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Conrad Cummings: In Conversation With My Peers

January 02, 2013
Composing music is usually a solitary act, but Conrad Cummings is by nature a very sociable person.

This has drawn him into some of the most fascinating collaborative projects, such as the political satire Photo-Op whose text is by the painter James Siena, the provocative Positions 1956 for which he partnered with operatic librettist and Tony-nominated Broadway lyricist Michael Korie, and—perhaps the work that has occupied him for the longest time thus far—The Golden Gate, an extraordinary opera based on a novel in sonnets by Vikram Seth that seamlessly weaves together first and third person narratives. But even when he is writing pieces which don’t have words, such as I Wish They All Could Be…, which exists both in versions for solo piano and for chamber ensemble, or Zephyr’s Lesson, in which a quartet of instrumentalists is joined by otherworldly electronically-generated sine waves, Cummings views the act of composition as a form of conversation both with the music of his contemporaries as well as with composers of the past.

Read the full story on our own NewMusicBox.

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