Vonnegut Requiem Composers Interviews

Voces Novae commissioned a choral setting of Kurt Vonnegut's requiem text, a mass for the dead, with eight nationally recognized composers. The world premiere took place May 11, 2019 in conjunction with the Indiana University Arts & Humanities Council for the second-annual Granfalloon. 

Young, aspiring composers who have previously been winners/runners up in the Kids Compose Competition were invited to interview the Requiem composers and explore various aspects of individual creative processes. Prior to the interviews, some of the soon-to-be-interviewers were invited to participate in a Kids Compose Workshop. Students were selected from nominations made by local music teachers. Little did the students know that playing violin for the workshop was Lauren Bernofsky, one of the Vonnegut composers who would be interviewed the following week. Bernofsky's perspective from having seen these young composers' own creative process when working with them as a musician gave a unique context to the discussion when the kids interviewed her.

Violinist Lauren Bernofsky looks on as 6th grade composer Mia explores arranging an original melody.

Composer Lauren Bernofsky answers questions posed by young aspiring composers Mia, Caroline, and Amaya.

Gabriel Lubell, astronomer and composer, has an interesting conversation with Quinn, answering the question, "What inspires your composition?" Their dialogue encompasses everything from Quinn's Twinkie-inspired composing to an exploration of the hypothetical world of a red marker that happened to be in the library room where the two were meeting. A deep dive into different angles to consider thinking about everyday items provides a wealth of inspiration: What does a Twinkie sound like? How does it feel to be a bad-smelling red marker?

Check out an excerpt from their creative discussion on YouTube.

Composer Cary Boyce responds to Bach's question, "Do you have any hobbies besides anything musical?" He shares that he had previously been a professional ice skater. Cary reflects on that experience, as well as his early introduction to dance influences his composition. 

Cary engages Mia and Bach by comparing a chord progression interpreted in a Baroque style, then reimagining it as influenced by jazz and dance.

YouTube video

Don Freund answers:

© 2020 by Debbi Ponella

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