Presentation Title

Untried Ideas: Composing Music for Unfamiliar Instruments

Presenter Information

Thomas Fox

Mentor

Heather Gilligan

Location

L. P. Young Student Center - Mabel Brown Room

Abstract

In a college music program, a critical step in a composer’s growth and development is to write daringly for new instruments, without having had extensive training in the intricacies and techniques of each instrument. Inevitably, a balance must be found between the composer’s intent and the performer’s ability to produce those ideas. The composer is challenged by not only creating a successful new composition but also adhering to the demands, challenges, and individual characteristics of each complex instrument. This presentation will address one student’s compositional process beginning with his initial ideas and inspiration, then describing his research with respect to three wind instruments with which he was unacquainted, and finally describing the process of rehearsals, editing, and final performance of the piece. The presentation will conclude with a performance of Thomas Fox’s suite for woodwind trio, “Tales of the Cosmic Charles Bronson.”

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Apr 11th, 10:20 AM Apr 11th, 11:20 AM

Untried Ideas: Composing Music for Unfamiliar Instruments

L. P. Young Student Center - Mabel Brown Room

In a college music program, a critical step in a composer’s growth and development is to write daringly for new instruments, without having had extensive training in the intricacies and techniques of each instrument. Inevitably, a balance must be found between the composer’s intent and the performer’s ability to produce those ideas. The composer is challenged by not only creating a successful new composition but also adhering to the demands, challenges, and individual characteristics of each complex instrument. This presentation will address one student’s compositional process beginning with his initial ideas and inspiration, then describing his research with respect to three wind instruments with which he was unacquainted, and finally describing the process of rehearsals, editing, and final performance of the piece. The presentation will conclude with a performance of Thomas Fox’s suite for woodwind trio, “Tales of the Cosmic Charles Bronson.”