Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Joel Hoffman Presentation

So...this should have been up earlier, but with everything else going on (rehearsals, napping, eating, composer/performer nerd games in the evening), I'm a little behind. Here's my thought's on Joel Hoffman's presentation.

Joel Hoffman gave a presentation on his music a few days ago, not exactly knowing what he was going to play for us. He admitted that he had sort of a dilemma as to what to share; he didn't want to play music that some of us had already heard (there are a few of us CCMers here), nor did could he share his most recent music. (By the way, a few of us young composers had the SAME problem; I personally had troubles deciding what to bring for composer show-and-tell.) He did want to share his music, but he didn't want to play anything that some of us have heard before, plus he didn't have any recordings of his new style.

I have been curious about this new style for some time ever since he mentioned his use of silences during my lessons. He has been talking about it for weeks now, and here I was curious to hear any recordings of his music to demonstrate this compositional turn. Alas, there were no recordings, so Joel turned to improvisation instead (for the most part).

This wasn't exactly a cop-out; rather, he shared an improvisation program that he had performed in Taiwan and Poland (and Cincinnati): He would perform other pieces, like Brahms, Schoenberg, and his own piece Hands Down, for example, and improvise music in between the pieces.

Personally, I love it when Joel improvises, and I was thrilled when he chose to perform this short improvisational program again. The Swiss were also excited, but I have a feeling it was because they were watching the World Cup instead. I digress.

Joel also shared the second movement from his cello concerto Self Portrait with Gebertig and Piano Trio 3 on C#. These were also two pieces I haven't heard before, and the slow, beautiful, pensive quality of the music juxtaposed nicely with the view of the mountains outside.

The next day we were able to hear a taste of Joel's new compositional style: there was a flute concert that played music of composers, and Joel's piece for 3 flutes. The piece was derived from an Orlando motet and involved more silences than usual; this is the new compositional style that Joel was talking about, and all of us were very much anticipating this piece. I felt the silences were affective, but I wanted even more silences. Of course, Joel admitted that this was his first compositional step into this new style.

The next few days we will be having a concert a day, and today starts the young composers concerts. In the meantime, I will be posting multiple pictures.

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