Past to “Anywhere”

written by Olivia Davis
GLFCAM Arnold and Babette Salamon Fellow, Cycle 10

My family’s past is my own, vivified through paint, charcoal, manuscript paper, violin, viola, piano. When I sit down to play piano, I pull out the book that once belonged to my grandmother. When I play from this book, I feel her dancing around me as the waves of sound bouncing off of every surface, my skin, hair, clothes included, and I am dancing with her. Every chunk of DNA, molecule of my being, blood cell, protein, neuron, sings my past and my future.

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Gabriela Lena Frank
On Risk

written by Samantha Boshnack
GLFCAM John and Marie LaBarbera Fellow, Cycle 9

I wrote five “concertos” for five master musician soloists from other cultures which showcased their instrument and tradition: West African talking drum, Greek clarinet, North Indian vocals, Latin American piano and American jazz trumpet. Some of these collaborations were a bit terrifying — I chose these artists because their music spoke to me, but I didn’t really know how I was going to accomplish my goal. In my meetings with the musicians I was sometimes struck by a feeling of being an irreverent American.

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Gabriela Lena Frank
The Eureka Moment

written by Adam Zolty
GLFCAM Dana Lyon Fellow, Cycle 8

I feel I owe a lot to this creative block. Even though I found it frustrating at the time, it really helped me understand the greater depths of my artistic self, where I pull inspiration from, and how I identify myself as a composer.

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Gabriela Lena Frank
The Mind is Like Water

written by Kevin Day
GLFCAM Nicomedes Santa Cruz Fellow, Cycle 8

There was one morning where it was raining a little bit and so I sat outside, closed my eyes, and just listened to the cold rain and breathed deeply. The smell of rain and dew filled the air, and I was able to calm my mind and focus. My mind was not restless or thinking about a million things for the first time in a very long time. I had finally found a peace within myself and I didn’t want it to go away.

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Gabriela Lena Frank
The Boundaries of Inspiration

written by Steven Juliani
GLFCAM Steve Stucky Fellow, Cycle 8

November 25, 1963. A woman sits in the front room of her home overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. She is overwhelmed by the events of the previous days and begins playing her violin as she waits for the coffin of her president to pass by. 

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Gabriela Lena Frank
Bias

written by Jung Yoon Wie
GLFCAM Francis Richard Fellow, Cycle 8

I believe that our inclination to categorize others and assume who they are come from the bias toward ourselves. We diminish the value of what we do and love, and we do the same for others by making unfair judgements about who they are and having to prove our worth at the expense of other’s. Yet, all of us were once children who would dance and not think of whether the dance was good or bad, would soak our sneakers in water because the consequences were small, and when nothing was boring.

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Gabriela Lena Frank
The most Ellen of Ellen sounds

written by Angela Morris
2019 GLFCAM Ruth Crawford Seeger Fellow, Cycle 8

On Gabriela’s deck, I waited with the wave, observing the moment’s emotions together with the garden and forest and hills spread out below. Huck and Beau, dogs who’ve been through some stuff themselves, kept me company at a respectful distance. Jeremy, Gabriela’s husband, approached as gently as the dogs. Their presence said: You are safe. However you are is ok.

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Gabriela Lena Frank
Mental Health As A Resistant Female Composer

written by Rachel Epperly
2018 GLFCAM Logan Skelton Fellow, Cycle 7

The night before the performance, I feared I was making a huge mistake. I lost my appetite. I was shaking. I was hyper-ventilating. I was scared of putting my body out there in the way being dysfunctional Barbie required of me, especially in front of a mostly male audience. I was afraid that people would think my performance was too weird, disturbing, politically unclear —the list goes on. Although the work was intended to cause the audience some discomfort, I felt apologetic in advance for making them feel such things.

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Gabriela Lena Frank
Believing I Belong (in Boonville)

written by Karalyn Schubring
2018 GLFCAM Leslie and Anita Bassett Fellow, Cycle 7

As I got to know my fellow Cycle 7 composers, I simultaneously fell in love with their work while growing increasingly intimidated by their brilliance. Negativity swirled around in my mind as I told myself that I wasn’t being friendly enough or insightful enough or funny enough or that my artistic voice would never be as clear and powerful as those of my colleagues...

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Gabriela Lena Frank
Scatter and tattered… and loving it.

written by Colin Payne
2018 GLFCAM William Bolcom and Joan Morris Fellow, Cycle 7

My life is one that is constantly scattered and tattered. It is a journey on the beaten and battered fast paced Millennium Falcon, but instead of space it is the big cities of New York, Chicago, and Detroit. Some people don’t like that “fly by the seat of your pants” lifestyle, but I love it. It is where I live. As I grow older and my capacity for sleepless nights, coffee infested breath, and liquor ridden midnight composition sessions become more limited, my philosophy is not necessarily on changing these habits but controlling them.

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Gabriela Lena Frank
Leave the labyrinth

written by Marco-Adrián Ramos
2018 GLFCAM National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Fellow, Cycle 7

I’ve become aware of the surreal nature of my current activity: Sitting in my Washington Heights apartment, beginning the sixth year of my conservatory studies at Juilliard, writing a blog post for an academy headed by Gabriela Lena Frank, a person whose name I’ve known ever since twelve-year-old me curiously googled “Latin composers” in a desperate bid to validate my interest in music (to myself).

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Gabriela Lena Frank
Peopling your creative process

written by Timmy Peterson
2018 GLFCAM Béla Bartók Fellow, Cycle 6

In some of my earliest and fondest musical memories, I’m sitting at the piano reveling in those moments in a piece that made me go “ahh.” Whether or not I knew it then – I was in middle school at the time – I think I was hooked on the wonder that music can instill in us.

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Gabriela Lena Frank
Slow-burning

written by Dawn Norfleet
2018 GLFCAM Chou Wen-chung Fellow, Cycle 6

When I was a child, grown-ups asked me the typical question: What do you want to be when you grow up? I wanted to be a medical doctor, ballerina, conductor, psychologist, recording engineer, and an entertainment attorney.  I had a voracious imagination, fed by books: My favorites were Alice in Wonderland, the Holy Bible,  and Grimm's Fairy Tales. I loved cookbooks, encyclopedias, and I'd even found my big brother's hidden copy of the scary novel, The Exorcist, which terrorized my dreams and bored moments for the next several years. 

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Gabriela Lena Frank
Going to New Mexico by way of Boonville

written by Nick Benavides
2018 GLFCAM Arnold and Babette Salamon Fellow, Cycle 6

When I saw photos of friends of mine smiling and hanging out with Gabriela Lena Frank (and perhaps a few chickens), I knew I had to join them. I’ve long been a fan of Gabriela, but I had a problem: I had never met her, and I was certain I was never meant to.

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Gabriela Lena Frank
Connection When Humanity Fragments

written by Bonnie McLarty

2018 GLFCAM Marion Terwilliger Webster Fellow, Cycle 4

Though writing is a solitary activity, the hum and gurgle of the dishwasher, the buzz of the fat fly on the window, the deep sigh of my dog Jemma under the table as she shifts position, the voices of my sister-in-law and her children in the next room — These sounds keep me company, the vibrations of the other lives and processes around me. I am not alone. I am here. I am part of the larger world. And for me, the sensory connection to others provided by sound is beautiful thing.

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Gabriela Lena Frank
"Akshaya Spice"

written by Akshaya Avril Tucker
GLFCAM 2018 Cynthia Jackson Ford Fellow, Cycle 6

Before I joined Cycle Two in 2017 to work with violinist Johnny Gandelsman and cellist Joshua Roman, I met Gabriela Lena Frank over Skype. It only took her an hour to understand pretty much everything about me — Who I am, what’s important to me, how I write music. We chatted while I was staying at my grandfather’s house in Glassboro, NJ, and Gabriela was wearing her ultimate composer-at-work red hoodie.

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Gabriela Lena Frank
An Expansive World Within

written by Steve Juliani
2018 GLFCAM Carleen Hutchins Fellow, Special Guest Auditor

I started writing music in 2016 at age 55 - after spending 25 years first as a professional horn player and then as a music copyist in the motion picture industry. In order to make the time to write, I also set aside a budding criminal defense law practice and changed how I managed my 15-year old music preparation business. But neither the added time nor the changed focus has made me a composer.

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Gabriela Lena Frank
A Tatar Woman Speaks Boontling

written by Adeliia Faizullina
2018 GLFCAM Cynthia Jackson Ford Fellow, Cycle 6

Gabriela, my new family fellow composers and Boonville gave me a second birth and opened my eyes again.

I started my trip to Boonville with my great wonderful friend Akshaya flying together from Austin, Texas to San Francisco California. Akshaya is extremely talented young composer, who creates one of my favorite music.  We were studying musical composition in the same program at the University of Texas at Austin.  Our friendship is very very important and dear to me!

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Gabriela Lena Frank