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Patrick Byers (Cante Luta): World Premieres

The Creative Processes of Music Composition: Music and Analysis

M. Patrick Byers: Interviews, Letters, and Scores

(Note: Be sure to stop the background music before linking to the other sites)

Introduction:

This web page is devoted to discussing the creative and compositional process of contemporary composer, Patrick Byers. He permits us to peer into the intimate, mysterious and private corridors of a composer's emotional and mental stirrings that induces the inspirational flow and what we know as music.

The Creative Processes of Music Composition: Creative Processes

This site contains the world premiere performance of "Sonata Harlem" and a work in progress in 2007 entitled "The Teacher", dedicated to his piano teacher, Olegna Fuschi. Also, it contains extensive interviews with Patrick about his creative process.

Excerpts:

“I forget the music after it is written. I know the notes and the presence but its life passes quickly. If I composed a music inspired by a lovely spring morning, the music becomes music, the portrait remains ephemeral. When an artist makes the score his or hers and I have the opportunity to listen, what returns is the feeling of the spring morning as though it was new and unique. I cease owning the music and own instead a spring morning." -Patrick Byers

On "Sonata Harlem" Ann Carter wrote:

Audience members at the July 25th SummerKeys concert will certainly recall Sonata "Harlem" performed by pianist Charles Jones, written by his friend, Composer Patrick Byers.  The sonata's final shape was deeply affected by the tragedies of 9/11.  At the concert, Mr. Byers described some of that experience - starting with what was to be a happy, dancing sort of piece, being interrupted and drastically altered by that horror.  He also told of the great emotion with which it was greeted when first performed in New York City.

 

He had assumed that in Lubec, so far from the actual disaster, this wouldn't be true; however, when he went online to find out about Lubec, he learned of the loss of the well-loved couple from Lubec who had perished on Flight 11.  Following the concert, several people from the audience spoke to the composer about their own connections with 9/11 and how the piece had reawakened and re-connected them with that experience.  Since there is now a website that includes a video of the premier of the sonata at Steinway Hall this spring by Charles Jones, Mr. Byers is asking that anyone who is able and willing might add their thoughts and reactions to a collection of comments that might also be added to the website. The site includes correspondence concerning the struggles with this work.

 

Mr. Byers wrote:

 

 "I want to express to those in attendance at Charles Jones' Lubec SummerKeys concert gratitude for all of the stories shared with me following the program. The nature of the evening left threads of stories shared with me. While I could paraphrase, their potent relationship to Charles Jones' performance deserves clarity.  Lubec, Maine, and Harlem sonata have a meeting place.  If any of your readers in attendance that evening could e-mail their stories to me, I will add them to the score.  Most likely some of these stories will be added to the on-line site with Charles Jones's Steinway Hall performance."

 

"What remains beautiful in this is raw fact; a sonata was written intended to be a happy portrait of a community; it became a portrayal of a community in grief, and then traveled far away to an idyllic peaceful community touched inexplicably by the same tragedy.  Perhaps there is healing in sharing. I certainly will remember Lubec, Maine." -Patrick Byers