The next set of blog posts will reflect a recent work I have composed. Each song from the project will be presented in turn. Because singing sends thoughts into the soul of another person, the choice of text is vital. I look for texts that reflect my notion of the sacred: the wonder of life, love of children, and our need for community. It is a privilege to take such notions into meaningful lyric expressions.
On January 28, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s annual reading project will take place. Among the participating composers is Alison Yun-Fei Jiang. Alison spent her high school and undergraduate years in Toronto, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in composition with Justin Dello Joio at NYU. The reading session will be quite the musical homecoming for Alison, as you will see in this short interview exploring her musical life and connection to the orchestra in particular.
This week as part of our ongoing series profiling new Associate Composers we chat with Ruth Guechtal. Ruth completed her Bachelors Degree at Wilfrid Laurier University while studying with Linda Smith, and completed graduate studies at the University of Victoria, and the University of Alberta. Her pursuit of noise—what some might consider unwanted sound—is a defining feature of her musical work, and in our conversation she draws a parallel between her efforts to reconcile unconventional sound within contemporary composition with the efforts of a wider group of artists….
David Raphael Scott is one of three composers participating in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's reading session on January 28, and this week we feature a short interview with him. David shared some details about his longstanding interest in music, and the feeling of being pulled between various genres as a listener, which also shaped his multi-faceted pursuit in music as a composer and performer.
I am thinking about the ways we teach music in private studios. Often we quickly learn how to read before proceeding to learn pieces from a graded collection. The thinking is that works of a similar level of difficulty are nice when grouped together. From an early age we study varied repertoire because that makes a more interesting program. We adhere to this notion even though almost none of the students will go on to become concert artists.