From the Mind of the Composer...
There is a challenge that every conductor faces when we first sit down with a new score, and ask ourselves a very simple yet extremely complex question: What was the composer thinking? It is the conductor's job to spend countless hours studying (I average 2-3 hours a night), learning each instrument's part, all the chords and harmonies, and how it all works together to make the music come alive.
Beyond the notes, we consider what the composer was thinking, experiencing, even the personal/societal/political pressures the composer faced when they put pen (or quill) to paper (or parchment). It's a lot of educated extrapolation (i.e. guessing) on the part of a conductor. However, sometimes we are lucky enough to be able to ask the composer directly.
Today, to kick off our guest writer series, I have the honor of introducing you to the first of the two LIVING composers being featured on my April 26 CSO concert - Aaron Krerowicz (pronounced "KEH-doh-vich"). I met Aaron during my Master studies at Butler University, and have had the privilege of conducting a number of his works over the years, including the 2009 World Premiere of his "Woods" for chamber orchestra and soprano, featuring Lexa Ferrill.
Below, Aaron talks about the genesis of "It's Just A Scale...", a piece I've programmed in the past, and a composition I consider as one of the best pieces of contemporary music ever written, especially as it engages audiences, while challenging their preconceived (and sometimes less-than-favorable) notion of "new orchestral music".