, when and why?
I'd love to compose in a pre-medieval time period probably somewhere in the Mediterranean. It would be so interesting to experience the lost music of the age before notation.
2. Dog, cat, or goldfish?
3. Would you rather…See the future or change the past?
See the future. I try to not fixate on things that have already passed.
"Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode.
5. Who are 3 composers from the past -AND- 3 of your own generation whose music you respect, enjoy, inspires you, etc
Past: Karlheinz Stockhausen, Alvin Lucier, Edgard Varese
Present: Anna Romashkova, Ian Power, Sam Pluta
Have to be honest. I'm drawn to odd titles. Let that be a lesson. You aren't going to get noticed with piece titles like Intersections or Projections (sorry Morton but those days are over). Feet (2013) for soprano and string trio.
I am sitting here after listening to the piece trying to put thoughts together on it. I didn't like it but, that really isn't important. I thought the string writing was nice in spots. It seemed like it was too active to be a slow piece and too slow to be an active piece. Rhythmically it hovers. I connected with the pitch content much, much more. Definitely my cup of tea (jasmine is we are keeping score at home). But, what does that say?
I came away not liking the piece. But, upon reflection, I connected with the pitch content. Does this say something about me? Or is this a universal? Perhaps I hold rhythm/duration/proportion a little higher than pitch. I'm not sure. But, by all accounts, on the Schoenbergian scale, I should like this. And yet...
Four Mediations on the Stars (2014). I have kind of a unique position in that I knew Thomas when he was first starting to use electronics. I completely feel that it is a great path for him and he has taken so well to it. If you look at his Soundcloud, many pieces incorporate electronics. This piece was written to be performed in the James Turrell skyspace that lives right out of the back door of the Shepherd School. Watching the sky from inside it is an otherworldly experience. I think this piece is perfect for that setting. Though, this does prompt a question.
Can it stand alone, divorced from the setting and visual?
I say yes! It is sonically very rich despite the limited percussion set-up. It is truly a slow piece and doesn't try to be anything different. It commits to itself. I think this is the thing I was missing in the first piece. The setting is simply being outside. While, I tend to think outdoor concerts are more awesome than those in halls, I think this aspect only colors the listeners experience and doesn't carry the piece on its back. The visual element of the piece (if you aren't watching the players) is a more or less static patch of color. Closing your eyes might give you a more interesting visual element. Either way, a very enjoyable listening experience.