With New Music, I am able to take risks, to present works where the ink is still wet, and to showcase the diversity of talents and artistic styles that are happening now. In addition, I’m able to work with other innovative artists to create location- or personnel-specific pieces, utilizing the specific strengths and features of an ensemble or organization. New Music for me means tapping into the most innovative artistic streams, working collaboratively with composers, and bringing to life the music that future organizations will consider canonical.
My favorite part of preparing new music is the face-to-face with the composers. Often their demeanors are surprisingly different from what I would imagine based on their music. For me, it’s much more meaningful and memorable to connect with them personally.
Collaboration with composers is one the things I enjoy most about being a performer. It is incredibly rewarding to be involved in the first presentation of a piece of art to the public. Working closely with a particular composer allows me obtain insight into a piece directly from the source and makes the performance of the piece that much more meaningful, both for me and for the audience. By playing new music, my technique can be pushed to new limits and that type of engagement only helps me to improve all aspects of my music making. To me, playing new music is, in certain sense, about living in the present – since I’m alive right now, as a musician I feel like I have to be part of the music that is being created right now!
Why New Music? — Why Not New Music! All music was new at one time and this music is new and exciting in our time. I love working with composers and their creative process. What interests me most is encouraging composers of all ages to write for the harp, how best to get their ideas across and how to write most effectively for the instrument. As an instrument the harp did not come into its own until the late 19th and early 20th Century. It has a wealth of sounds and lends itself particularly well to New Music.
I was asked to play new/contemporary music while an undergrad at Oberlin (a very active new-music scene), and found it fascinating, exciting, challenging; so different from the “three B’s,” that participating in it opened part of the spectrum of music that had been invisible to me until then. It’s sometimes engaging and captivating, sometimes abrasive, often extreme, and always interesting.
- That all depends on what one thinks new music is.
- Because without new music, the symphony as the ultimate white man’s cover band becomes our only musical vernacular and the art form suffers the potential to get stale.
- It is the nature of the human being to move forward. And this motion should be in all fields of human endeavor to avoid stagnation and feed the desire for progress.
- As music is one of the lower sciences, when we experiment no one gets hurt.
- Would you rather work in a day care center or a convalescent hospital?
- Isn’t Beethoven’s Beethoven more appealing than someone else’s Beethoven?
- Composers are people too.
- Why stop now?