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Composing Myself

Composing Myself  is an  official Wise Music Group Podcast celebrating Wise Music’s 50th anniversary, presented by CEO Dave Holley and Creative Director Gill Graham. Over the course of this series, we will be talking to
Latest Episode11/30/2022

Anna Thorvaldsdottir

Ep. 7
Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir beams in from Reykjavik to join Wise Music CEO and Creative Director Dave Holley and Gill Graham for this seventh episode of Composing Myself, for an illuminating conversation spanning her raison d’être and innate need to create music, the influence of Icelandic culture and geography on her compositions, the crucial importance of communication between composer and players, and the “magic in the dimensions” unique to an orchestra of 80-100 people. https://www.annathorvalds.com/Anna Thorvaldsdottir (b. 1977) is an Icelandic composer whose "seemingly boundless textural imagination” (NY Times) and "striking” (Guardian) sound world has made her "one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music” (NPR). "Never less than fascinating” (Gramophone), her music is composed as much by sounds and nuances as by harmonies and lyrical material, and tends to evoke "a sense of place and personality” (NY Times) through a distinctive "combination of power and intimacy” (Gramophone). It is written as an ecosystem of sounds, where materials continuously grow in and out of each other, often inspired in an important way by nature and its many qualities, in particular structural ones, like proportion and flow. Anna’s works have been nominated and awarded on many occasions - most notably, her "confident and distinctive handling of the orchestra” (Gramophone) has garnered her the prestigious Nordic Council Music Prize, the New York Philharmonic's Kravis Emerging Composer Award, and Lincoln Center’s Emerging Artist Award and Martin E. Segal Award.
11/30/2022

Anna Thorvaldsdottir

Ep. 7
Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir beams in from Reykjavik to join Wise Music CEO and Creative Director Dave Holley and Gill Graham for this seventh episode of Composing Myself, for an illuminating conversation spanning her raison d’être and innate need to create music, the influence of Icelandic culture and geography on her compositions, the crucial importance of communication between composer and players, and the “magic in the dimensions” unique to an orchestra of 80-100 people. https://www.annathorvalds.com/Anna Thorvaldsdottir (b. 1977) is an Icelandic composer whose "seemingly boundless textural imagination” (NY Times) and "striking” (Guardian) sound world has made her "one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music” (NPR). "Never less than fascinating” (Gramophone), her music is composed as much by sounds and nuances as by harmonies and lyrical material, and tends to evoke "a sense of place and personality” (NY Times) through a distinctive "combination of power and intimacy” (Gramophone). It is written as an ecosystem of sounds, where materials continuously grow in and out of each other, often inspired in an important way by nature and its many qualities, in particular structural ones, like proportion and flow. Anna’s works have been nominated and awarded on many occasions - most notably, her "confident and distinctive handling of the orchestra” (Gramophone) has garnered her the prestigious Nordic Council Music Prize, the New York Philharmonic's Kravis Emerging Composer Award, and Lincoln Center’s Emerging Artist Award and Martin E. Segal Award.
11/16/2022

Joby Talbot

Ep. 6
Joby Talbot is the only living composer to have written the music for three full-length ballets for The Royal Ballet in London. In this sixth episode of Composing Myself Wise Music CEO and Creative Director Dave Holley and Gill Graham catch up with the genre-bending maestro to talk about his “horrible” jobs before he became a composer (Night shift at the local mortuary! Laundry at a mental institution!), working with Nigel Godrich and their close professional bond, the key differences between composing for animations versus live action projects, the culinary genesis of the Like Water For Chocolate ballet score, and the upside-down sensibility of composing for choreography - “you’re trying to give a platform for the choreographer and the dancers to do their thing, without knowing what that thing is”. -----http://www.jobytalbot.comhttps://www.instagram.com/jobytalbotmusic/-----Joby Talbot was born in London in 1971. He studied composition privately with Brian Elias and at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, before completing a Master of Music (Composition) at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Simon Bainbridge.Talbot's diverse catalogue includes full-length narrative ballets (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland , 2011; The Winter's Tale, 2014) and contemporary dance works (Chroma, 2007); small- and large-scale choral and vocal works (The Wishing Tree, 2002; Path of Miracles, 2005; A Sheen of Dew on Flowers, 2019); orchestral pieces (Sneaker Wave, 2004; Chacony in G Minor, 2011; Worlds, Stars, Systems, Infinity, 2012); concerti (Desolation Wilderness, 2006; Ink Dark Moon, 2018); and scores for the screen (The Lodger, 1999; The Dying Swan, 2002; Vampyr, 2018).Talbot's critically acclaimed first opera, Everest, was given its premiere in 2015 by The Dallas Opera. His second opera based on the true story The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, a further collaboration with librettist Gene Sheer, premieres in November 2023. Like Water for Chocolate, Talbot's third narrative ballet with Christopher Wheeldon premiered in June 2022 at The Royal Ballet and will be presented by partner commissioner ABT, in March 2023 in Costa Mesa and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in June 2023. 
11/2/2022

Josephine Stephenson

Ep. 5
The fifth episode of Composing Myself sees Wise Music CEO Dave Holley and Creative Director Gill Graham convene with French-British composer Josephine Stephenson for an illuminating and insightful meander through the fertile meadowlands of conversation. Topics covered include;- a formative introduction to the works of Mahler (“powerful music for a tiny child”)- how you really know when something is finished- collaborations with Damon Albarn, Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead- redressing the balance in COVIDAs ever, this is a chat full of interesting and thought-provoking insight into the creative process and nuance of the life of a professional composer. Not to be missed!----------Josephine Stephenson is a composer, arranger and performer working across contemporary classical and indie music.  "A bewitching combination of dissonance and sweet-toned cantabile" (Bachtrack), Josephine's music has been commissioned by insitutions such as the BBC, Radio France, Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Nonclassical and Spitalfields Music, and broadcast on France Musique and BBC Radio 3. She has written for acclaimed performers including the London Sinfonietta, Aurora Orchestra, s t a r g a z e, Miroirs Étendus, Explore Ensemble, The Hermes Experiment, Tenebrae, the Maîtrise de Radio France, tenor Allan Clayton, gambist Liam Byrne and guitarist Laura Snowden.Interested in harmony, sonority and dynamic immediacy in her music, she has collaborated with theatre companies La Raffinerie, L'Éventuel Hérisson Bleu and FellSwoop Theatre and filmmakers Julia Hart and Scott Vickers. She also regularly works as an arranger for songwriters and bands, which have included Damon Albarn, Daughter, Lisa Hannigan, Benjamin Biolay, NZCA LINES, James Righton, Ana Silvera, Evergreen and others.She studied composition with Giles Swayne while an undergraduate at Clare College Cambridge, before completing a Masters in Composition at the Royal College of Music under Kenneth Hesketh, graduating with Distinction. She was a Britten-Pears Young Artist in 2015-16 and a London Sinfonietta 'Writing the Future' composer for 2017-19.In 2021-23 she is composer in residence at the Opéra Grand Avignon.https://josephinestephenson.com/
9/21/2022

Nico Muhly

Ep. 2
In this second episode of Wise Music, hosts Dave Holley and Gill Graham speak to Wise Music composer Nico Muhly, beaming in from Paris. Freshly cooked and piping hot gourmet dishes on the conversational menu today include a run-through Nico's "fantastic" studio in New York and his trusty mobile rig (includes globally-scattered MIDI keyboard collection!), diligent daily writing discipline ("I'm scared that if I didn't write every day I'd forget how to do it!"), the all-important routine at home in NYC, coping with lockdown and the works that it scuppered, composing for Pachinko, what it's like to live across the street from one of Central London's most notorious nightclubs, and an overview of the best things to eat in the French capital.Excerpts of Nico's work included in this podcast:10:20 - Seaside, from Howards End OST20:24 - Train, from Pachinko - Season 1 OST24:27 - Shrink II. Sixths 30:30 - The Wedding, from Pachinko - Season 1 OST35:34 - Hansu Sees Sunja, from Pachinko - Season 1 OST37:04 - In A Mist, from Howards End OSTNico Muhly, born in 1981, is an American composer who writes orchestral music, works for the stage, chamber music and sacred music. He’s received commissions from The Metropolitan Opera: Two Boys (2011), and Marnie (2018); Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Tallis Scholars, and King’s College, Cambridge, among others. He is a collaborative partner at the San Francisco Symphony and has been featured at the Barbican and the Philharmonie de Paris as composer, performer, and curator. An avid collaborator, he has worked with choreographers Benjamin Millepied at the Paris Opéra Ballet, Bobbi Jene Smith at the Juilliard School, Justin Peck and Kyle Abraham at New York City Ballet; artists Sufjan Stevens, The National, Teitur, Anohni, James Blake and Paul Simon. His work for film includes scores for for The Reader (2008) and Kill Your Darlings (2013), and the BBC adaptation of Howards End (2017). Recordings of his works have been released by Decca and Nonesuch, and he is part of the artist-run record label Bedroom Community, which released his first two albums, Speaks Volumes (2006) and Mothertongue (2008).https://nicomuhly.com/