On Friday we began our day with more composer presentations, which stimulated lots of interesting discussion as usual (see previous post by Carolyn O'Brien). After an afternoon full of rehearsals, we gathered together after dinner for artistic director/guest composer Joel Hoffman's presentation on his own music. He began by letting us in on the latest developments in his compositional style, since sweeping changes have occurred in the past year. In particular, he said that his most recent works are full of silences - often quite long ones - and that he sees the music as being carved out of the silences. He also spoke about his experience and views on improvisation and its relationship to composition. Dr. Hoffman performed a set of music for solo piano, which included a Brahms intermezzo and his own piece Hands Down, interpolated with improvisations. He also played recordings of several other works, including 6-8-2-4-5-8, which he wrote for MusicX's ensemble-in-residence, eighth blackbird.
Saturday was a free day, allowing us to take a break from our intense musical activities. Several of us went on excursions to Montreux, Vevey, the Chateau de Chillon (a medieval castle near Montreux) or Les Pleiades (a mountain near Blonay), and some people just took it easy and stayed at the Hindemith Centre. It felt great to get some fresh air and a fresh perspective on our musical work. Stay tuned for more pictures!