by Jarrett Hoffman
When a composer-pianist like Ola Gjeilo lists people who have inspired them, names like Keith Jarrett, Philip Glass, and Howard Shore — all Gjeilo favorites — aren’t surprising to hear.
But Dale Chihuly and Frank Gehry — a glass artist and an architect?
“I’m always inspired by artists that have an improvisational approach, which they both do,” Gjeilo said during a recent telephone conversation. “Their process seems very intuitive — kind of feeling its way through what works and what doesn’t. And that’s similar to my approach as a composer. It’s not necessarily very cerebral or intellectual with a lot of pre-planned parameters. It usually comes out of improvising ideas and building on them — I like the fluidity of that process.”
This weekend, Good Company: A Vocal Ensemble will welcome the Norwegian-born, New York City-based Gjeilo for two events at Lakewood Presbyterian Church. First, a choral workshop on Saturday, November 3 at 3:00 pm that’s free and open to anyone with an interest in choral singing techniques, Gjeilo’s music, and his creative process.