We have eighth blackbird in residence this week, stimulating us with their sharp and sparkling brand of new music. On Wednesday, they recorded music by some of our student composers, last night they played a vibrant program of works by Andres, Muhly, McGowan, Hearne and Dessner. Today they are presenting a seminar on building a career in contemporary chamber music and giving master classes and chamber coachings.
I love the recording sessions our guests do of student works, they never fail to surprise and delight, and this one was no exception. Feedback from six musicians who have seen it all is invaluable, and their comments ranged from technical to philosophical (what is the meaning of 2/4?). Though it can be intimidating for a young composer to have seasoned pros suggest rewrites, it’s all part of growing up in this profession, and the students are always invited to disagree if they can back it up.
We last had this group here fifteen years ago; I hope I don’t have to wait that long for the next visit.