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|Volume 2 Issue 6, June 2016|
The current issue features three horn player/composers who have all written multiple pieces through the Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Fund: Paul Basler (our interviewee of the month,) Kerry Turner (in a video describing his three Meir Rimon commissions and some fun footage from the beach in Andalucía,) and James Naigus (who has kindly provided us with sound files for his two Rimon-funded works.) You can read about Meir Rimon and the fund set up in his honor on the IHS website. In addition, Bill Vermeulen gives us Six Quick Fixes to Horn Playing in a superb video presentation.
Kerry Turner - Rimon Commissions
IHS 48 Ithaca Update
For those of you who thought you had missed out on attending the 48th International Horn Symposium because you missed the registration deadline, we have some good news. THE COLLEGE ADMINISTRATION HAS NOW AGREED TO ALLOW FOR WALK-IN REGISTRATION DURING THE WEEK OF THE SYMPOSIUM, 13-18 June. Neither on-campus housing nor meal plan options will be available for walk-in registrants, but you WILL still be able to come participate in what looks to be a truly exciting week of lectures, demonstrations, exhibits and performances.
Interview of the Month: Paul Basler
Whether it’s as a professor (University of Florida Teacher of the Year, Fulbright Senior Lecturer in Nairobi, Kenya,) horn player (orchestral and solo engagements on several continents,) or composer (works performed regularly around the globe,) Paul combines his formidable talents with a gentle, friendly attitude and emphasis on the search for what truly matters in music and life in general: relationship, connection, beauty. Read on for a peek into the mind of this gifted artist! -KMT
Kristina Mascher-Turner: Are you a morning or an evening composer? Where's your favorite place to write music?
Paul Basler: I am a morning composer. My favorite place to compose is in my music studio at home on my Yamaha studio upright piano and also between horn lessons at the University of Florida in my studio.
KMT: Would you say that you belong to a certain "school" of composition?
KMT: I've enjoyed performing your "Ken Bits" around the world over the past several years. Your beautiful "Missa Kenya" also draws its inspiration from Kenyan folk music. Can you tell us about your time as a Fulbright lecturer in Kenya and how it affected you personally and musically?
PB: My year in Kenya (1993-94) and subsequent visits were so special. My music became cleaner and more accessible. I did not need to be so “intellectual.” And I came to realize that relationships are more important than success.
KMT: Which do you enjoy more, playing the horn or writing music?
PB: This is a difficult question to answer! I enjoy both equally!
KMT: Which piece by another composer do you wish you had written?
PB: James Naigus’ Soundings for horn and synthesizer – this is one of the most wonderful new pieces.
KMT: What advice would you give young composers writing for the horn today?
PB: Believe in rests! Really. So many pieces for horn do not have enough rests.
KMT: Your latest premiere at the Northwest Horn Symposium, "Passages" for flute, horn, and piano, came about with the assistance of the Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Fund. Do you write all your works nowadays on commission? If not, is there a difference in your process and feeling towards a work when you aren't on a commission? How do you get yourself in the right frame of mind?
Major Commission Initiative
Looking for the next great masterpiece for horn? We are! The Major Commission Initiative (MCI) is a fund created to commission new works for horn by world famous composers. Unfortunately, we are currently turning away extremely promising proposals at this time because of a lack of funds. You can help! Donate now to the MCI fund and help us commission major new works!
James Naigus - Rimon Commisions
James Naigus, currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Horn at the University of Iowa, is our youngest featured artist in this month’s newsletter. His teachers include Paul Basler, Jeffrey Agrell, Bryan Kennedy, Adam Unsworth, and Soren Hermansson. James is a frequent guest artist at IHS regional and international symposia, most recently at IHS47 in Los Angeles. His sonorous, melodic compositions have enjoyed increasing popularity in the horn world of late, including two works written through the Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Fund: Beale Suite (for horn quartet) and Spectra (for horn, trombone, and piano.)
Have a listen to both of these pieces here:
For more recordings and information, please visit http://jamesnaigus.com/home.html
International Horn Society