Hey Folks —

Don’t know how we managed to scoop the Times on this one.  But here’s an interview with violinist Jeffrey Phillips, who’s doing many honors on next month’s Sequenza21 concert.  The interview has to do with a certain set of violin solos by a composer who will be familiar to those who wander these parts.  Enjoy!

Q. You’re going to be giving the U.S. premiere of two works for solo violin by Tom Myron on the first-ever Sequenza21 Concert. Are they hard?
A. “They are as difficult as one would expect two pieces that were written for Peter Sheppard-Skaerved and having their U.S. premiere to be. (That means yes.)”
Q. New Music types are obsessed with questions of style and influence. What style does Tom Myron write in. Is he a post-minimalist or a post-modernist or what? Style-wise is he ripping anyone off?
A. “I don’t know what kind of –ist(s) Tom or his music are, but it does seem as if he’s ripped off pretty much everyone including the poor guy at the 7-11 down the street.  I guess those New Music types will just have to come to the concert and find out for themselves what –ist(s) Tom and his music are. I know I’m gonna.”
Q. According to the composer one of the pieces takes its inspiration from a poem by Ted Hughes and the other from a drawing by an 18th century German woman naturalist working in the Caribbean. Can you tell this just by playing them? Which is which?
 A. “No, I can’t tell which is which just by playing them. Tom even told me which one was inspired by a poem by Ted Hughes and which one was inspired by Maria Sibylla Merian’s  “A Surinam caiman fighting a South American false coral snake” and I still can’t keep them straight. I have caimans fighting poems and a snake arranged as a haiku stuck in my head.”
Q. Does it psych you out to be giving the U.S. premieres of two pieces that have been played all over the world by Naxos recording artist and violin god Peter Sheppard-Skaerved?
A. “Yes, of course, there is a little psyching out going on. Peter Sheppard-Skaerved has given the premieres of these two pieces (and numerous others) all over the world. Except in the U.S. That’s me.”
Q. Is Jeffrey Phillips a violin god?
A. “In the omnipotent/omnipresent sense, no. In the Greek sense, yes.”

8 thoughts on “Hmm . . .”
  1. In the interest of full disclosure, I too am a college friend of Tom’s (and a girl), and it is exciting to hear how his music has evolved over the years. Through ‘Googling’ him, I found this site (word of warning guys: you never know what old girlfriends, ex-wives etc. might turn up thanks to Google…). I am thoroughly enjoying having my musical horizons expanded here. I’m not in-the-know enough to put labels on influences, but if I can tolerate it while writing or dirving, then, hey, it’s good enough for me… Sad I won’t be in NYC for the concert but I’ll be awaiting the reviews. Best of luck to all involved!

  2. Ditto on the IE6 thing for me too. Lots of empty space between header and body… and displays comments incorrectly after many posts.

  3. It’s weird in (I believe) IE6, which is what my computer at work has. This is the same browser that displays the comments incorrectly on this site. I imagine the issues are probably related.

  4. David S says he’s seeing a lot of space between the headline and the beginning of the post. It’s look fine to me in both IE7 (that’s the latest version and if you don’t have I recommend downloading and installing it) and in Firefox. Anybody else having problems. I was having some strange things with IE 6 on my other machine but they went away when I upgraded to IE7. You can get it here:

  5. Ok first of all I have to state that I’m an old friend of Tom Myron’s and as he calls me – his one girl fan club – I spend a lot of time listening to Tom’s stuff after he’s completed it and had it performed, and giving him my opinions and impressions – and while he may resemble some modern American sounds – I find that he takes that “resemblance” and turns it into a “style” that is his own. Believe me – I heard his early stuff…. back in the day – and his style came from some very interesting places and influences…. possibly even the 7-11 (or Store 24).

    For the editors benefit – I am a female reader (see above “all girl”) – we’re out there. You can’t scare us. Or keep us away!

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