News: The Psathas Sessions - Barber

Expressing yourself through music
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So much of our music education is based on sharing music and our interpretation of it with those around us. As a teacher, a big part of my life was exposing students to new music and ways of thinking about things, and my students would do the same for me. Each term, one class was dedicated to sharing something new, it could be a piece of music or technology, but it was an important part of the class to encourage the students to engage with each other. As a young musician, it can be hard to express yourself in words, perhaps that’s why we were drawn to composing because it is easier to use sound as our mode of expression. When you hear a piece that really affects you, you know what does on an emotional level, but you might not know why or how it does that. Sometimes it can spoil the music if you intellectualize it too much, you can lose the magic of it.    

These are things that have been on my mind as I have been curating the Psathas Sessions. One of the fantastic opportunities that come with the Orchestra Wellington Composer Residency is presenting music in unique formats. The Psathas Sessions were dreamt up to be a way to showcase pieces of music that I love and share the reasons why I love it - all with an ensemble present. I’m very excited to dive into Barber’s Adagio this weekend because it is such a dense and moving work. What makes the Adagio truly remarkable is its ability to evoke profound emotions rapidly and intensify them. It effortlessly bypasses your mental filters, amplifies the emotions, and takes you on a cathartic journey where grief is confronted head-on. It engulfs you, guiding you through a powerful wave of emotions, only to emerge on the other side. The impact is profound. This extraordinary piece of music achieves all this in just nine minutes.

You can find more details in this interview I did with Orchestra Wellington here

Psathas Sessions - BARBER

Sunday 14 May 2023, 3pm

Wellington College, Mount Victoria

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