SummerFest Visions and Decisions: Imagination and Technique in Music Composition




SummerFest Visions and Decisions: Imagination and Technique in Music Composition

Join author and speaker Teresa Funke for an inside look as she interviews/moderates an intimate conversation with SummerFest artistic director, Bruce Adolphe about his new book, Visions & Decisions: Imagination and Technique in Music Composition.

If you enjoy Mozart, Gesualdo, Harold Pinter, Sofia Gubaidulina, Duke Ellington, Alfred Hitchcock, and Janáček, and if you are intrigued by neuroscience and sleep research, and you also order falafel platters for take-out, this is the book for you.

The new book, just published in February 2023 by Cambridge University Press, is called Visions and Decisions: Imagination and Technique in Music Composition.  It is focused primarily on composition and improvisation in a wide range of styles past and present, and it also looks at playwriting, film, painting, my piano puzzlers, and even how to order falafel platters to go in the styles of Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, and Brahms. The ideas in it are supported by scientific research, drawing on neuroscience, cognitive psychology, dream and sleep studies, as well as current research into creative processes. People referenced in the book include Duke Ellington, Kaija Saariaho, Sofia Gubaidulina, Elliott Carter, Luciano Berio, Reena Esmail, Anthony Davis, Alfred Hitchcock, Harold Pinter, Picasso, Stravinsky, Gesualdo, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, and Janacek, as well as scientists Antonio Damasio (Brain and Creativity Institute), Robert Stickgold (Harvard), and more.

  • Wine Reception: 5 PM
  • Talk: 5:30 PM

About Bruce Adolphe

Composer, author, and lecturer Bruce Adolphe — known to millions of Americans from his public radio show Piano Puzzlers, which has been broadcast weekly on Performance Today, hosted by Fred Child, since 2002 — has created a substantial body of chamber music and orchestral works inspired by science, visual arts, and human rights. Mr. Adolphe has composed several works based on writings by neuroscientist Antonio Damasio: Body Loops (piano and orchestra); Memories of a Possible Future (piano and string quartet); Self Comes to Mind (solo cello and two percussionists); Obedient Choir of Emotions (chorus and piano); and Musics of Memory (piano, marimba, harp, guitar).  Yo-Yo Ma premiered Self Comes to Mind, with a text written by Antonio Damasio especially for the project, in 2009 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Mr. Adolphe’s other science-based music includes Einstein’s Light for violin and piano, recorded by Joshua Bell and Marija Stroke on Sony Classical, and his tribute to NASA scientist and astronaut Piers Sellers, I saw how fragile and infinitely precious the world is, which received its world premiere at the Off the Hook Arts Festival in Colorado in 2018 and was performed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in March 2019. Among his human rights works are I Will Not Remain Silent for violin and orchestra and Reach Out, Raise Hope, Change Society for chorus, wind quintet, and three percussionists, recorded on the Naxos/Milken Archive label. Mr. Adolphe is the resident lecturer and director of family concerts for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the author of several books, including Visions and Decisions: Imagination and Technique in Music Composition (Cambridge, 2023); The Mind’s Ear  (third edition, 2021, OUP). He contributed the chapter “The Musical Imagination: Mystery and Method in Musical Composition” to the recently published book Secrets of Creativity: What Neuroscience, the Arts, and Our Minds Reveal (OUP, 2019), an anthology of writings by neuroscientists and artists. Mr. Adolphe contributed the chapter “The Sound of Human Rights: Wordless Music that Speaks for Humanity” to The Routledge Guide to Music and Human Rights (2022).

About Teresa Funke

Teresa Funke embodies the modern artist/entrepreneur. She is the owner of Teresa Funke & Company, Victory House Press, and Bursts of Brilliance. She is the award-winning author of seven novels for adults and children based on true stories from WWII, and the author of Bursts of Brilliance for a Creative Life, both the book and the popular blog. She is also a nationwide speaker offering keynotes and presentations and a popular writing consultant. Teresa has 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and community catalyst. Her innovative programs and boundary-pushing talks challenge her audiences to change their view of how life and business should be led. Visit her speaker page to learn more about her one-of-a-kind Bursts of Brilliance™ talks or her motivational keynotes.

Visit Teresa’s YouTube channel to watch her popular writing videos or to check out her playlist, “Great Ideas Giveaway,” in which Teresa shares business ideas for artists and creatives that they can take and use in their own models. Teresa also served as co-host for the World Positive Thinkers online radio show and the on-screen host of the video series, The Write Series. Teresa believes strongly in supporting local and national non-profits devoted to supporting youth, education, and the arts. She is the mother of three amazing young adults. She is also an avid theatergoer, reader, and old movie buff. She tries to vacation in a new country or state every year.

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