Buffalo Philharmonic EarShot New Music Readings: Composer Q&A – Jay Hurst

Jay Hurst is one of the composers selected to participate in ACO’s Buffalo Philharmonic EarShot New Music Readings on February 10 and 11. His piece Still Lives explores the contradiction of interconnectedness and isolation created by technology in two contrasting movements. Read the full program note for Still Lives here.

SoundAdvice is posting a running Q&A with Jay to share his EarShot experience.
composer Jay Hurst

American Composers Orchestra: What preparations are you making ahead of the readings with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra?
Jay Hurst: A large part of my preparation has been figuring out how I can help to keep the rehearsals running as efficiently as possible. My job in preparing the score was to make sure the notation was as clear, concise, and as question-free as possible – but, just in case, I’ve been going through the score with a fine-toothed comb, anticipating any and all possible points in the piece where there may be questions from the conductor or the orchestra. Time is a valuable commodity in these reading situations, so the faster I can help answer any technical questions about notation or technique, the quicker the performers can begin to really dig into the piece and make music.

ACO: What was your reaction to finding out your piece had been selected for the Buffalo Philharmonic EarShot New Music Readings?
JH: Totally elated! You know, it’s difficult enough for young composers to have one of their pieces performed and heard, especially if they decide to go and write a piece for orchestra. But to have a group of size and stature like the BPO spend the time to read and perform your first full-fledged orchestra piece is a dream come true. I feel honored and privileged to be a part of the EarShot Readings this year and I can’t wait to work with such high-caliber composers and performers.


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