I realized that my years of improvising and playing music have resulted in some very clear impressions about musical sensations and the various ways of achieving them, and that having done so many things without a method has established some foundational tendencies I can create upon with confidence.
written by Iman Habibi 2019 GLFCAM Lucy and Jacob Frank Fellow, Cycle 9
I was born and raised in Iran, but I spent a significant part of my adult life in Canada, and have also lived in the United States and Turkey. While I certainly belong to some of these cultures more than others, they have each played a role in shaping my identity, and defining myself as belonging to only one, is again, quite restrictive. Seeing the importance of my role as a cultural ambassador, I have come to reconcile with some of these labels.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.