Constructing Thought, One Note at a Time
Musically, I am a “synthesist” - someone who is fascinated by all types of music regardless of genre or style, or whether it is narrative or abstract in nature. When I was a kid, I loved jazz and rock and later discovered classical music. But, as a composition student, I was urged by several of my teachers to specialize among my musical activities – to choose between musical theater/rock or concert music. I resisted and instead resolved to synthesize, rather than compartmentalize my creative work. I have composed music for the concert hall (small and large ensembles), and for musical theater, opera, dance, film, jazz, and rock. My thinking is constantly refreshed through collaborations, teaching activities, and new creative projects.
I’m thrilled to announce that as of this fall I will be Visiting Associate Professor at Georgetown University for the 2014-15 academic year. I will be joining distinguished colleagues in the Department of Performing Arts (music) including Anna Celenza, Angel Gil-Ordònèz, Anthony DelDonna, and Lura Johnson. I will teaching composition, theory, and a song writing seminar.
This year’s Klein Competition is now over. It was a fabulous weekend with eight terrific semi-finalists playing Bach, Tchaikovsky, Berg, Bartok, Sibelius, Poulenc, and Friedman (among others). Three finalists were chosen. I had the pleasure of hearing multiple interpretations of my new pieces Uncle Hokum’s Fiddle (violin), When The World Disintegrates Before Your Eyes (viola), Two Movements from Triptych (Parting, Approaching Home) and being on the very experienced and wonderful panel selecting the winners. Some really amazing talent. I will post audio from my pieces in the coming weeks. More info
Dana Kelley, viola, 3rd Prize; Wyatt Underhill, violin, 2nd Prize; Youjin Lee, violin, 1st Prize.
Photo by Scott Chernis.
Joel offers a clear-eyed assessment of The Beatles’ work and career as they developed from a local cover band to arguably some of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Seen from the unique perspective of a composer, Joel focuses on the key differentiator that sets the band apart: its creative output. History, analysis, influences, outtakes, technology. It’s all there.