Stefanie Lubkowski received her bachelor's degree in Music and Technology and Guitar Performance from Connecticut College, in New London, CT. In fall of 2005 she will begin a masters degree in composition at New England Conservatory, where she will study with Lee Hyla. Stefanie's past teachers include Noel Zahler, Yehudi Wyner, and Pozzi Escot. Stefanie has written for various chamber ensembles and electronic media. Her most recent commission was El Hombre de Plata, an electronic tango premiered at the Auros Groups for New Music "Tangothen & Now" concert in Cambridge, MA.

Stefanie's musical interests and ambitions are wide ranging. She enjoys putting her iPod on shuffle and letting it spit out a mix of electronica, 20th century string quartets, Tom Waits, punk rock, 1930s orchestral tangos, Einsturzende Neubauten, early American blues, Beethoven, Johnny Cash, and opera. She hopes that one day her music will be heard on concert stages around the world, independent films, computer games, car commercials, radio (or its future equivalents), and anywhere else music is being enjoyed.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

As I prepare for the NEC placement theory exam, I am up against my constant musical nemesis, ear training. I've never been good at it, although slight improvements have been made since my undergrad days, thanks to the help of my sister and some training software I recently started using (MacGamut). I wish I was good at ear training. Not only would I be saved hours of practice time, but it would be incredibly convenient to be able to transcribe from recordings, and do all those other nifty play-by-ear tricks.

Some people have asked me how I can compose without strength in this skill, and how I can look at a score and have at least a rough idea of what it sounds like. But I find that how you hear "inside" your head is vastly more complicated than a direct translation of skills one has for external listening skills. At least, that's the way it is in my head. When I compose (and I don't rely heavily on a keyboard or even midi playback) I do have a satisfactory idea of what it's going to sound like, and when I look at a score, I can get a vague idea. How do I do it? what is actually happening inside my head? I've got no idea, I just know it works for me.

And so, as I make slow, agonizing progress in melodic dictation this week, I ask myself, should composers be good at everything musical? Is that a realistic or necessary goal