by Hannah Schoepe
How are your compositions formed? How do you balance judgement with unhinged creativity? What is the most profound advice you can offer students today? Those were a few of the questions posed to the Pulitzer prize-winning composer and Roomful of Teeth member Caroline Shaw during an insightful Q & A session Thursday afternoon, February 16 in Oberlin’s Kulas Recital Hall.
During the session Shaw addressed her compositional process, as well as her creative sources of inspiration. She began by playing an excerpt from her recently composed string quartet Valencia. With its simple lines and ethereal harmonics, the piece grabbed the audience’s attention immediately. When asked about the work, Shaw affirmed her love for simple layers in her music. She said, “I like to create a ‘room,’ a musical space where people can walk around but don’t get lost.” Continuing on a humorous note, she said most listeners assume there is a connection between the quartet and Valencia Spain, when in fact the genesis of the work was derived from the beauty of a valencia orange. [Read more…]