Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hilary Hahn & Jennifer Higdon on the Composition Process

OK, I guess this is Hilary Hahn night for me! One can gain greater insight, I think, into the great potential and the universal dignity and nobility of the human person through what highly gifted artists reveal in their artistry.

Here is what I think is a very interesting clip of Hilary speaking with composer Jennifer Higdon. Jennifer wrote a violin concerto specifically for Hilary which she debuted with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in February, 2009. In this interview Hilary and Jennifer speak about the creative process of composing for a specific musician. You get a few glimpses of some of the ways Jennifer got ideas and inspiration for the piece. A few themes that I picked up:

1) The creative process is inherently personal--both for the composer and the musician
2) The new composition, while new and original, is not disconnected from other works of musical art. There are inspiriations that come from what has gone before.
3.) The composer gets ideas from multiple places, some from outside the sphere of the music world.
4.) A piece written with a particular musician in mind is itself inspired during the creative process by that musician's particular style, gifts, flair, personality, etc. So, this sort of composition is especially born of relationship--a human relationship between composer and musician.

If you liked this, the interview continued for two more parts. See part 2 here, and part 3, here.

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