Hi, I'm Nadia Sirota, host of Meet the Composer (MTC) and a violist (Alarm Will Sound, yMusic). We set out to create something really different with MTC — a look into the minds and creative processes of composers making some of the most innovative, strange and breathtakingly beautiful music today. And we wanted to make these audio portraits feel like a musical experience.
Because you supported our Season One Kickstarter, we were able to bring to life our first five hour-long, fully sound-designed episodes. We couldn't have done it without your help. We're so proud of how Season One turned out and so thrilled that MTC spoke to you.
WHAT YOU DID & SAID.
You listened to Meet the Composer over 200,000 times from over 70 countries, via iTunes, Stitcher, q2music.org, wqxr.org and wnyc.org. Tens of thousands have heard MTC on terrestrial radio in New York (WNYC), Los Angeles and soon Chicago.
We got some great coverage for Season One from Radiolab, BBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Vogue plus a wealth of social media comments you can check out here.
Here's what Jad Abumrad of WNYC's Radiolab had to say: "Compelling and beautifully produced. One of the best things I've heard in a long time." :: "Talking about music in a way that's compelling can be hard. And so when people do it well, I just feel like you gotta give them props."
HERE'S WHERE WE WANT TO GO.
We need your help to raise $20,000 to create our next batch of five episodes about provocative, charismatic, and all-around inspiring composers. Though we're part of the larger Q2 Music family, we have no dedicated budget for Meet the Composer. You'll help cover host and producers' salaries, modest production and promotions needs, and help propel us into another season featuring...
Meredith Monk :: Living legend Meredith Monk is a composer, vocalist, dancer,choreographer and filmmaker. While all of these descriptors are technically on point, none quite gets to the bones of who she is as an artist. Meredith seamlessly blends these media into arresting performance pieces that feel like rites from another dimension. Through her 50-year career, she has maintained her bright, singular perspective, crafting dozens of surprising, whimsical, profound theatrical works.
Preview a few minutes from our episode on Meredith Monk:
Nico Muhly :: An expert technician, insatiable collaborator and thoroughly joyful musician, Nico Muhly writes for a vivid community of musicians around the world, crafting pieces of all sizes and shapes. Nico’s love of language and syntax finds an analogue in his music, where he delights in cadences' inherent quirks and prods at them until they come out beautifully crooked.
Kaija Saariaho :: An exacting Finnish manipulator of electronic and acoustic sounds, Kaija Saariaho was in the first wave of composers at IRCAM in Paris, working on the bleeding edge of interactive and concrete electronics. Whether writing on the grand scale of an opera or intimate scale of a solo work, Kaija weaves detailed tapestries of sound, honing and re-defining the boundaries of acoustic environments with unexpected textures and color.
Ingram Marshall :: Creator of immersive, expressivist sound worlds, Ingram Marshall’s musical curiosity took him all over the world, from California to Bali, Japan, Sweden and Iceland before he alit, as a pedagogue, back to his homeland in the Northeast US. Ingram superimposes seemingly remembered and misremembered strains with introspective, often electronic landscapes to create music that evokes, nudges and flexes.
Anna Thorvaldsdottir :: Anna Thorvaldsdottir sculpts timbre into large-scale, powerful works. Anna didn’t find composition until she was 19, but once she started writing, she discovered she could not live without it. Taking inspiration from the dangerous, dynamic landscape of her home country, Anna writes bold, toothsome scores with emotionally satisfying forms and sharp, unexpected timbres.
If we blow past our goal we can do even more. We can bring in an additional producer to create five Meet the Composer exclusive bonus tracks of unreleased music—music that can only be recorded and released with your support! We can do more off-site recordings to really bring each story to life; we can even launch a Meet the Composer commissioning fund to bring to life a brand new musical composition, involving you in the process of creation and culminating with a world premiere performance. We can secure the future of Meet the Composer.
LET'S TALK REWARDS!
We have some great gifts lined up this year to thank you. Ringtones of new MTC-exclusive musical pieces from your favorite MTC composers, including Kaija Saariaho, Caroline Shaw, Meredith Monk and John Luther Adams; a Digital Mixtape with music I've recorded live in concert; and our first ever MTC swag: original T-shirts featuring your favorite Season Two composer, plus a limited-edition poster created just for this Kickstarter.
Choose your favorite composer we'd like to feature in Season Two and wear them proudly! Illustrations by Felix Sockwell.
Nab a copy of yMusic's "Balance Problems" and Nadia Sirota's "Baroque" signed by Nadia. (New Amsterdam Records)
Receive a high-quality 13” x 17.5” print of this MTC-inspired watercolor of Meredith Monk by Alex Sopp. "Dive into the minds of today's composers!"
Here's a sample ringtone from Ingram Marshall, excerpted as indicated by the composer from his work Fog Tropes:
And one from Meredith Monk called Eva’s Song:
WHO WE ARE
Nadia Sirota, producer/host and Alexander Overington, producer/sound designer/mixing engineer. Q2 Music staff is managing producer Alex Ambrose and producer Hannis Brown. Video by Kim Nowacki.
Thanks to New Music USA for their flexibility with the use of the "Meet The Composer" name, which became famous through their legacy organization founded by composer John Duffy.
Q2 Music is WQXR's online music station dedicated to contemporary classical composers, innovative ensembles, and vibrant, live webcasts from New York City's leading new-music venues. Q2 Music, a live 24/7 music stream available at q2music.org, includes immersive festivals, insightful commentary from hosts and composers, full-length album streams, and special live events at The Greene Space at WQXR. Q2 Music is also available via the free WQXR app.
Risks and challenges
It can take many weeks of work to complete just a few minutes of Meet the Composer. We edit each interview within an inch of its life; we work on the sound design until it sings. We agonize over every second of each show so it sounds effortless and inevitable.
We spent over a year grappling with the structure, tone and pacing of Meet the Composer, and though we've found a formula that works, we realize that part of what attracts us and, we think, you as a listener is the sense of play, unpredictability and renewal that we strive to bring to each episode. In a sense, the five initial composers interviews are just the very beginning: we then visit the composers to capture behind-the-scenes moments; we speak with their colleagues and longtime champions for an insider's perspective; we dive behind the words and into the music for what moves us. In this way, each show is completely different, each production schedule reinvented.
What sustains us though is our love of the music and joy in uncovering the stories behind it, and the hope to share with you how beautiful, awesome and inspiring classical music is and has always been.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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