Friday, May 13, 2011

Q&A with Composer Nicole Chamberlain

1) Name five influences.

Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, William Davis (composition teacher at UGA), Osvaldo Golijov, and Brian Chamberlain (husband/composer/guitarist)

2) What are you currently working on? What can we expect to hear from you?

I have been commissioned by the Atlanta Opera to write a small ensemble 45-60 minute children's opera based on the Tales of Br'er Rabbit. The piece is for soprano, mezzo, tenor, baritone, and piano with libretto provided by Madeleine St. Romain. Based on the cultural history of the tales, the music will also get inspiration from blues, jazz, americana, and native american music. The end result, I hope, will be playful and fun music with substance that young and old will enjoy.

3) What's good about the Atlanta music scene? Or, why do you live and/or work here?

Growing up in Savannah there were not many opportunities for musicians. The city has been plagued with trying to support even a part-time orchestra. I knew early on I would not be able to make a living in Savannah as a musician. I happened to move to Atlanta for a day job, but stayed because of the music opportunities. I have been able to establish a network of music friends and colleagues so I have never felt the need to leave. Geographically, Atlanta is a good spot to be as well. With a major airport you can fly anywhere. I am also the middle point between my parents and sister in Savannah to my eldest sister in Clarksville, TN. I can visit all of any of my immediate family with in 4-5 hours.

4) What instrument(s) haven't you written for that you would like to write for?

I have never written for saxophone, and that has been a big regret of mine. At UGA, where I went to school, there was an outstanding saxophone quartet who repeatedly asked me I needed to write for them. What a missed opportunity! Sometimes you just need to make time to write for musicians when they ask you. I cringe when I think of how fabulous a performance and recording I could have from my undergrad years had I just written a saxophone quartet.

5) Who in the local scene would you like to collaborate with and why?

I've had such a fabulous time collaborating with the Atlanta Opera I hope I get to do it again. They've been incredibly supportive and trusting. Of course I would like to get the chance to write and have another orchestral work performed, but who wouldn't? I would love to work with Atlanta Symphony, but I think a highly underrated orchestra that I would love to write for is the Cobb Symphony (now Georgia Symphony). I had the pleasure of performing with the group this past season and throughly enjoyed working with some fabulous and talented musicians. I hope I get the chance to collaborate with them gain either as composer or flutist.

6) When and where is your next performance?

There are a few performance on the horizon. The Walker School Band directed by Erik Kofoed in Marietta, GA is performing my band piece "Hopewell" on May 20th that was commissioned by Hopewell Middle School band directed by Audrey Murphy. In September, the Dahlia Flute Duo is premiering my flute duet "Chatter" at the International Alliance of Women in Music World Congress at the University of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, AZ. Then on October 29, the Atlanta Opera will give the public premiere of "Rabbit Tales" at the Wren's Nest here in Atlanta in conjunction with National Opera Week.

7) Where can we find you online?
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Thanks, Nicole!

1 comment:

Curtis said...

Hey Nicole, congratulations on the Atlanta Opera gig! I'm sure that will be lots of fun. Bravo!