Grammy winning composer Augusta Read Thomas visits Montgomery Place

 University Professor of Composition in the Department of Music and the College at the University of Chicago speaks on the elements of music and her own compositional process, with particular reference to a piece she composed in honor of DNA researcher Michael Meselson of Harvard University, during a talk at Montgomery Place, 5550 S. South Shore Drive, Wednesday, June 8. – Marc Monaghan

By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
Staff Writer

Grammy award winning composer Augusta Read Thomas in collaboration with the Montgomery Place, 5550 South Shore Drive, hosted a music event entitled: “The Exploration of Music and Imagination” on Thursday June 8.

According to Thomas, the presentation was designed to give the audience a behind the scenes glimpse and step-by-step process of what it takes to create a song in her composer studio. Her auditory and visual presentation consisted of multiple sketches, music notes, maps and in depth and detail oriented manuscripts printed in ink and a “10 point” methodology for composing music, which she stated has helped her throughout her career.

“Echo/aureole, which helps you read music, resonance, counterpoint, spontaneity, orientation, transformation, harmony, clarity, gestalt and nuance and form, those are my 10,” Thomas said.

Thomas also explained that her influences to create music draws from many places. Including poets and artist of many types.

“One of my favorite poets Mr. Robert Frost once said, ‘to be a poet is a condition not a profession,’” Thomas said. “Composing music for me is definitely a condition and not a profession.”

In addition to her Grammy winning composer career, Thomas also teaches music at the University of Chicago’s Center for Contemporary Composition, and was appointed Mead Composer-in-Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1996 until 2006.

j.phillips@hpherald.com