Reflections on a Strange Land

I was recently asked to write about an "adventure" I had. There were many good times in Georgia, but none so strange as those in Azerbaijan:

I spent nine months working and studying in the Republic of Georgia on a Fulbright, an experience that oscillated between hilarious and depressing. One of my most thrilling side trips was to Azerbaijan, a nation that is a dictatorship in all but name. As we crossed the border into Azerbaijan by night-train, we were woken by strange men in teal, fuzzy uniforms complete with teal, fuzzy hats: the national border guards. They searched our luggage for radioactive materials and questioned us one-by-one in a sort of friendly, “we-could-make-you-disappear” kind of way. In Azerbaijan, we saw natural wonders and quotidian curiosities: a flaming hillside that had been continuously on fire for over 100 years due to crevices of natural gas; a man roasting a leg of goat, complete with hoof and fur, with a handheld propane torch on the roadside; state-sponsored media characterizing a neighboring country as “baby-killers”, complete with graphic propaganda; an archaeological site containing some of the oldest petroglyphs in the world, close enough to touch; teatime at a delightful Azeri tea house on a grassy knoll. I expected the country to be surprise me, but the shear number of ways it contradicted my assumptions and itself was overwhelming and delightful.

Sounds of the Infinite

What does infinity sound like? Visual interpretations of the infinite aren't so uncommon. But to hear infinity, what would that be like? Spoiler alert: I'm discussing JLA's Become Ocean.

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Confession from a Young Composer

In five days, I will be singing Beethoven's 9th Symphony with Mendelssohn Club. I will be singing this work for the first time. But I will also be hearing it for the first time, because I have never ever heard the final movement of Beethoven's 9th!

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Hey New College women, why aren't you composing?

I had a composition class with another woman once. For one month. It was pretty great. Since we were studying La Mer, we convinced everyone to go on an unofficial field trip to the beach one warm, Floridian, January afternoon. But out of the 11 composition courses that I took, that was the only time I wasn't the sole non-male student.

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Hello, everyone, and welcome to my composition blog! Here I will be discussing the mysterious habits of composers, my compositional process, thoughts about listening, and some anecdotes.

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