Stefan Freund is a cool cat: cellist, composer, and center of the party. He was one of my favorite lecturers back in the day and I always enjoyed working for and with him. He's an academic and intellect but is well-rounded and down-to-earth as anybody. He has good values and priorities: a committed family man and all around good guy. At any given point, you might find him traveling the world performing with Alarm Will Sound, teaching a one-on-one lesson in his office, kickin' it with his tight-knit family in Indiana, or celebrating after a concert at Shakes and arguing about football. Wherever you are, it's always a good time when Stefan Freund is there. Dream Pizza: "The Masterpiece, of course."
Recorded on 2016-05-16
Speakers: Joseph Weidinger and Stefan Freund
Mr Dr Stephan Frying professor of composition. Here in musical music, you're a first rate composer, cellist and human being honestly, thank you. You've got pizazz, vitality, spirit, humor and personality. All the while you're down a business practical, quick and professional. Whenever I bump into you and you're following your frequent following of fellow faculty members virtually anywhere you don't greet or treat me briefly at some former student or minion or pizza maker.
But instead of some old childhood friend otherwise lost, if not for this serendipitous encounter, you make every encounter special important somehow. And that's frankly why I'm so excited. Teo, have you here today May sixteenth, two thousand sixteen at Temperatures Pizza. The first question is what is the best thing for human beings? I think that you've got to, You know, when you read that description, you know, just the human being.
Part of it was what I took the most pride in I Yeah, there's so many things that you can do in this world. You can play the cello, you could write, music you can perform on stage is travel. But right now, the thing that I'm finding the most joy in is my family and my friends on DH. I'm very fortunate to have a great family and wonderful friends, and I really make that a prize priority to enjoy that part of my life as much as possible.
So what does that mean? Practically well, I try to get together with my parents like once a month, which seems really extreme for somebody who's over forty years old. But wait. Just have so much fun together. And I and I try to see my sister's family. And, of course, like you're talking about the the Mizzou crew. My, my, my colleagues, we try to get together at least once a week and hang out, and I think that's great for the camaraderie and great for the school on DH.
Kind of what you're talking about. My relationship with you. I think it helps the faculty and students get along, too. If if the faculty you're getting along together, then it just makes it that much easier for the students. See that camaraderie? They say, Hey, that's a person that I can I can reach out to. That's not just a professor or some lecture. It's someone who has a personality who could hang out, who deals with riel, everyday situations and problems.
And therefore I think it makes it easier for students to communicate with their professors if they see that lighter side of them. And I think that's really worked out, so it makes us more human. It's that idea of being more human and being more open to everybody is great and helps the teacher student relationship and also helps with, you know, being a human being with enjoying life. So personally, it's a great thing.
And then also it extends out to those around you. Well, I think it's important. Good, good answer. You're in a good place. What is your favorite form of information? Well, I have to say, even though I'm I don't do any social media stuff on I'm on Twitter I've never used. I've never posted a tweet before in my life. I I'm on Facebook. I don't really post anything on it, but I do love my phone. I love having that access to email.
I love email. Actually, that's probably I was going to say my phone, but since I just spent four hours in my office doing email, I think the correct answer is email. And the reason why I love email so much is I have documentation of the conversation that I've had, and it's very easy to access to reference. I'm not really good at it, figuring out how all those things can automatically relate to each other like contact lists, calendars all automatically just, you know, start things, start showing up in your contacts and showing up in your.
But so I do all that manually. But I do love having the reference point that I know I can go back to. I know if I've had a conversation with this person and we've scheduled things we can work all that out. I honestly don't know how we existed before email, and I was a part of that. I had fun. Funny conversations with my alarm will sound friends about how we produced concerts at Eastman for our student run new music organization, which is called which is the A precursor to alarm will sound, and I would literally call people on the telephone and ask them if they could play.
And it seems like such a foreign idea. Now I would leave messages on there, their their voice mails saying, Hey, this is Stephan Freud. I'm producing this concert. Can you? Are you available Monday night from sixty nine, too? Rehearsed. What an incredibly inefficient way to organize an orchestra Way would do orchestra programs of fifty personnel, for example. And I remember the sheet of paper that I had with every person's phone number on it from those days.
And another weird thing. Like I remember how many phone numbers ahead memorized. I have, like two phone numbers on rise now. So I wonder what people worry about what's gonna happen to our brain when we don't have to have anything. Memorize. And I think that's a good concern. But I really love email. I think it's great, and it's so funny to meet people like alarm will sound. For example, he keeps trying to push towards tremolo or slacks.
I've even had my friends sit down with me on the laptop and show me how they work and try to get me out just like No, I'm not I'm not going to go to another source. I like email. I like safari. That's what I use for for everything. And unless I absolutely have to go to something else, that's that's what I'm going to use. So you're going back to the original question. I think that's part of that. That helps, maybe more in touch with my family.
I'm on my phone. Enough. If I was on Instagram and Twitter, that would be even more time that I'd be. I don't know what the language requirements are here, but I want to say dicking around on the phone instead of instead of, you know, talking to my daughter, you know, play monopoly. So it's That's one of the reasons why limited myself to that, rather being on all these other social media apps and everything.
Yeah, just not my vibe, too. So I know. I love you, man. Five. That's good. Yeah. What is your earliest memory? No. Right, one powerful memory that I have, and I don't know if it's earliest what. It's pretty darn early is when I was little. I loved toe lie under the piano while my dad practiced my dad ever since. Yeah, I mean, you probably heard me say before, but it really is something I was so fascinated by not just the sound.
I'd like to be right under it, and I could see the bottom soundboard. There's probably some technical term for that, but I don't know what it is. I could see it vibrating, you know, not just the hammer's. Yeah, If you go above the piano, you can see the hammers in the strings, and I love watching that right. But underneath, watching the pedal mechanism and just watching the soundboard vibrates and hearing and my dad would play.
And your dad, for the record, is a very, very, very he's not playing twinkle, the's Air Chopin etudes and pray, ludes and concertos and chamber music and also his music. A lot of talk about all this romantic music, but also, you know, contemporary music has a way of treating the piano like a percussion instrument. Certainly the way I write for it, and, you know, that has a lot of impact so that that really sticks with me.
That's it's hard for me to think of anything earlier. Too old. Do you think you were? Well, I definitely was in my second house, so I would have been at least well, too. But I'm thinking four, five six, you know? Okay. Around that age, trying to think, if I hadn't had any memories, I remember breaking my leg when I was four. I definitely remember that. I jumped down some steps, was trying to impress him, family members.
And I like when a the first step jumped off, went up the second step and everybody's cheering me on. Went up the third step, jumped off, and then eventually I broke my leg. Would you say that's a part of your personality is like trying to impress or be a show off or just trying to entertain, maybe is a broader way of saying that. Yeah, I like to be the definitely like to be like, you know, we were hanging out.
I'd like to be I don't know if the center of attention is right word, but just getting the party going, you know, just just let's make sure we're we're having a good time. We're talking about crazy stuff where laughing. We're talking about the good old days, you know, telling stories I really love, you know, remembering all the crazy fun times we've had it. It's it's kind of a vicious circle where you do crazy stuff.
So you have crazy stories and you've got more crazy stories that, you know, create more fun times that we're going to have to get together and have more crazy sort. So it's this feeds on itself. Yeah, it really does feed on itself. And speaking of feeding ourselves, are feeding on itself. The pizza's ready and I'm going to be wonderful all right? Here. You all right, Master? You're going to eat some of this, right?
I'm gonna eat a piece or two. I'm gonna really want to see. I was a little insulted that you had to ask me. What? My favorite pizza. Really? Well, I think never taken in order for your But it's not about that. It's just, you know, how could be anything else but the masterpiece. Okay. You mean I don't know your personality? Well, well, not just just it's not just about me. It's about the greatness of the masterpiece.
I mean, the best pieces not greet everyone. It should be. You know, I don't understand why it's insulting, but people are like that. I would like a masterpiece with black olives, you know? You know what? I'm not the biggest fan of Black olives, but if they got to be there here, I get a picture of you too. So do you literally get the masterpiece every time you come? If if I can. I mean, the answer. That is absolutely no, because usually on them with wimps, like my daughter and my wife and my friend.
Half large masterpiece half. Yeah, but then they say something so usually will wait. When I'm here with Julian Corinna, Usually we get a half cheese and then a half maybe, Like pizza lovers passion, Julie doesn't like. Is it sausage or pepperoni? She's one of the two that she doesn't like, so basically get the other. But I usually get the pizza lovers passion causes better deal, too, and then, you know, just take off the olives.
And the Julie loves the Canadian bacon ham. She loves that. So that's that works well, so unfortunately can't always have a masterpiece, though. I certainly would, if at any time I'm like in a situation where I can get the masterpiece and my favorite is, you might remember, is like the summer calm thing. When we come here for summer comp on Friday night. Always get the masterpiece. And you, you come here a lot.
I mean, I see you here a fair amount, and I don't even work that much at night. But it seems like a lot of nights at my my two favorite, I mean as if it's special or something. I really believe that the two most important institutions down here are Shakespeare's and brooches on DH. I try to frequent those is often as possible. Did you go out to eat a lot? Growing up? No, you know, and it's really funny guy.
I I've been meaning to talk to buy parents about this, actually is just just tell him my life is so even though in many ways my life is very similar to my dad, one way in which it's different is thiss eating out thing. I don't know what it is, but in the past three weeks, I think Julia Green and I have had dinner together at home, maybe twice in the past three weeks because we've been so busy. Karina was in the Missoula children's theater production.
I think it was like not this past week with the week before. I'm getting so confused about the weeks at this point. So she had four our rehearsals every night on top of school. So, you know, we weren't home basically that week. And of course, I've been busy at school. We've had on a concert every night. Is that I think you know, you know, I mean, the number of concerts that bin, too in the past two or three weeks is just unbelievable.
It's at least one per day because there's been some that I've doubled up. I remember I was just talking Tio. Oh, I think it was my buddy Mike like level who I played with on Saturday and his wife is a professor, Lawrence University, and she was going to three recitals that day. I mean, just just kind of the life of a music professor that you have to go to a lot of, but at least you should go to a lot different events.
I've always loved going to concerts, though. I just two quick stories. When I was about you, I went to every concert I could possibly go to saw so many great performances and thinks that still I rarely here. And when I was at Aspen as their eight weeks, I want to fifty concerts when I was there, so on just began just saw amazing things that complete smartalk, string quartets, concerto for orchestra, Patricia.
Just all modern things and everything. I mean, also a lot of Beethoven symphonies, lot of human symphonies, a lot of chamber music, just just everything Well, kind of music Do you listen to when you're in the car? So I just drove to St Louis and back and on the way over Ah, I was listening. Actually, on the way back, I remembered I just had like a bar talk playlist. So it was miraculous. Mandarin music for strings, Percussion, shell lest dance sweet the Divertimento.
But also I was on the way over. I was listening to Schubert Song cycle's just heard. Steve Tharp and Peter Miyamoto do dicked early, but on Odyssey a couple weeks ago, I think this last Friday things just like nine days ago. Okay? And, you know, I love that piece. I just think it's amazing. And really, I was just like Jesus is great traveling music. You know, it's really when else do you have to listen to our song cycle, right?
You know, and just really listen to it. Let it kind of wash wash. Not not not necessarily in the background and not studying the score, some some sort of middle ground listening. And I just think it's a song cycle. I think it's great. You know? Speaking of, well, I have two questions, I guess I said this one first and that's Is there any music? You seem so I'll just love music in love, a lot of music. But and specifically in art music, Is there any music that you just just can't stay out?
You know, I might be afraid that some people hear this, but I really love came up the new classical station. Listen to it all the time. But one of the things that ticks me off about it is. They play so much guitar music. In fact, they were playing some guitar music this morning. Classical guitar? Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I I'm just not a big fat, so So I haven't really I have a prepared answer for this. That's I'm not not the biggest fan of guitar music.
I love guitars. My buddy, Rusty Jones's guitarist Anthony glyphs that school's fantastic dude. Really cool guy. His students are our fantastic students. Really great guys. So, you know, I'm afraid they're gonna hate me for saying that, but, uh, yeah, I think in general, I think there's also some, you know, uh, Ram O Luli, early broke, kind of limited baroque. I'm not the biggest fan of that, but I still listen to it all time and just heard a remote piece yesterday.
I enjoyed that. So it's just It's just not my not my favorite, right? I wouldn't say I don't like it. What would you say with like, music? It kind of goes back to the early memory of just watching the soundboard vibrating, being washed with this music. I mean, is music just something that is when they're sound waves hitting your ears that wasn't feeling Teo, you know. It's almost gotten to the point where I don't even think of it as a feeling just the way it always is.
I do worry about my ears a little bit was just talking to claim a lot. Sorry about He's like you got your ears checked because, you know, when I play, the alarm will sound play those trombone. Bell is here in my right ear all the time, and I've been doing that for fifteen years now, and it's just something that I used to new music ensembles. I've got Aaron Miller playing the piccolo, right, three feet away from my right, you know, So I just I've gotten used to be overwhelmed with sound.
It's something I always think that couple couple tangents from that. I always think it's funny when, like death metal and hard core guys think their music is so tough and strong and everything. You know, because I listened to hardcore music when I was in seventh, eighth grade. Whatever. No, but you know it's not anywhere nears intense is Babbitt, for example. You know, I mean, put those guys in a room listening to Babbitt for a while and see if they could handle it, you know.
Ah, and the three intensity sound this show I did on Saturday, for example, with some electronica artist. I mean, there's some pretty intense sounds and a lot of noise based stuff, but still nothing compared to the Nagas. It's it's it's it's It's more intense and uglier and nastier, and yet it's so it's it's I think there's a stereotype of classical musicians is being delicate little flowers, but in my world, at least you're exposed to a lot of intense stuff, right?
Well, and you mentioned the sound listening, too. Here's something that I seen when I go see a concert at every Morissette or what, Whatever. And you hear acoustic music, acoustic part music to be more specific. And then I compare that do you experience is seeing under the piano just being washed with sound. I find I find it. I find that experience fascinating for assault. I think that's really cool is to be like seeing a panel that sounds just to have it sound all around you.
When you go see a concert and you're sitting one hundred feet away from the you know you are twenty feet or whatever and seeing acoustic musicians, uh, the experience Arlie is you have to You have tio really point your ears in that direction to get focused on the music because it just doesn't. It just doesn't ram into your ears. Like I think most people's music these days does, um, and But sometimes you know, like I always thought I would enjoy this jazz this Big Bang concert forty times more if I were just like sitting right in the middle of the ensemble instead of, you know, in the audience, do you ever?
It's one thing I worry about. I want to get to something else in a second. But the first thing I want to say is that something that really worry about with alarm will sound because the alarm will sound. Experience is so different in different venues. When we played the Sheldon, a relatively small, intimate environment, there's just a level of connection that you get with the audience that you can't get in Missouri theater, for example.
And I even had some students that were at a show that we did the Liga de Show at the shell, and then they saw it here at the Missouri Theater. I thought I was like I was a different experience of It was a completely different experience. What? What? I want to talk about us, how we have so many different kinds of listening in our world today from elevator music. There's music playing around us right now.
I'm not listening to it to drive in the car, listen to music going to a concert, focusing on the music play, being in the middle of the ensemble, playing the music, those air directing, conducting. That's a completely different way of listening as well. There's so many different ways that we experience music today, especially with headphones. I just waved to Abby re hard on the street, and and she takes out her earphone in ways in which I thought was hilarious.
You know, she may not even heard what I said to her, and then she removes her earphone than she was back that's funny. You talked a bit about your dad, Was your dad your earliest role model within your family? And and you have brothers and sisters are having one younger sister? She's four years younger, and she's a flute. Is she went toe you for flute performance. And then she got a master's in music. And now she teaches at a suburban elementary school outside of Indianapolis fishers Indiana.
And wait where, you know, very close. Best friends kind of growing up. So I think again, going back to this family and human being kind of idea, especially tohave, ah, a girl slash woman in your life that you have a close connection with, I think, is really valuable for for Dude. And I think that's been really great great for me. And I worry about my daughter being a coming. Both my wife and I we worry about our daughter, old time being a single child and what that means and the challenges that because we're in a lot of ways.
Karina's best friend, Julie, was telling me the other day that Julie, Esther, you know who are your best French said, While Isabelle and you, you know, so and my mom was not my sister's best friend. It's a very different, very different way of growing on us. Yeah, well, my biggest concern. There are a lot of concerns, but one is just how is Corinna going to be good at making friends? Because she's a a only child at school, she's a little different, you know, whatever.
Every every kid's different. But I think she's less concerned about being part of a group and being friends with people because she can always come home. And, you know, she's got Mommy daddy around, and I think that's that's the one. I don't know if it's the Vegas, but certainly one of the biggest concerns we have about having a only child. Neither Julia are single kids, so I think we, you know, just naturally have a paranoia about.
But getting back to the question was your Was your father your biggest influence in your family? Really? Yeah. Teo, you mean person? Yeah, and it's not like I always want to be a composer, or I only always want to be a professor. But I can honestly tell you that in eighth grade I decided I want to be a composition professor at a major state institution, you know, so there aren't many people who know exactly what they're going to do.
At age fifteen sixteen. I was very fortunate in a way that I that I knew what I was going to do, and there were certainly wave Marines on the way to like. But I think it's some points I thought is going to be a cellist. I think some place that does a composer, whatever. So in that way, my life has been very predictable, but on it any other way, like I never would have imagined that this alarm will sound like I couldn't even picture that when I was in high school or college playing in a new music chamber orchestra, because that didn't even exist in America.
So you know, it's in some ways my life has been very predictable in other ways. It's been very unpredictable. I I certainly didn't think I'd be a conductor, right? Interesting. So the alarm will sound thing that came out of the Eastman. And you all are roughly the same age and same period of Eastman students going college going students. Except for some members, of course, who swapped in and out. But yeah, I think, um I'm the producer of of Saturday Night Live.
What's his name? I warn you, Lorne Michaels. I remember one Michael saying once, when he had to replace somebody, he went young like he didn't try to fight it. Make safe the guy who had been in the business for five years, who was in his mid twenties or whatever and had some experience, he would hire somebody twenty or twenty one who was really raw and really fresh. And that's the way that we've operated in our hiring situations when people have left because we're looking that's great for us because it infuses Cem Cem, New life.
We don't want all B fifty one day, you know, way wantto have some twenty year olds playing along with us in five, ten years. So you know, you've got that fresh and it is easier to party like a twenty year old when you said when you're all fifty. Yeah, I didn't think about that. That's a good point. But you know Frank Zappa also, that that would you know jammers, for instance, who's swapping out quite a bit, come always picking up the people that were guitar players eighteen and twenty two.
Bye virtuosos nonetheless. But you said something about the organization of a normal son. And did you play? Were you a big part of the organizing? So I should organise? I was a founding member of the CIA, so I was with the way we ran out of how many were there. Thanks. Seven eight. Okay, so had aboard. And the way it works is one person or a couple. People would produce a concert. Say, we have, like, four, five concerts year.
Different people would produce their own concerts, and everybody would help them in the production. But there would be one or two producers for each concert. And then you have different responsibilities. Different people have publicity responsibilities, manager responsibilities, directing responsibilities, all this kind of stuff. So that really gave me a great experience with with production and something that that I liked.
I liked putting together a concert. How do you get a orchestra together? How do you get an ensemble together? How do you get the rehearsal space together? And this happens, Eastman or I you buddies also, I didn't do anything. You know, the closest thing that I did, too. Oh, CIA like in terms of precedents. At at Indiana was just, you know, our degree recitals and stuff like composition results point, which was a much smaller scale.
And the whole idea of O. C. A. Was, Hey, let's get out of school because we had a new music ensembles. Music very accomplished, fabulous school sponsored, just like our new music ensembles. Zoo new music ensembles. What was different about associate was completely outside of school. So this was a student run organization. Students could decide who played what music was played when the rehearsals would be when the concerts would be just just, you know, unlimited, almost scary amount of freedom.
Now, Eastman did give us some money for, like, publicity and stuff, but it was really on us to completely to everything. That something that Eastman always done is that Where did you guys just came up in a conversation that I had? I can't remember where it was or what it was, but this idea wide. Why do all these groups come out of Eastman? What is the tradition? And I I think it's just like we're talking something that feeds off of itself.
Students who are interested in doing something different and being entrepreneur and have having initiative and doing something unique, starting something new. That's just with typical spirit of the stereotypical Eastman student. Well, that student goes to Eastman. They have their experience. They meet other students like that. They form a group to go out there, and other students see that happen. And they think, Oh, Eastman, that's that's where that kind of stuff happens.
So there's this thing called the Eastman Initiative, which really started kicking off when I was in school. Like mid mid to late nineties. I think it's when the East initiative started, and that's music. Entrepreneurship. Before there was music, entrepreneurship, the idea that we have to take music to the people, the idea. We have to come up with different strategies with nontraditional ideas for making a career, sharing music fundamentally, you know.
And now, since that time, obviously there have been a lot of riel entrepreneurship programs, including at Mizzou that have grown from that. But I really believe that a lot of this started at Eastman, and you've seen that from the groups that have come in and come out of of Eastman, just in the new music world, Obviously we have alarm will sound. We have so percussion. We have Jack quartet those air, you know, top level groups that art are touring right now all over the world, bye and having incredible experiences.
And that's just a new music, let alone all the other. You know, quartets and trios. Stuff eyes, Eastman. Was their curriculum more conservatory based or more Ah, I forget what it is called, but more, you know, incorporates more diversity of classes, like onto one wish things like in one way Eastman is like ultra conservatory and that you have a dorm. And across the street there's a school. And if you're eighteen years old, that's all you see for four years.
So you're really you're It's almost like you're inundated with music school. You can't escape it just just just a constant part of your life. I think there are some positive and negative things to that, especially for undergraduates. But in another way, it's a little bit open toe. Other things because academics are really important there. The idea of going to concerts is really it's. So if you go to Juilliard, for example, you could almost hear my discontent in my voice.
You know, you go to your practice room for ten hours. I mean, you was the same way. I had friends. They would not do anything until they got there. Eight hours of practice and they're not going to their homework. They're not going hang out. Not going to go to a concert like that's the focus is on yourself. Your plane in your teacher like that's ninety percent of what you do is you practice and you go to your teacher because that's your so singularly focused on being able to play the violin.
Well, at Eastman, there was amore the holistic attitude. You're gonna learn about music history. You're gonna learn about music theater. You're gonna hear other people play different kinds of instruments. Orchestra is a little bit important. You know this, this kind of stuff. So in that way, I think it is not so much a stereotypical conservatory. And when you were practicing that shell a lot, which I assume there was a point in your life where you practice a lot because you're always talking about how much you're not to tell us.
But in a way, you're phenomenal cellist. And so there must have been a point. Which you were. Yeah, The way I look at it and I'm not, I'm not a cellist. Like my buddy Bjorn, who plays in St Louis Symphony. He is a dude that practices eight hours a day. You know, like he's singularly focused on the cello. And there's so many things that come with that Your instrument, your beau, taking care of everything and knowing everything about I don't know anything about fellows don't know anything about Bose.
I just, you know, play the cello. So yeah, I really don't see myself like like, you know, we have a very dull it's alright. Tell Professor is leaving and something simple. Why don't you teach children? No, no, no. That's not what I do. You know, I've had one cello student my whole life. It was complete disaster. I don't feel that I'm even qualified. Teo do that remotely. Whereas I feel very strongly that qualified.
I've studied with the greatest until teachers on the planet and played What is all this stuff? But it's never been my focus. You know, I've never been obsessed with it. Your happiness is, but how many hours I get the peak practice Most of the hours that you're not even close to six to eight hours more to two or three, you know, which is just not enough. I had a friend braided flat Flanagan, who came to you and I when I came in, you know, it's like baby assistant principal and as principal its use in the back.
She practiced her brains out for four years and became a phenomenal cellist. And I actually I had this feeling when I was a team. One of the dumb things that I thought was you're as good as you're going to be at age eighteen that I've learned time and time again that that is not true. You can even get better between ages. I've seen people get unbelievably better between ages thirty and forty, just just through hard work in terms of their plane and also through their, you know, their exposure what they do like I have friends that play and play pop music and stuff on violent are improvised Digest and that stuff that you can continue to learn.
They have to work harder than when they were younger. Or is it just a matter of finding the free time, which you have ample amount, is fighting the right situation, working with the right people being around the right? Being the right environment. What really works? Yes, well, I won't talk a little bit about composing in music and art were truth and talking about. Let me grab another coke. Oh, yeah. Go for it.
I have to build up all the ass to my stomach. Yeah. What? Yeah. This is so funny. They're talking about how Oh, it's cool. That belt Easter got hit in the face because he flipped his bat in the playoffs. I mean, how do you equate those two things So funny? You're a big sports. Have a huge sports fan. Have you always been a sportsman? Yes. Is your dad's sports fan? Yes. Really? I'm surprised. Yes. In fact, my dad just wrote me an email.
I was I was kind of impressed. He's like, So what's going on with the tickets for the Steelers when they play in Indianapolis? So I was like, Oh, I'm glad you're keeping up on this. Be there. I'm actually going Tio Stanley Cup the Western Conference finals, Game two in St Louis tomorrow night with Scott Human. It's my going away present to him. Scott. Human. Who's that? He's one of our three professors. He's only been around for a year, but it's It's been great to have him.
He's peeping fantastic. Sounds fun. What? Okay, So where does music come from for you? Is it created in you intellectually, or are you just a vehicle? And it flows through you When? When your thinking when you're putting notes on the page. So the way I like to talk about the compositional processes is in two phases. There's the improvisational phase where you just coming up with ideas that's very into. And then there's thie compositional phase, where you're working with processes and ideas and and shaping that music in a way.
So you're getting some idea tossed on the paper or the computer, and then you're manipulating that idea. You're playing around with it. You're shaping it, making a piece out of it. So it becomes an organ organic process where it starts from this and it grows into something bigger. And that's that's that's a well, lookit, lookit company company process. Okay, So improvisation and then development, basically.
Exactly. Yeah. Oh, What guides your decision making do? Are you someone that deliberates more on things or you just go with your first thought all the time or something I believe in a very Darwinian idea of ideas. So if I have an idea floating around in my head, I don't immediately unless I'm really, you know, short for time and I have to come up with material. I like Tio let that kind of banged around in my head for a while, and I feel like, well, if it sticks around, it's a strong idea.
If it floats away, it's not been that great right? Cobb. Now there might be a moment where I come up with an idea, and I'm like, That's really hot and I sing it into my iPhone or something of that immediately. Try to capture it immediately. Use that tool lot, yeah. Because I like that in another. Another thing that I like to do is if you're trying to get, you know, a Zai mentioned, you have this little lick and then you work with it for a while, But it's It's always also good, I think, to have some bread to your composition, and in order to accomplish that breath, I think you have to feel things in real time.
I think the best way to feel things in real time is just to create music in real time. So maybe sing minute to ninety second section of the peace into the iPhone just to feel that went Aziz. I do a lot when you're working Barda Bar in a really fast tempo, and it's taking forever. It's such a different feeling to just put a bunch of information out there to get Phil. When you do these and this is next says you do often or is a part of your process just part.
I mean, yeah, it's always too much time to do something in real time. That's improvisation. Exactly. Well, it's quasi improvisation because you already have some right background, you know? So, like I have a feeling like, Okay, this needs to happen. It's going to take me a long time to to flesh this out. Why don't I just try to do it? And then I can transcribe it and I continue to tweak. It's not like it done, you know?
Then you go back to that developmental process where you, you tweak it a little bit, shape it get get the time. But it's nice to just get get the ideas flowing again to feel in real time. I had a couple of my first composition teacher and I you've Red Fox, who I loved and adored. He would always encourage us to conduct through our pieces while we're working on them so we could feel them in real time because you just get so locked into this measure by measure, feeling about everything.
But what does it sound of the first first time? Listener, Right? That's one thing I'm really concerned about. It is. How does the audience experience the work? It's so much different than then me, who knows exactly everything. For at least it's supposed to happen, right Miles Davis, I think. Or he talked a lot about that jazz about the space in between notes and in emphasising the importance of of space as things tend to get busier.
I mean, I it seems like things get busy busier in art music in the last hundred. But I can't really say that because, you know, Bach is incredibly busy. Uh, so maybe it's always been in, You know, there's the business never stops in a way, but it slows down a little bit. But it's always been a concern for come posers. Probably Yeah, I mean, you could make an argument that a five voice Fuga Bach is the most complicated.
Yeah, music that there is, You know, that six voice Richard Carr. How How can you even think about it processing that your brain right now? It's it's it's a lot. But when you talk about this process improvisation and then flushing out ideas and developing them, and then going back to your iPhone and singing into it's just a section of peace or to get some idea of the pacing or whatever what percentage of your compositions are made in this fashion or or is the next piece that you make like going toe might just have a totally different process while I write a lot of different kinds of music.
So I think each each process is a little different. One thing that I've really go gotten into and done a lot with in the past five years is using called OPM, Other people's Music two to inspire my ideas or pay homage to ideas. And there are lots of different kind of degrees of separation or connection to these work. So I have a piece called Tom Brody Ravel which Dan Willet Commission. And he wanted it.
He he had a hobo on piano arrangement of Tomba Duro. Thomas Cooper and and he wanted to pair it with a piece that was, you know, based on Rivelle, the time of the Cooper. And and I said, Well, I'm just gonna kind of take the Tom Bo Cooper Ram and projected through my own voice, right filter. That's whatthe filter it through my own voice. So it sounds like me. It was a lot of fun, and I literally sat there with the score to Tom to Cooper and and I reworked it so it would sound like me and I made all these connections and stuff.
It was a lot of fun, really enjoy it. It's a big piece. It's like twenty minutes long, and it was really easy, Tio, right, Because I had this source material toward this inspiration, you form the same and the former big moments, small moments. It's all it lines up in some way. I mean, you may extend something good. I think the connections are really clear, but I still think that there's a really cool difference that it sounds like stuff in front, right?
Right, because it's your It's your harmonic language, my harmonic language, language, my instrumentation, my piano writing, right? All these things. So, yeah, that was a lot of fun. I have a mash up of piece by Stravinsky, Soldier's Tale and the world's greatest progressive rock tunes. Tom Sawyer by Rush, which is called The Soldier, Dances with Tom Sawyer. So the two pieces just fit perfectly together.
They operate alongside each other and that that was a lot of fun to do done. I just wrote a completely original violin piano piece for our violent professor, Julie Rosenfeld, and it does have one quote from hip hop tune. But besides that, it's, you know, original music. But that's one of the things I think it's so cool about doing these different kinds of things. You start realizing how unoriginal everything is.
Yeah, everything has some sort of connection. As soon as you start writing notes, there are only twelve notes, for example. They're so many shapes and ideas that we use, which are borrowed or influenced by pre existing music, right? It's hard to know how, what what is original. What is borrowed? I think, ever listening to this quote Once upon a time, there was something like Even if you dream in you, you have most wildest dream and things that you've never done or encountered the floor In the real world, you're probably dreaming in color, you know, And the colors are of the world.
You know, you can You can't get too far away. In other words, right from that, uh, you talking about dreaming and colored. One thing that I think is interesting is I saw this article on CNN, which was all about all the landscapes of the used in Star Wars. They're all based on places that really exist on earth. It's like nature in our real world is even beyond our imagination of of what things could possibly be.
I thought that was really interesting, that nature, that reality goes beyond our greatest imagination. When we see it in a certain context, we think, Whoa, that's so otherworldly and so bizarre. But nature is able to do that. And music is similar that we think some things are so bizarre and so different unique outside of this world. But it's still the same note still sound there's You could always again what is what is different.
But the same right? That's all. All relative. And it takes so little to be inspired, I guess in a way, I was just talking about this with someone else. I don't know about plants and in being inspired from nature, but I can't remember at this point spent too long. But the person is a gardener, lifelong guard or scientist. I can't remember which one. But someone who is incredibly obsessed with with the growth of these particular plants just got hooked on this just because, like tasting a strawberry, they just found that infinitely fascinating.
You know, just this one small thing to be hooked for life basically in this sort of. And I mean, if you zoom in there something, always be fascinated by the whole world of complexity that you know, One thing that I think is amazing is when Carl Sagan Cosmos talks about where the cousins of the trees, our cousins, the trees, how much closer we are. Two trees like you and I think of ourselves as different people, but we're so incredibly similar when you look at the the percentages in ways that our genetic code could be similar, right?
It's like ninety something percent, whereas a tree is still fifty percent still pretty darn close, right? Come on, because all living things are very unique in the fact that they are living. So sorry just told the guy. No, no, no, that's interesting. I have another question here that it's probably appropriate now, But were you raised a particular religion? And so are you still practicing? Yeah, so I was.
It's kind of funny story. My dad is Catholic, went to Catholic school and then went to a public school, and he was in high school. My mom was Episcopal and I was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and my dad played organ at a piss couple church, which was the I don't know how these things were the campus Episcopal Church of the University, where he taught Memphis State University, called Barth House, and this was in the seventies.
So things were really, you know, chill and liberal back then, and I actually had Episcopal and Catholic baptism at the same time. So you know how strict Catholicism, especially now that you can't even take communion unless you've been baptized. Well, this Catholic priest was willing to give me a Catholic baptism in an Episcopal church. Oh, I can imagine now. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. This is just the same service, and I don't really know why that was.
I think they probably just find I don't think my parents will care that much. They probably found somebody who was willing to do it. They were like, that's great idea. Let's do it. So, Yeah. So I take communion in a Catholic church, and I don't think twice about even, though, if you look on the back of the pretty program. You know, if you have not been baptized Catholic, right? So anyway, Yeah. So I grew up Episcopal.
My mom taught music at a beautiful pickle church in Memphis. St John's Episcopal Church. I really loved thie idea of church. I was an acolyte and then a senior acolyte. Does that mean I'm just the guy that carries the cross down? Okay, so is a participant in the senior acolyte. I actually got to do a lot of things dealing with communion. I would wash the priest's hands. I would handle the bread and wine, so that was really cool, and I really dug that.
But, you know, as I was growing up, I began to be stepped skeptical of sex. Sorry, skeptical about a number of things I remember. The first thing I was skeptical about was just how things went down Easter morning, like, OK, the rock moves, or goes like the rocks there, How? The mechanics of the resurrection. You know, I couldn't really figure out how that would work. And then, as I got older, especially going to so many services and being at something sort of you recite the Nicene Creed over and over and over again.
And the idea of the Trinity just really bothered me. The idea of the three wait are they separate and they save. And the Holy Spirit. What does that mean? So, yeah, I really loved the tradition of church. Didn't like the people at my church. It's one thing that I that I didn't like, but but I liked having conversations about religion and ethics, and you had conversations about religion at church. Yeah, it would have Sunday school, especially like our school.
Sunday school was just like whoever shows up and just talk about stuff like you talk about the lesson for the day, talking about the gospel, and I need to talk about what it means, which I thought was cool. Like I said, I was lessons. Where you going? Look, I don't I don't know about this Holy spirit, you know? Or was this that time when you were just kind of talking? Yeah, I definitely more obliviously.
And the guys that talk to class, where were you know they were They knew they were dealing with high schoolers and stuff. They were cool toe, having opened its Episcopal Church, is about his laid back. You get, You know, my mom is now practicing Unitarian. Don't even know what that is. But I like to make fun of her about that. It's like, you know, church without church, church without any ideas. My, my cousin actually is.
He may be training to be a Unitarian minister, and I've actually been to his church, so yeah, that's what I could talk on about that. But yeah. So anyway, I gradually became more and more skeptical. And in college, I would go to like Easter serve. Even when I was an Eastman, I would go to Easter Eve. I remember one night Ah, I was out all night, Attn, Eastman and showed up. I think I did not go to Easter Eve service that weekend and went to the Easter service.
And I just smelled like, you know, booze cigarettes that ever I was not. I've never smoked in my life. But, you know, this was every bar, you know, that's another thing has changed immensely in the past ten. Fifteen years is like you could not go to a bar without just being covered in cigarettes, you know? And now that's not even a concern. So anyway, I remember going up to commune. I hadn't taken a shower.
Anything. And I, like, put my arms was Oh, my God. I must look terrible right now getting getting commuted for this priest and yeah, then moved out here, and I just I I went to a gun, a Calvary Episcopal, a couple times. But since we've had created, we choose baptized. But I haven't been going church very much, so I'm I'm I'm very agnostic at this point. Is that something your father talks to you about?
My dad is a is a declared atheists at this point. Interesting. Okay, You know, I'm pretty darn close to that at this point, but I also really, But he still lives in church. No, he doesn't. He doesn't. He doesn't play a church anymore. My mom sings in the Unitarian Church choir, but my dad hasn't had a church gate. I'm glad you brought that up because I had church gigs to So when I was in high school, I would go to church twice because I would be the senior acolyte from my church And then I would sing professionally and acquire for a Presbyterian church.
And that was kind of interesting, too, because Presbyterian's have all this predestination stuff. Of course, I was just like, Come on. Yeah. So, yeah, I mean, I really love the tradition, especially the Catholic church I love. I love the tradition of religion in general. I think that's really cool, but the ideas and everything I'm not not such a big fan of, so, yeah, so it's funny because I feel, ah, defensive sometimes when people come come down on organized religion, but also, I certainly never want to find myself defending any of those beliefs that people think are absolute, you know?
Because I just think they're so they took my value system, I think, to American Value Systems, they just they just r incompatible. Just don't work, you know? So, yeah, to go off a little bit right now. It's good. Do evil people exist, Or does evil use people as a vehicle? My daughter seems to ask that question all the time. Exactly that way. Pretty, pretty good at answering at this point. Yeah, I think evil definitely does exist.
And evil people. I think I think maybe people are bored. It's funny because, you know, when you talk to some psychologists and social scientists, they they believe that that we're really evil people, that everyone has a core, animalistic, dominating instincts, and that somehow, just through maybe maybe just over time as well as part of evolution, we've kind of put those down a little bit. But we still have there's still a core part.
I mean, we are animals, right? So we should have those those instincts. So that's a good question is how much evil is part of that animalistic background and how much of it is from the other side learning. Oh, boy, if I do this, I can get all this stuff and I can have all this power, right, you know, So there's also a human aspect to that as well. So yeah, I definitely think that that evils of a part of who we are and that we all we all have good instincts.
We have bad instincts. And if we don't regulate those and they get, they get all out of whack right? At some point, they all all in thinks probably were good. But as the world grows a lot. A lot of those most have instincts too young, but and sometimes that that suits the I'm really big into Darwinism and an aberration. I just saw Richard ATTEN borough special. It was called Life of mammals. But it was all I was looking at our evolutionary development through what?
What we need to eat, basically, that Matt mammals have developed in certain ways in order to be able to process and eat different kinds of food. And that, of course, leads to other things. So, uh, as I'm staring here looking at this delicious pizza, I'm very proud to be a tte the top of the life cycle. The food tree and I'm really is amazing, isn't it? I mean, that ex crush, everything has been processed toe fit or anything like Teo eat that bread is a miracle of modern.
One of one of the things that this special said is learning to cook was a huge part of human development. Michaels, We didn't have to spend so much time chewing. Yeah, it's easier to chew and digest this Michael plan didn't go out and play music. That's crazy. Yeah, sit around the campfire there's, Ah, there's a little thing that I do. Sometimes it's not. My Marshall McLuhan had this te tried, which is like four questions you ask her so about each invention.
It was like, What does what does a concert? You focus on the invention of a concert, Siri's or whatever, or focus on the invention of a plate and and you say, What does that enhance or intensify? Or what does it render obsolete in terms of or what does it become? One Preston extreme, like a car, becomes a home or a boat or something like that. But what does it bring back That was previously obsolescence and figured out that basically on that one, you can basically answer campfire or sitting around the campfire for about everything You know What does a plate bring back?
Write a campfire in some way? What does a concert bring campus? It's like, Anyway, this idea campfire and cooking is, I think it's probably what makes us human, as you said. So speaking of evil, though, in a more practical way of looking at that is, How do you advise someone to deal with an enemy? Oh, that sounds like another question that my daughter's been asked, Yeah. Oh, that's a great point. I like in my daughter's case, I really want to say smack to shit out.
You know, I really want because was that your weight? I mean, are you a physical or violent person? Well, when you were younger or whatever, Yes and no. I certainly beat the crap out of some people in the past, and I had mixed results with that. Sometimes it worked out really well. In other cases, the person beat the crap out of me for the next ten years. Right. So we're talking like, visit. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Ah, so it's I do. So there's some girls getting physical with my daughter at school, and I'm really tempted. It's like, you know, if you just saw the crap out of them turn, how could a mess with you anymore? You know? But then there are all these things at the school about it. So, so different than when I was growing up. But that was just like, you know, you would have fights school and that I don't remember getting.
I remember getting sent the pencil bubbles office once, but out of all the fights, maybe once in elementary school. Once in junior high school, I can remember being was an elementary schooler. That was horribly unfair because I thought, you know the other guys, you should be the driver in principle. But with all the numbers to fight the dozens of fights I got into that only times I got sent the principal's office, so yeah, it's But now, you know, I'm so worried that she's going to get major trouble or whatever for doing something like this.
So I've not encourage my daughter to be violent. I guess Long, long, short. And my wife and I, we've really encouraged her to tell the person of authority, Hey, this is happening, and it's not right and you know, because that's the thing. If you're going to say we have a zero bullying tolerance price here, we have a zero violence posse. Well, then somebody has to enforce it. Because if the kid isn't allowed to, you know, punch the bully in the mouth, then somebody else has to regulate the bully.
They're also just a bad situation. You're gonna have these things that perpetuated themselves for for a long time. So we've encouraged her to talk to the teachers and people authority about about this kind of stuff and work it out. But the thing that we found is that they just don't do I think you know that there's so so you have all these new rules, But things worked much. The way is when I was growing up where nobody, really there's just more like the kids, but the kids handle it.
So, like the natural order of operations kind of dictates what what happens so very lazy faire attitude, you know, they're all these rules and everything. So it sze a little frustrated with How do you deal with this enemy? Yeah, I, uh, trying, especially with my own personal enemies for people that I don't like. I think I have enemies for for a couple different reasons. Like one might be rivalry. You know, Mike, just be misunderstanding.
You know, sometimes I've I've had people that I might can consider and only enemies or people that didn't like that became really good friends, you know? So I think working together, if you if you admire, like in case of a rivalry and which is you probably admire the person that you're looking at, right. Working with that person can can really be helpful doing something constructive, you and something constructive together, working together, creating something.
And then then we're talking about similarities and differences a little. Then you really see the similarities that you have. I've been thinking about the way people dress a lot lately, you know, and I feel like maybe we've gotten to a point time where people just wear whatever they want to wear. You know, I know I wear whatever I want. So obviously there, they're people like the Elektronik guys that I work with on Saturday.
They dress like, you know, electric hoodies and combat boots In this kind of stuff, it's like it's like it's like, this is who I am, you know, you're just saying, but I still work with, you know, But when we're working, there's there's there's No So that's a divide like it's a very physical, visual, obvious divide, right that this person looks, But then we're on stage together and were making music together.
And you're saying that bothers you? I I don't I really don't like the whole idea of I'm going to take on this persona or this I'm going to wear my hair this way address this way because I'm gonna be part of this group for this. This, ah, really social statement. So do you think that when people say like Oh, this is who I am? You think that's that's They're saying that How can it be possible that that many people have long beards?
I just don't know. It doesn't That doesn't that they're altogether, that they've got to be more unique. There's got to be more uniqueness to that. It just can't can't be. I mean, everybody is wearing a long beard right now, and I just can't believe that that all those people are part of the same team, and it seems to contradict itself. It's like I'm going to be unique by by wearing the pants or cuffing my pants this way or wearing my hair this way.
You're growing my beard this way, and then you become like everybody else. Yeah, no, no. I always win one of that social gathering or something. And everyone's smoking weed or something. For instance, I might go to line these days. Is Billy here? Are their passing around like, Oh, no, I don't smoke. I'm trying to be countercultural. That's a very good point. Yes, but you're right. It becomes, you know, alternative music becomes popular or whatever, and it just seems so immature because, yeah, I cuffed, I bought jams and I cut my pants is I wear argyle socks.
I've done a lot of things with that when I was in junior high school, you know? I mean, these guys are thirty four years is, you know, right. I'm sure they would say, Hey, I'm just being myself just but you're wearing the exact same glasses and beer, beard and hair styles. Everybody else. It just feels artificial. It seems it seems that, Yeah, it seems unbelievably, it seems seems ridiculously artificial to me.
Yeah, it's fun. And it's I think that's one of cool things about alarm. Will sound is that way all dress, and I think we all look very different. I think we all dressed differently. We all, uh I don't know where our hair differently. That's right. Way to say it, but yeah, I think I think everybody's very, very comfortable with their own kind of persona style what? Whatever you wanna call it, but but you still are group.
And there's enough because we see what what binds us together. I mean, it's funny. When I was talking about the enemy, I was thinking in particular about the horniest of alarm will sound Matt Marks. And I I used to hate Matt, and he's been the one player from day one. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And you know, I love him to death. Now it's and I think a lot of I looked at him and yeah, he I mean, he was he was an asshole in a dick and all this kind of.
But were you? Well, sure. Yeah. I mean, that's exactly right Yeah, Um, so we But But I didn't know him and, you know, he's he's walking around acting like he's big stuff and everything and God having a relationship with the most beautiful girl adjustment on this kind of stuff. So yeah, there's jealousy there also, just, you know, you go kind of thing. And but once we started working together, I was like, Man, this guy's hilarious and awesome, right?
We'll find out that there's your less competing against each other directly. And yeah, I mean, that's another thing I realize is it's pointless to compete in the arts because there's nothing really to compete for. So, you know, if we just God thie idea, I've always say there's no such thing as a famous composer. For example, we all walk out on Ninth Street. We ask somebody, Hey, who's your favorite composer today?
They might say John Williams, so that's going to be about it right now. Nobody knows anybody. What's going on there's There's a very limited amount of fame out there, if any. So just a little pointless to be concerned about such trivial things, right? So he's basically like, well, if I'm going to worry about it. I have to try to be John Williams and that, Well, that's not what I'm going to do. So But bring the circle.
That's what we keep telling my daughter's just play with with this girl that she's having this issue with school. You know, just play with her, just will have her over to, and I bet they would again. They'd probably become best friends, and someone write interesting. That's really interesting. Um, what's more important? Conviction or compromise? And we have about five, ten minutes left, so I'll probably starting to ask just a few closing questions after this.
Yeah, so no number conviction is just ridiculous. Not its not not you yet. You can be miserable. If you look at the people who have really strong convictions, they're miserable people. I think, in this way, with the political political situation, I just looked at a lot of people. I think she's there. They're they're not having a good time. You know, I'm having a great time right now. I love my life. And, yeah, I know things aren't perfect politically, and I guess I should be more mad about that.
But if you really focus on that on your convictions and your negativity and how everything isn't exactly as you wish it were. You're never going to be content and never going to enjoy things. Senate compromise is really important. I'll tell you one thing I learned from a CIA, which I don't know if it's necessary conviction or compromise, but a weird form of both is rather than compromising. Say, Okay. You don't like this kind of music.
I don't like that kind of music. He loves that kind of music. He look, What are we going to do, Something middle of the road rather than do that. What we decided we would do is we say this person has passion for this kind of music. Let's have that person produced this concert, and we'll help Help him or her put on that concert and be great. Right? Then we do something, We go this purse. Okay? What do you feel passionate about?
So So in the arts, that kind of conviction and passion can actually be really important. Because then you really you go to that that beyond place. If you're just watering everything down and looking for compromise, you're going to get all these shades of gray If you go really vibrant, one direction are really wild and the other you're going to get something very special in general, you know, obviously you Khun Khun bus two minutes, certainly situations where that can end up in disaster.
But I like the idea of taking chances in doing things that people are really passionate about. I don't think that works so well in politics. I think it works great in the arts. But I think we've seen time and time again. If we go to the extremes in politics, it's a disaster. Well, it seems like, you know, in politics, everyone's trying tto be under the same identity, you know, like we're Americans. And this is how we think.
That's what everyone says, you know? And so, you know, it is America, you know, were Americans, we have guns. And then No, no, no, we're Americans. We don't have guns. That that's what that's people running up opposite directions but still trying to identify with, you know, this one big thing. But where's the arts? You know, Or with this concert producing, it sounds more like, Oh, you know you're going to go produce this this concert full of stuff that I don't like, and you're going to do it.
I'm going to help you do some logistical things, but and you can still be involved with that and you can say, Well, this is your project of the day. It's not my identity, it's your identity and I'm just helping you. And then when it comes time for your project like this is everything I am, you know, and the identity is separated. I don't I'm just speculating. But, um, involved in politics. It just seems like this.
So there's too much identity that everyone wants to invest in herself in, and it's all the same because I was about to say, Well, you know, politics is a lot more intense than the arts. But people really intense about art. Yeah, you know, I always love it. When I look at some piece on YouTube and there's the comments page, I'm just like, Oh my God, he's like, It's the same kind. You see all the racist stuff that people write on a political article.
They write the same kind of racist stuff on a on a on a piece of music right? Yeah. You know, they use different terms and, you know, they're talking about a Polish person instead of a, you know, American person, but it's it's it's the same kind of, you know, just derogatory, bigoted comments. Yeah, that that's going on. And I get upset about that, but yeah. Yeah. Z I think that's there's something weird about, you know, Internet and the and and and Amenity Inn that people just say things that they probably don't even fully believer mean.
But it's harder when you in conversation, you can You can heip up how much you mean a statement. Like, I don't like this music or whatever, by your voice. But how can you do that with just text? Will you, Adam? Some color words or something? I don't know exactly, though, but Okay. So how do you find peace of mind? Well, one thing I do is when when I'm out, I'm really out. If I go on a vacation, I really remove myself from from my usual day to day activities.
It's kind of funny because I like seeing my sister a couple weeks ago. And when I'm with my sister, usually it's a my parents house, and I'm not doing anything. You know, I'm sleeping in watching TV, Your phone sitting in your backpack, it's I'm trying not to mess with any of that stuff. And then, you know, she came and she hung out with me in St Louis, where I had a piece played by the St Louis Symphony and I conducted a concert, the World Chess Hall Fame, and she was like you Wow, it's really crazy to see what you really do get Teo, you know, sit around on the couch watching, you know, whatever sporting event happens to be on the TV and you know, it's it's It's neat to see all the stuff that I know you do, but it's neat to see it in person.
But I'm kind of took a lot of pride in that. Not that she saw all the sister. You know, I could have pride in the fact that that she, you know, noted, Oh, but you can completely remove yourself from that and just be a dude for a while, you know, and you know that's that's that's how I think I cope with it. Deal with it on it on a daily basis. Yeah. I mean, I go home and I I run around the backyard with my daughter for a while, you know?
So I think I am good at separating with these things. And, you know, instead of keeping the phone and your your back pocket, you throw it in a drawer, right? You know, you're just real directed into whatever you're doing at the moment. You know, like, I'm going to dedicate this next four hours doing email and you're just super into doing email. Ryan, It's not something that you're constantly worried or thinking about.
You said, put it in little boxes so you can externalize yourself from distance yourself in some strange way I enjoy doing doing that. Like, yeah, solving problems and making things work. Right? You know, really feed off that. Okay, that's one twenty one. Do you have time for just a few more? Not. Don't worry about just let's do what we gotta do. Okay? Uh, what moment? In your life where you absolutely, totally love So is it Street again?
What moment or memory in your life where you absolutely, totally was I loved. Yeah, because that means that I love, you know, just cause it was so recent, I would I just say that the St Louis Symphony performance and experience one thing that I was really moved by is and they're sixteen hundred people in the audience. There's a lot of people in powerful pa Falls Huge. I mean, Mets. I was really I've been there many times, but kind of sitting in different locations and getting a feel for how huge it was.
I was really blown away by its immense size, but I was sitting down in the orchestra section for my piece because I had to get up on stage afterwards. And when David Robertson, who's the conductor of the symphony, said My name, Ah, whole group, This is before the peace. Even a ah whole group of people went ape shit and I was really I was. One of the coolest thing that's ever happened to me is you're here.
Sixteen hundred people are sitting there and there's already a cheering section and it validated me so much because of course, for fifteen hundred people in the state. Never heard of Stephan flowing. Right? Well, the hundred or so people there that had they really validated me in that moment. And I really think at that point, probably the whole line's was Well, this must be if if he's crazy looms up there are that excited about this guy or this piece they're about to here?
It must be worth something, right? And it's just been a probably just went for me. Uh, there's this peace that I've never heard of contemporary means to. Well, this this is This is worth listening, right? So I definitely felt loved in that moment. I felt in that loved in that moment when they all went eight. And I certainly felt love when I got up on the stage and everyone's cheering and all this kind of stuff, That's a great, great feeling, you know, Standing Ovation or what?
Another one that happened recently was when we I played the St Louis to fifty concert. It was a concert of celebrating two hundred fiftieth anniversary, The city of St Louis with Sheldon and I wrote the The finale for that and you know we finish it and everybody stands standing room only at the Sheldon, which again is a real intimate venue. And you just feel that, you know, really hops up and goes nuts.
That's that's a great feeling that you're there standing ovations. But the immediate standing ovation when you're on stage is field. All these people stand up. That's That's an incredible feeling. Yes, So I definitely felt loved in that all too good good answers. If the publisher was to release your autobiography off the Top your head, what would the title be? A lot. It's funny because we're doing a Stephane frying album for alarm will sound.
I've been thinking a lot about No the title for that. And, yeah, they've been very amusing ideas that have come to my head. Yeah. With the title be for the autobiography, like one of one of the ones that I've been thinking about for alarm. Will Sound is Alarm will sound play Stephan Freud. It's about time you likewise it taken fifteen years t get an album out of a dude that you know founded the ensemble.
Basically, that's just the kind of way that we work. We take forever. Do everything seems. Yeah, but there's so many different. I'm just thinking about how my life and career has had so many sides to it that it's hard to hard to concentrate on, maybe, like a whole life or something like that with the W nada h. But no a complete life or trying to to get his many, maybe some sports analogy to good sum sum like time.
You know how time related I wrote a paper one point about connections between sports and music. And the idea of time is very important in both, you know, So maybe something about time, time and rules. Yeah, rule. Yeah, yeah. Rules, too, are very important in a No. And there there's because I live in so many different worlds. I'm living by a different set of rules like No, there's a different set of rules when I'm meeting with a student privately first teaching a class versus speaking to a colleague and then being with my daughter and then having dinner with my things my language is going to be a little bit different in all those different situations.
You know. So And that's just one thing. Yeah, And that's just one day. Yeah, right so out. Yeah, it's I think playing by different rules could could be part of that. I don't have a specific title. Radio. I'm sorry. They they want to simply gluing the binding. What smell would it be? I love BlackBerry. Blackberry? No. Good. If it's that she was built in your honor, where would it be displayed? And what would it be made of?
Well, I've always dreamed of having an obelisk on the quad, so that's pretty easy. What is an obelisk? I feel well, the Washington Monument is obelisk. And there we have some obelisks on the quad. Is jobless defined by what material is like it's it's it's Uh uh, So square three dimensional object that has a triangle at the top so goes up and usually tapers. It goes up. Okay, toss. Like the Washington Monument in Washington.
Monument is an obelisk. Okay, catch it. And it just says that person's name on the side or something. Yeah, Interesting. Please tell me something good you've never had and you never want something good. Well, vegan food, probably, but I've had some vegan food. Let's see here a vegan. Have a vegan cookie. Like this is not a toxin oxymoron, because I actually have had a good guy. Got problem is I've had a vegan.
Could be. And I think it wasn't that bad, but yeah, generally stuff that's good for you. I'm not not interested in that much. Rather have have this guy, right? Okay. I got some brooches or right or Andy's frozen custard, another one of my local fairs that south side of town. What's the healthiest cultural shift you see developing today? I think I mean, just in general, the exception thie acceptance of the LGBT community is is amazing.
I think about how homophobic I was when I was in high school. Really? And how? How? Yeah, I mean, I was probably actually pretty terrible person. And Ricardo, this is treated some of by homosexual classmates in high school. But yeah, I mean, it's just been incredible how, in many ways, our society is his. His gotten through that into a much healthier place, and, you know, I think, in general, in regards to civil rights and a lot of ways.
What kind of? Hey, we've been through this before. We know what the right answer is. Like the bathroom issue right now is like, you know, we know we know the right side to be on at this point, right? I know they're a lot of people that will just continue to insist on being on the wrong side, no matter what the debate is about. But, you know, in general, I think we've got at least fifty percent plus one when it comes to civil rights voting bill stuff that concerns me.
But the, like this bathroom bill, for example, I think I think we understand, huh? We can either objectify people and make them feel like second class citizens. Or we can just have everyone be part of our society. And I think that's how people are becoming informed. So yeah, I think that's that's been a huge part. Good. What gives you the most optimism? Well, I think just this's going to sound really corny.
But, uh, having a family just allows me to be optimistic, because I'm gonna get to see my my daughter grow up. You know, I just think about how wonderful it is to to have her in my life now, and I know it's going to get Rocky. There's no doubt about that. But just the knowing that I can look forward hopefully to a time with her and futures just. But I think that's the easiest reason for that. Sounds very Darwinian.
His offspring? Yeah, propagation of the species. It's part what is today's most important unreported stories. I wish I was smart enough to say that I really knew what the what the idea is there. But let me think about something that concerns me personally. I mean, growing up, I was really into the idea of autonomy and the the Yugoslav republics breaking up and Tamil rebels and Sri Lanka and all these kind of things that were breaking out.
Now it seems like we have a totally different kind of political situations. That was my big passion when I was in high school, and I thought was another reported nobody cared about. Then, of course, Clinton helped out with the Kosovo situation that kind of changed, but right now, in terms of something that's under reported. Something I feel passionate about. I think just just just education in general.
Don't going back to my daughter, which I know I've been talking about immeasurably here today, but God, I've seen so many wonderful things at her school opportunities that she can get through the arts. And if we just gave kids more opportunities, it would make our world such a better place in the future. So I really think education. I know people talk about education all the time, and I don't know what exactly the right answers are, but I'm biased.
I would say having more arts in school is important. Of course, I love history, too. I love math and I love history. So there are lot of academic subjects that would not. I want to see compromised because I think you know physical education's Grey. I think the arts are great, but how do you how do you get them in to a curriculum without sacrificing all the other things that are important? Think it's a big, big challenge, but I do believe that there are there's got to be a better way to do things in our educational system, so and again I've I've seen it.
I've seen what these kids can do. We've had collaborations with Civic Orchestra through puppetry they play, they have a ukulele ensemble. Julie gains and making orange. They do this drum drum, African drumming class with the kids over there. It's just amazing all the things that can do if you just give them the opportunity, right? They had a African American jazz artists come in and do a peace with them on their last big concentrated giant to our concert that Hickman a few weeks ago.
It just just all amazes me and I'm somebody who grew up in the arts environment. You know, it's a lot of things, but the things that they do it, the school, I just think you're really amazing. And unfortunately, it's just one school in our community here in Colombia, right? Why isn't that happening all over the country? So you're you're very fortunate. You feel we're fortunate to where your daughter's going to school because all these opportunities.
But in satin I am saddened that it's just not the standard. Exactly. Exactly. I mean, not not only is not standard tonight in close, you know, when I hear about music classes of other schools are just like what? And is that one of the reasons why you like Columbia so much? I mean, you live here for years going back to our pizza. I mean, I like it like it doesn't hurt. Uh, I love Colombia for a million different reasons.
So yeah, but certainly I think the school systems in general are great. I think the things that were going on not just elementary school, but also high school levels, The place that they're putting on the strings programs, the bands. Yeah, they seem a lot more like like colleges. To me, Frank and school's doing a lot of things. Yeah, especially like in theater there. Productions are fantastic. So there are a lot of theater, community years, pace.
And I was doing other things. Okay, so these last questions are there's going to be like eight of them, But you just answer Miss fast. Okay? So where we come from, Well, we came from the stuff of the universe from nitrogen hydrogen. And don't you just this weird dust and everything came out of that whether it's living or not, that's why I think it's so cool. About our our connections. We're all made of the same stuff.
Good. What are we? We're the development of that stuff. We're this's. Yeah, we're stuffed continues to develop. And right now, hopefully the stuff will get even cooler. You know that. Have eight arms and be able to play instruments. We can't even imagine it in hundreds of millions of years. But right here, we're now where, as faras, the stuff has evolved here on our planet Point. Good. Where we going? I hope we continue to go.
I mean, that's the one thing as we almost get in each other's way, right? Like we went to the moon, How many years ago? Forty five years ago. And we haven't gotten anywhere past that since. And that's that's that's really disappointing that because we're getting in each other's way. How many lives and how how much money was expended World War two, for example, where would we be without World War two? Where would we be without the Cold War?
Where would we be without all the politics that are going on right now where we have so many essential needs? Because we haven't been able to take care of those essential needs that can't think we can't dream. We can't have right big projects. Good. Who started it all? I don't know. That's a great question. Yeah. I mean, that's the problem with being an atheist. Is that there's no question. It's OK. Are we going to make it?
I'm going to make it, I think. I think I don't know about my daughter's generation. Yeah. I mean, I have a really cynical view towards global warming because I'm like, I think we'll be all right. Yeah, but I really don't know if her generation is going to make it right. That's I'm here, and maybe that's just, uh, self centered egotism. But because every generation has its own problems, but I believe we're going to make it.
But I don't know, You know, if my daughter's generation will Okay, uh, who's cleaning it up? I wish we were. You know that's. I think there's just article today and CNN about, you know, it's the hottest April. How hottest? Twenty sixteen. And yeah, we've we've we've got to clean it up. Or else, you know, that kind of answer is the question stands and asked me a second go. We've got to be the ones that turn things around pronto or it's going to get rough.
Yeah, and I see your last. Your last question there. Is it serious? Yes. That's definitely Syria has Funny is because as the beginning of these questions, there was that, you know, we're going to talk about the environment or something, but and then then, as after about the fourth one, it's like every question is like, Who's clean? Are we going to make its like director? It's that's, um that's a cool thing about the ambiguity.
Yeah, but nature is a hell of a lot stronger than we are personally. So one way or another, it's going to work itself out way, violate ourselves. Somehow. Life is going to come come back in some form, right? It's just Yeah, and that's that's what's amazing when you start thinking about the bigness of the of the universe and the length of time were so ridiculously insignificant. Right? And, you know, we think we're the end all be all of everything that ever has been or will be.
But, you know, we're just very short lived organisms. Just at this point, right? You know? Awesome. Well, thank you. Thank you, Doctor. I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to. This definitely is not disappointed. I really I really enjoyed it. Awesome. Thanks for time in all right. I never.