Camargo Lecture

This Wednesday at 5pm I’ll be presenting a talk on my music at the Camargo Foundation. Unlike the artist colonies I’ve had the privilege of attending (Yaddo, VCCA, Kimmel Harding Nelson), Camargo Fellows come from both the arts and the humanities. Despite–or perhaps because of–our seemingly disparate research and creative pursuits, the presentations by my fellow fellows have been among the highlights of this fellowship so far. Fascinating questions and discussions by very informed and deeply thoughtful colleagues make this time together very special.

A fellow composer once told me that at their first meeting Milton Babbitt said, “Tell me everything about yourself–from the moment you were born. Musically speaking.”

That is rather what I intend to do this week, starting from my first musical experiences and working my way forward to my current project for the JACK Quartet. Here are some of the questions and topics I plan to discuss:

Big Questions
1. Why do I write music?

2. What does music do?

3. What is the experience of composing like?

Recent Works
1. In Search of Planet X: the stories behind music, my need for syncopation, expecting the unexpected

2. Noticing: the influence of traditional Asian music on my works, doing a lot with a little, going in and out of focus

3. Clarinet Sonata: different musics coming together, atmosphere and texture, our endless need for beauty

Current Camargo Fellowship Project
Witness, a new string quartet for the JACK Quartet