Is there anyone composing nowadays?

Season 1 Episode 7  [composers today]


Today we will answer a question from our audience: Is there anyone making classical music nowadays? Who are they, and what might be their story?

Welcome to Our Music, A podcast to unlock your imagination to the possibilities of Classical music. I hope you are having an inspiring week.

But before we can answer that question, here are my guests:

  • Hi Carlos, this is Bill Withem videoing in from Grand Blanc, Michigan.
  • My name is Felipe Tovar-Henao, I am a Colombian composer currently based in Bloomington, Indiana.
  • Hello everyone, my name is Victor Marquez-Barrios, I’m from Venezuela.
  • Hi, I’m Chapel Kingsland, I’m based in Denver Colorado.
  • Jimmy Lopez, born in Peru, lives in Berkeley, California.
  • Hello, my name is Gonzalo Garrido-Lecca, I was born in Lima Peru.

All of them have one thing in common. They are all… living composers.

“Without culture and the relative freedom that it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle. That is why every act of creation is a gift to the future.” ~Albert Camus.

Here is a question for each of you:
What does it mean to strive for a personal, individual voice in this globalized world?

Gonzalo Garrido-Lecca
«Solar, for Orchestra» (2018)

People who are alive can interact with the world, so they can put forward a piece of music that relates to a time, a contemporary so and they can react to current events, so they can do music it’s relevant to us, right now, in a direct manner. which is something that we cannot expect from the great masters of the past, who are not with us anymore.

Jimmy Lopez
«América salvaje» (2006)

I think it’s essential, actually, for us to cultivate art in all its forms, you know, and music in all its forms. I think as human beings it’s our inner necessity to explore things, create things. Of course sciences are important, of course sports are important, is good to keep good health, but equally important is the to cultivate your spirit. That spirit, you know, prevails over time. That is what made, you know, Rome Rome, and Greece Greece. And this is what we have inherited, it is our responsibility to also carry it forward.

Chappell Kingsland
«Intoxication: Discovery at Spindletop» (2010)

I find that music has the power to unite people in a very deep way, doesn’t matter how different they are in some other ways, we can all get together and enjoy a lot of the same things in music. In my own music I love to explore musical traditions, history, mythology, from many different world cultures, so my own compositions are sort of a reflection of the diversity of human life.

Victor Marquez-Barrios
«Dance Lessons mvt 3. Henry Could Fiddle» (2015)

I think every listener should give an opportunity to include works by living composers, that lived through a set of circumstances in places that are closer to our reality. I’m sure you’re gonna find things of value there that you will identify with.

Felipe Tovar-Henao
«Los Trópicos Ocultos» (2016)

The amount of information and content that people on average have access to, and how those circumstances makes it much more difficult and much more demanding for us as composers to determine and to assess what is worth showing to the public.

Bill Withem
«The Journey is a Labyrinth Within» (2015)

I want to always be able to listen to the music of different individuals expressing different experiences from across the world, no matter where you’re from. And the artists who live in different countries always have different experiences, whether it’s they have a certain freedom to create or they’re oppressed. So I think it’s important to continue to grow and cultivate that.

That’s the beauty of writing music. Each piece is an exploratory journey in search of meaning and shape, and when you find them, it is exhilarating, for you know Humanity is moving forward.

Thanks for your attention. Please leave some comments below and don’t forget to subscribe. Hear you next time!

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