Wednesday, January 26, 2011

John Psathas


Great documentary on John Psathas, the New Zealand composer, on the weekend. It was called Sound and Fury. I caught up with it last night on video.

Quite a bit of the music was familiar, because I seem to have acquired several CDs with Psathas music on them, but it was good to see the pieces being played as well as hearing them. The one in the German Festival was so energetic - typical of Psathas' style, but it was energetic enough for him to say it even got him going. And the Marimba concerto was just fantastic.

But apart from the music, his comments on the process of composing: the need for uninterrupted concentration and the way interruptions make you easily lose the thread; the way working as a composer makes you guilty because you're not involved with your family; the way a bit of your music will get inside your head and wake you in the middle of the night, and so on.

All very familiar, even for this much less able composer.

Interesting too that he was a pupil of Jack Body at university. I can't imagine a composer less like Psathas!
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