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Ballet: Emily of Amhest

Posted by on Feb 09 2009 | Emily of Amherst, Music

Since December I have been working on the music for a ballet called “Emily of Amherst.” The ballet is being presented by the Emily Dickinson Museum as a part of Amherst, Massachusetts 250th Birthday. The choreographer is Catherine Fair, the creative director of Amherst Ballet. 80% of the music is written, but half of that still needs to be scored.

It has been a fast-paced, but fun, collaborative process. Catherine and Jane Wald, Director of the Emily Dickinson Museum, wrote the libretto, and Catherine and I work on the music. Catherine tells me what the general character of a given scene should be, and I write the music that I think helps create that character. Catherine then tells me “yes” or “no,” and I work on fine-tuning the parts that work and redoing the parts that don’t.

Working as part of a team is much more satisfying for me than working as a solitary creator — the give and take, the discussion of ideas, the bringing together of different visions of a project is invigorating.

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