All my life, I’ve spent my free time wrapped up in a book or a song. The stories and the worlds I encountered were enthralling within themselves, but the one thing that kept me reading has always been a compelling cast of characters bound together by a shared enthusiasm. As I’ve developed as an artist, I’ve discovered the same tenets make up much of my musical work: a strong sense of character, whether conveyed through narration, visuals, or musical material; a dedication to a story that allows for discovery and growth; and the importance of performer interaction to create timbres and visuals that support the musical journey of the work.
This core concept allows me to take my creative practice in countless directions, but each work appeals to an audience’s sense of empathy and seeks to further their understanding of their fellow human. It’s most obvious, perhaps, in my growing collection of works addressing sexual assault and rape culture, in which there is usually a visual, terpsichorean, or aural narrator guiding listeners through the emotional landscape of a piece. However, it’s similarly alive in my wind ensemble music, my text scores, and my chamber writing, where I use a variety of both traditional and extended techniques in the service of the characters and adventures I’m crafting. It also lives in my teaching, be it formal lecturing or off-the-cuff social analysis with friends or on my blog. Each aspect of my artistic practice boils down to a single conviction: that we are all capable of treating each other better.
Though no two of my narrators or characters are ever exactly the same, I approach them all with the same earnest enthusiasm I hope to imbue them with as I craft a new work. Whether their exact words exist on the page or only in my mind, I aim to connect them to my performers and my audience via experiences and feelings we can all understand despite our varied perspectives. It might not be true universality, but with continued work and devotion, I will remain in pursuit of a kinder, more compassionate future.