Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Today was day-one of the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium at the University of Oregon in lovely Eugene, Oregon. It's a super cute college town. I arrived yesterday afternoon and quickly settled in... This morning was spent mostly on administrative details and orientation, but this afternoon we began "presentations." Each participating composer is asked to present some of their work with the group. I was happy to get mine out of the way today, so I don't have to be nervous about it anymore. I shared two pieces: "shut up and listen" and "vision, devotion, grace." They seemed to be well received; I got lots of positive feedback, especially about "shut up and listen." I think those two pieces give a good snapshot of my recent efforts towards combining improvisation and composition in small ensemble settings. I'm really looking forward to rehearsals with Fireworks on my new piece, "three meditations."

The composers attending the symposium are an incredibly diverse group, and I'm looking forward to hearing more of their music. There are participants from around the country, and even one composer who traveled from Brazil. I'm sure we'll be getting to know each other better over the next ten days...

Housing is provided at the University's Inn... kind of a cross between a dorm and a hotel. I have a roommate -- something I haven't experienced in a few years, but that seems to be working out just fine. I'm also delighted that the cafeteria provides vegan options at every meal, including soy milk for the coffee. Very nice!

I had a brief conversation with one of the staff people at the Inn... she asked me about my blue hair and I told her I did it so I wouldn't look like the oldest person at the Symposium. She made my day when she told me I looked like I was 23. Covering up the gray took off 10 years, can you believe it?

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