Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Collaboration


I love working with exemplary musicians. There is nothing like good collaboration to inspire me to reach new artistic heights! Last week I had the privilege of working with my baroque trio (soprano, flute and organ, featuring Dr. Rik Noyce on flute and Walt Disney Concert Hall Organ Conservator Philip Smith on organ) in the opening concert for the fourth annual Redondo Beach Baroque Festival.

Collaboration in the baroque style (as well as in jazz) involves trusting one's fellow musicians and embarking on a journey together during which ideas meld and mesh, folding over one another and layering into a fabric of aural experience that is unique upon each successive performance. This we call being "in the moment" or "in the zone." Listening and responding to the other two performers becomes a delightful dance in real time involving improvisation, rebalancing and adjustment as each part finds its way among the others in expressive freedom. Three intertwining lines or textures then culminate into a gorgeous tapestry of experience, feeling, musical shaping and storytelling. As in life, we need each other and must lean upon the musical foundation each part provides in order to elicit the full composition the composer intended, in which all parts assume equally important, indispensable roles. The art of collaboration is a wonderful part of music-making involving both trust and risk... two challenges I am most willing to undertake alongside the phenomenal musicians with whom I am blessed to work.