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Works in Progress

Debra Lynn's Compositional Journey

Author

operadoctor

Music Professor and Composer.

What’s the Score?: Episode #24 Clarinetist Lila Hammer, dedicatee of “Manchester Sonata”

Episode #24: 18 July, 2021 Clarinetist, Lila Hammer, dedicatee of "Manchester Sonata," talks about premiering several works by Debra Lynn (1:11 mins) Works Discussed: Manchester Sonata After Apple Picking A Family Portrait Kandinsky Suite I Find My Feet Have Further... Continue Reading →

Conducting as Dance

17 July, 2021 I am beginning to understand more about my lifelong fascination with dance. It stems from my deep belief in the art of conducting as a simultaneously choreographed and improvised kinetic (and kinesthetic) story-telling device. Beautiful music inspires... Continue Reading →

Monk

Meredith Monk (b. 1942) That inner voice has both gentleness and clarity. So to get to authenticity, you really keep going down to the bone, to the honesty, and the inevitability of something. I think about that 'empty" space a... Continue Reading →

Enheduanna

Enheduanna (c. 2285-2250 BCE) I, who am I among living creatures? With your strength, my lady, teeth can crush flint. What I have done here, no one has done before. You, who in accordance with the life-giving me, Great Queen... Continue Reading →

Prokofiev

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) In my view, the composer, just as the poet, the sculptor or the painter, is duty bound to serve Man, the people. He must beautify life and defend it. He must be a citizen first and foremost,... Continue Reading →

What’s the Score?: Episode #23 Drum and Fife Signals during the American Revolution

Episode #23: 4 July, 2021 Debra examines the use of Drum and Fife to convey military commands during the American Revolution. (31 mins) Suggested Links: Williamsburg Virginia Drum and Fife Mini-Documantary US Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corp Concert... Continue Reading →

Waxing Philosophical

Tidbits about composing and performing from Debra's interviews and articles. A composer's best friend is their eraser. Composing music is best when it works like projectile vomiting. I never consider a composition complete until it is performed. Then, there's that... Continue Reading →

Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a... Continue Reading →

What’s the Score?: Episode #22 Stravinsky’s thematic use of thirds in “The Firebird”

Episode #22: 27 June, 2021 Debra offers a thematic walk-through of Igor Stravinsky's ballet "The Firebird" with particular attention to his use of thirds as a compositional building block. (55 mins) Terms: Arpeggio Chromaticism col legno Diminished Pentatonic Round Dance... Continue Reading →

J. S. Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul. I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music. There is nothing... Continue Reading →

Brahms

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) If there is anyone here whom I have not insulted, I beg his pardon. Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind. The idea comes to me from outside of me -- and is... Continue Reading →

My Sabbatical Corona-Bonus

11 June, 2021 Summer-Fall of 2020 was the third sabbatical during my tenure at Manchester University. I had no idea when I applied for that sabbatical, it would end up occurring during the Coronavirus pandemic. What a surreal experience that... Continue Reading →

What’s the Score?: Episode #21 (Part 2 of 2) A Conversation with Judy Marlett and Jeanne Sadler about “A Family Portrait”

Episode #21: 11 April, 2021 Debra discusses the inspiration behind her oratorio “A Family Portrait” with mezzo-soprano Judy Marlett and her mother Jeanne Sadler, whose Civil War era ancestors authored the letters that inspired the work (part 2 of 2).... Continue Reading →

What’s the Score?: Episode #20 (Part 1 of 2) A Conversation with Judy Marlett and Jeanne Sadler about “A Family Portrait”

Episode #20: 4 April, 2021 Debra discusses the inspiration behind her oratorio "A Family Portrait" with mezzo-soprano Judy Marlett and her mother Jeanne Sadler, whose Civil War era ancestors authored the letters that inspired the work. (56 mins.) Carnegie Hall... Continue Reading →

What’s the Score?: Episode #19 Interview with Kurt Roembke, composer

Episode #19: 7 February 2021 Debra interviews film and game composer Kurt Roembke. (1 hr 10 mins) Find Kurt's music at the following links: Space Owl Productions Bandcamp Soundwalk App Gamewave Radio Show YouTube Channel (1) or YouTube Channel (2)... Continue Reading →

Carnegie Hall 2022 “A Family Portrait”

Calling all Singers! Join us on stage at Carnegie Hall in New York (May 30, 2022) for our performance of my oratorio "A Family Portrait." Registration for this four-day residency is through Mid-America Productions. See the flyer below for information... Continue Reading →

What’s the Score?: Episode #18 Maurice Durufle’s use of Gregorian Chant in his Requiem Mass (part 2 of 2)

Episode #18: 24 January 2021 Part 2 of a two-part series in which Debra explores Maurice Durufle’s use of Gregorian Chant in his compositions, specifically his Requiem Mass. (33 mins) Recommended Listening: Requiem (by Maurice Durufle) Terms to Remember: text... Continue Reading →

What’s the Score?: Episode #17 “Maurice Durufle’s use of Gregorian Chant in his Requiem Mass” (Part 1 of 2)

Episode #17: 17 January 2021 A two-part series in which Debra explores Maurice Durufle's use of Gregorian Chant in his compositions, specifically his Requiem Mass. (32 mins) Recommended Listening: Gregorian or Benedictine Chant -- especially Requiem Mass Chants Terms to... Continue Reading →

What’s the Score?: Episode #16 Happy 250th Birthday, Beethoven (Pt. 2 of 2)

Episode #16: 20 December 2020. Debra celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday with a whirlwind tour through the stylistic “isms” in his 9 symphonies. (Part 2 of 2) (40 mins) Recommended Listening: Anything by Beethoven, but especially his complete symphonies! Have fun!... Continue Reading →

What’s the Score?: Episode #15 Happy 250th Birthday, Beethoven! (Pt 1 of 2)

Episode #15: 13 December 2020. Debra celebrates Beethoven's 250th birthday with a whirlwind tour through the stylistic "isms" in his 9 symphonies. (Part 1 of 2) (35 mins) Recommended Listening: Anything by Beethoven! It's all fantastic! Musical Vocab Words: Hemiola... Continue Reading →

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