Date of Submission

Spring 2012

Academic Program

Music

Project Advisor 1

John Esposito

Abstract/Artist's Statement

This year I will perform two concerts (each an hour long) for my senior project. I have performed vocal jazz and written original music for many years, but before my senior concerts, I found it difficult to share my songwriting with others. For my moderation concert I successfully performed a number of jazz standards, but as I planned my senior concerts last summer, I realized that singing jazz had simply become easy for me. I also made a promise to myself in London (where I studied music for a semester abroad my junior year) that I would become a songwriter. To achieve this goal, I had to overcome my fear of performing my material in front of others. This is why I decided to play original compositions for both of my senior concerts.

The first concert was certainly a success, and it gave me the confidence to continue writing music to perform for others. For my final concert entitled “Presents from Strangers,” I will challenge myself by taking my compositional skills to the next level. While I exemplified my ability to write for other instruments (including violin and cello) in my last concert, this concert will be more sophisticated rhythmically, lyrically, and thematically.

The title “Presents from Strangers” is a line from a poem I wrote, but in a less abstract sense, it is about the musical inspiration that I get from artists I love. These are film directors, visual artists, writers and musicians including: PJ Harvey, Robert Mapplethorpe, Bernard Herrmann, John Cage, Richard Hell, and Ed Askew. These individuals influence my songwriting, but more importantly, they are the kinds of artists that I aspire to be one day. They are gutsy, free, imaginative and open. Through my senior project, I have been able to explore these qualities inside myself.

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