Meet Harold Meltzer, Guggenheim fellow, Pulitzer Prize finalist, co-founder and Artistic Director of the ensemble SEQUITUR, and composer of Air and Angels, Winsor Music's newest commission!
Hometown and/or city where you're currently based:
I live in New York City, in Manhattan, was born not far away in Brooklyn, and grew up not too much farther away in Long Island.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?
Fragmented and filled with sudden shifts that surprise and come to make sense through accumulation and contrast, concerned with how lyricism can still exist in such a fragmented landscape.
If you had to choose one piece you've written (or that someone else has written) to describe your style or sound, what would it be?
My own sextet Brion (2008), for flute, oboe, mandolin, guitar, violin, and cello. http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.559660
What can you tell us about the piece you're composing for Winsor?
It's the first piece I've written in awhile that is abstract, not based directly on a text or inspired by an architectural site or an older piece of music. The title, Air and Angels, is taken from a sequence of poems by Kenneth Rexroth; and Rexroth, in turn, took his title from a John Donne love poem of the same name. But the music is only loosely inspired by the Rexroth sequence.
Where do you see this piece in relation to your other work? Does it fit into the "big picture", or is it something completely different?
Hmm, I'd say it's a big picture piece, a little related to Brion and a little related to my 2011 string quartet, Aqua.
To learn more about Harold, visit his websites, http://www.sequitur.org/ and http://www.haroldmeltzer.com/.