Berkeley Symphony EarShot New Music Readings: Composer Q&A – Emily Cooley

Emily Cooley is one of the composers selected to participate in ACO’s Berkeley Symphony EarShot New Music Readings on May 2 and 3. Emily wrote her selected piece Green Go To Me to have “no delineated sections and no transitions, just the goal of reaching the ending and revealing the core of this music’s material.” Read her full program note here.

Emily was kind enough to answer some questions for SoundAdvice.

Composer Emily Cooley

What was your reaction to finding out your piece had been selected for the Berkeley EarShot New Music Readings?
I was really thrilled to be selected. I love writing orchestral music and it’s become my main focus in the past couple years. I feel very fortunate to work with the Berkeley Symphony, Joana Carneiro and mentor composers Derek Bermel and Ken Ueno. Working with a live orchestra is always the best training. I think it really puts you on the spot as a composer in a way that nothing else does. There is limited rehearsal time and you’re in a room with a professional orchestra – you realize right away what works and what doesn’t in your piece. It can be scary of course, but also exhilarating in that way. I’m really looking forward to it!

What preparations are you making ahead of the readings with the Berkeley Symphony?
My main preparation was to go back through my piece, Green Go to Me, and make sure that the notation was clear in the score and parts. I also made a few orchestrational changes, with the goal of clarifying the musical ideas and making sure they’ll be heard within the various orchestral textures. This piece is fairly different from my other orchestra pieces in that it’s very delicate and slow to unfold. Not to say that I don’t care about my other work of course (!), but this in particular is a piece I feel close to, and I really care about the musical ideas and the sound world coming across.

Follow Emily on Twitter and Soundcloud

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