ACO: What was the inspiration for your composition? How would you describe your composition process?
B.P. Herrington: My compositional materials tend to be very humble, drawn from the rural culture of East Texas, and my music is intuitively filled with the rich ornamentation and rhythmic character of that music. However, my treatment and development of these materials often involves a tremendous amount of rigor: post-tonal processes such as serial organization, rotational arrays, various games. Hopefully this coexistence of intuition and rigor translates into a rich listening experience.
I compose by hand on a full orchestral score. I sketch out basic ideas on a separate sheet of manuscript paper then flesh it out on the full score, making every line as unique for each instrument as possible.
ACO: Since the selection of your work for the Berkeley Symphony EarShot Under Construction New Music Readings, how have you further developed your piece in preparation for the readings?
B.P.H.: Before I received this opportunity, my piece was just a frustrating, unrealized dream. After I heard I’d been accepted, the piece took on a new life. There is nothing in the world like writing a piece for a guaranteed performance. Having the piece read in-progress also removes the mortal dread of miscalculation.
ACO: What do you hope to get out of this experience of having your piece read by the Berkeley Symphony and in working with the mentor-composers?
B.P.H.: This piece explores ideas I’ve only thus far pursued in a chamber music setting. I’m eager to absorb and incorporate all the advice and feedback I receive.
ACO: What are you most looking forward to in participating in these New Music Readings?
American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.
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