Author Archives: Chris McGovern

Dale Trumbore

By Chris McGovern courtesy of The Glass

Dale Trumbore, originally a “Jersey Girl” but living in L.A. now, is yet another composer I know from the world of Twitter that has been making her mark on the world of new music during what seems like a renaissance of sorts. Along with a new album of art-song cycles titled Snow White Turns Sixty she is also about to have the New York premiere of her work for string quartet titled How It Will Go by ACME (The American Contemporary Music Ensemble). Dale even wrote her own article about the piece that was posted on Sequenza21. Having won numerous awards, grants (among them American Composer’s Forum Subito and USC’s Sadye J. Moss Composition Prize), and academic honors, besides composing, Dale has also been a teaching assistant at USC, and currently provides private piano instruction. She managed to find a window of solitude to talk to us. :) Continue reading

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Leah Kardos

By Chris McGovern courtesy of The Glass

Australian-born composer Leah Kardos is in the process of taking her place in the already sizeable club of composer/performers, and is another harbinger of the days now where the worlds of new classical and indie music are barely separated by a blurred-over line. Initially a founder of the band Helzuki, she currently has 2 other indie acts: My Lithium & Me and Spider & I. Along with these activities, she also has been writing film scores and occasionally assists other bands with orchestral, choral or chamber arrangements on their songs. Recently the composer decided to make a self-recorded CD of short compositions threaded together as a thematic statement on her life and relationship with her first love, the piano, and this was what became Feather Hammer. Having had Leah as a great acquaintance on Twitter, I realized that I needed to do an interview with her soon before she hired a publicist. ;) Continue reading

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Nick Norton

By Chris McGovern courtesy of The Glass

Nick Norton, another fellow Twitter friend of mine (known as “@NickWritesMusic”) is a composer, has 2 indie rock bands, writes material for his website, is a Vice President for a musical therapy organization called Music To Heal, and is also the Music Director of PR firm Pavement Press. Aside from the seemingly-hectic lifestyle he has, Mr. Norton’s studies have taken him all the way to Europe and back again earning him several awards and grants, and has had his works performed and workshopped by various orchestras and ensembles. Thank goodness there was some spare time to do a Q&A! Continue reading

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Composers: Jennifer Jolley

By Chris McGovern courtesy of The Glass

This Jennifer, Jennifer Jolley, hails from Long Beach, CA. Originally having a specific interest in scoring films (Which explains both her love of film soundbites in some of her sound collages and her interest in writing opera), Jennifer later focused more on straight composing after her graduation from U.S.C. and further studies at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in Cincy OH, where she now lives with her librettist and her 2 cats Lindsay Lohan and Coco Chanel. Having been commissioned by many contemporary ensembles and having one of her works presented at MATA’s 2011 Make Music Winter Workshop (“Press Play”), Jennifer writes a blog about her career (Titled “Why Compose When You Can Blog”) and even has time to write several other blogs (Building a Better Opera, MusicX Musings; She also contributes to the official blog for Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music: Center For Computer Music), and she’s also an instructor at University of Cincinnati. I’m just glad there was time for her to take a break and talk to me.

CM: You seem to have different sides to your music; Some of it is minimalist or modern orchestral, and some of it is electronics, tapes or sound collage. Is this a way of saying that you would rather explore and flesh out these styles simultaneously than focus on just one way of composition?

JJ: Maybe I’m accidentally fleshing out my styles simultaneously! Ultimately I want to work with a style that conveys my concept the best. If I need to write minimalist music to get my point across, then I’m going to use it. If I need to use a vocoder, so be it. Over the past two years I’ve changed my approach in my pre-compositional process—I merely thought about harmonies, melodies, and timbre before working on a piece, and now I think about what I’m trying to say with my music and which style would work best. After I figure out my concept, I think about harmonies, melodies, and timbre. Right now I’m working on an opera that’s a retelling of both the Narcissus and Pygmalion myths, and holy cow, I might be writing a neo-classical opera. I’ve already completed a da capo aria, and it looks like I might include secco recitative. Honestly I’ve been a little self-conscious about the style so far (because it may be a little conservative), but I feel that the style fits the story and concept.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Our discussion of Jennifer’s new opera is coming up shortly. ;))
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