Greetings from Wintergreen Music Festival, where I’m in residence this week, meeting some brilliant young composers, listening to some great music and catching up with old friends.
I’m here for four days, giving each student two lessons. One develops a special kind of artistic relationship in such a short time. Hit and run. Truthfully, I’ve enjoyed these composers so much, I wish I could have more time to explore their work. But we do the best we can under the circumstances, and our best isn’t so bad after all.
The students are from all over the eastern seaboard, from Massachusetts to Alabama, so it’s interesting to see how they differ and what they have in common. How they differ: they have a wide range of musical interests and goals. What they have in common: the reliance on midi playback is pretty pervasive, and the interest in singing (as a compositional tool) is pretty uncommon.
I’ve also had a nice opportunity to reconnect with two of my mentors from over a quarter-century ago: Larry Alan Smith and Michael White. We’ve reminisced about old times and caught up on one another’s new circumstances.
And of course, we’ve marveled repeatedly over the fact that all three of us look exactly the same as we did in the early 80s.
Sad, but true.