Showing posts from February, 2020

Beautiful Voices Creating Peace Within Us

I seem to have a fascination with ironies and contradictions in the arts. Unlike some composers who thrive on creating dissonance and chaos and mashing things together, I prefer simpler and more gentle statements, on the whole. There can be a lot of loud power and anguish in my music, but I think and hope that the calm and soothing voices generally win out. I love pondering the seeming contradiction of peace, of utter serenity, emerging from an overwhelming gathering of hundreds of voices singing with passion. This is what I experienced recently at a rehearsal of Eric Whitacre's music, conducted by him and featuring Joanna Burrell, soprano soloist. Because she is a friend and colleague, and as I know how beautiful her singing is, I was not surprised that in the gentle simplicity of Goodnight, Moon  she warmly lifted the power of this beautiful music to a hall full of people. So we were all riding high a bit later when 800 voices filled that hall with more music, gripping and exci

When the Passion Overwhelms

    When those of us in the arts experience tremendous highs of beauty and accomplishment and joy and inspiration -- which can happen often -- we frequently seize the moment. We shout, dance, call our friends, listen to a powerful song over and over....we go out for a celebration, we treat ourselves to something special, we announce it to the world. Today, though, I had an interesting experience. I am coming off of several days of tremendous inspiration and bliss in music and performance...not because of anything I have done, but because of stunning experiences with the music of others. You will read about some of that in the coming days on     Oddly enough, and almost uniquely, I found myself withdrawing today into a glorious and silent web of reflection. Fresh inspiration from several performers whose brilliance really struck me this week...a quiet sense of how beautiful and strong humanity can be...memory of special experiences many years past, and an almost p