Friday, March 26, 2010

from JiB alum David Smooke

We're taking a short break from introducing this year's senior faculty to offer some reminiscences from a former June in Buffalo participant, composer David Smooke (JiB '99). Says David, who's now a member of the composition faculty at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, "My June in Buffalo experience was one of the formative moments of my compositional career. I made friendships among my compositional peers that remain strong over a decade later and enjoyed hearing music from many different styles over the course of the festival. The music and masterclasses with the guest composer Jukka Tiennsu made an especially strong impression on me, opening my ears to musical ideas that remain quite dear to me.

"At the festival, I encountered recent experiments in microtonality and in the utilization of natural sounds in compositions in ways I had never before considered. In addition, June in Buffalo was the first opportunity that I had to work closely with professional performers, and some of these performers remain friends and advocates to this day."

At David's website,, you can hear samples of his beautifully-crafted and engaging scores, and view some videos involving his music. Here are two, one lyrical and reflective (blades, for whistling and singing cellist) and the other funky and playful (Four Score, for toy piano and two violas).

Do you have June in Buffalo stories and memories to share? Drop us a note at c21cmusic [at] the mail with the 'G' and we may just post them in this blog. Doesn't matter if they're serious, trivial, life-changing, or funny...bring them on!

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