Thinking about Composition

Creative Work, Scholarship, and the Art of Putting Things Together
Friday, Mar 8, 2019 | 3:00 pm
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall
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United States

The practice and problem of composition is common to creative undertakings across different artistic media, across scholarship, across thought.  Composition is where artistic or scholarly inspiration runs up against the everyday struggle of making. It comes from the Latin for "putting things together "— com-ponere. It involves questions of unity and linkage, of transition, of beginning, of ending. Many artists struggle (some famously) with the practice. Others delight in it. Some make it a theme of their own work.

In this conversation we focus on the "how" of composition by bringing together three master practitioners: award-winning composer Sivan Eldar (PhD Music, 2016), noted jazz musician and composer Myra Melford (Music), and celebrated poet Geoffrey O'Brien (English). They share their own ideas about composition’s pitfalls and discoveries, and raise questions of interest to many in the Berkeley community, from art makers, to dissertation writers, to experienced scholars.