This blog is a little throw-back to the summer of 2015. I had the opportunity with five other fellows to attend a week-long, full day workshop with the American composer Alice Parker at her house in rural Hawley, MA. I can honestly say that it was one of the best weeks of my life. I’ve learned so much and grew so much as a musician and person.
We basically experimented with composing through the view point of a singer; which means we sang the whole time. We also improvised a lot. It was so refreshing to compose with 5 other fellow musicians around her table in her studio. I was so lucky to be hosted in her own private cabin near the pond on her property. Every morning I walked to the session held in her own studio at her house. We spend most part of the day there singing, reading, and writing. We started with the earliest form of music-making, CHANT! We worked our way through 4th species counterpoint by the end of the week.
I would say three of the highlights of the week were when I had the opportunity to prepare dinner for all the participants and Alice in her kitchen, when we all gathered around her baby grand in her studio and sang through American folk songs and lastly the hymn sing she led at the local church. This experience will forever guide my learning process until the day I die. She inspired and equipped us with a way to unlock the deeper meaning in texts and make it come alive through music.