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  • Writer's pictureisaacrsmith

Beginning a New Chapter

It's the first day of grad school! It is a strange time to be starting at a new school, but at this point I think it is a "strange time" to be doing anything. I am excited to get started at Louisville, where I will be studying with Dr. Steve Rouse for my private lessons. Outside of my lessons, I am anxious to begin my computer music class with Dr. Krzyzstof Wołek. Electronic music is something that I want to get better at, but I have never made the time to do it thus far. I hope to check back in with a status report on how the class is going in a few months, but I have heard it is both incredibly difficult but also very educational.

This summer was crazy busy. Anya and I got married with a small group of people on hand due to COVID. A week later we moved down to Louisville so that we could do the necessary 2-week quarantine before graduate orientation began in August. In addition to getting married and moving halfway across the country, we adopted a cat named Lili (Boulanger) Smith. While I have never been a cat person before, Lili quickly won me over and brings a lot of joy to our otherwise boring day-to-day lives.

Compositionally, I worked on a number of things this summer. One of my main goals this summer was to dive into the more contemporary music of the twentieth century. Towards this end, I surveyed the careers of many of the most famous 20th century composers (Boulez, Stockhausen, Berio, etc.) in an attempt to familiarize myself with the vocabulary of more contemporary music. I hope to continue this endeavor this semester, as the music library here is incredible!

I also finished up the orchestra piece that I started in the spring. Originally, it was going to be a short piece for UNI's orchestra to read in April, but the reading (obviously) got cancelled. While I was disappointed, I turned it into an opportunity to expand the piece and make it a little longer. I finished it up in late June, and I am fairly pleased with how it turned out. I am hopeful that I might find somebody to read it after the pandemic has subsided a little bit!

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