Date of Submission
Project Advisor 1
Project Advisor 2
My senior project consisted of two concerts; the first a collection of English and American songs from across the 20th century; the second a collection of songs I composed for mixed voices and piano. The concerts were titled “In Freedom’s Cause: 20th Century Composers Confront Love, War, and The Church” and “Handwhile: Twelve New Works for Voices and Piano.” My goals for this project were to present compelling, original, relevant music—I wanted to create art that is my best and my own.
Throughout the process, I tried to stay personally invested in the material. I wanted to connect with the music, and share it in the same spirit, since virtuosic ability could never match sincere performance. Many young, technically excellent musicians charge past their artistic limitations and into empty performance. I could be guilty of the same, but given the artistic sovereignty of Senior Concerts, there is no need for such a sacrifice—I wanted my performance to be the result of emotional presence and artistic vision. Senior Project was an opportunity to take risks, present my strengths, utilize college resources, and make music that fulfills one of the goals of art: to create works through which we can better understand ourselves.
I pursued these ideas composing the second concert, and found the material guiding my composition. I composed the language and the music concurrently, mining my experience for material. I worked closely with memory, getting as close as possible, interrogating experience, translating a feeling into a work, and watching the effect.
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Berkes, Otto Gabriel Jr, ""In Freedom’s Cause: 20th Century Composers Confront Love, War, and The Church" and "Handwhile: Twelve New Works for Voices and Piano"" (2013). Senior Projects Spring 2013. 89.
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