Thursday, September 24, 2009

Perception vs. Reality

Composer Nico Muhly spoke to a room full of composition students, musicians and others yesterday on my lunch break. Because of his age, his cuteness, his professional grooming (protege of Philip Glass) and his more mainstream musical collaborations, Nico gets a lot of press. Its funny, most stories I read describe him as "impish" or use similar adjectives which I thought was silly before seeing him in the flesh. He truly is like some magical, wonderful, musical elf.

Plus he's an entertaining and articulate speaker. He dispensed invaluable advice to his audience when asked about his particular career path, his compositional process and navigating the special relationship between musicians, commissions and composers. Sometimes I forget that composers are such unique and special breeds of musicians.

Nico writes a prolific blog and one student asked a question directly lifted from the content of one of Nico's entries. It was a loaded inquiry regarding the New Music "scene" in New York and elsewhere. I admired his diplomacy and reluctance to perpetuate any exclusivity or negativity by dispelling any type of music scene to be more "perception than reality."

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