PT76: “The Joy of Composing: When Music Serves its Purpose,” with Gary Kuo

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Today we’re starting a new program in which we interview select composers about their music and how they relate to orchestras, conductors, and audiences. We start off with Gary Kuo, an Emmy Award-Winning composer of music for television and the concert hall. Gary played as a session musician for hundreds of recording projects before turning to composition. We talk about his philosophy of accessible music focused on the performers and audience, or what he calls Musical Comfort Food, how composers find their compositional voice, and how nothing is better than a great collaboration between composer and performer.

You will learn:

  • How changes in music production technology have blown open the doors of music production, and how Gary learned composition and orchestration on his own
  • Why the function of music is vital when writing for film or the concert hall, and why he describes his music as “Musical Comfort Food”
  • Why we must be our harshest critics when editing or preparing music
  • Why conductors must adjust the music to the ensemble they have to play it as best as they can
  • Why listening deeply and listening to a variety of music is critical to our craft
  • Things to consider when working with a living composer on a new piece
  • Why you should never forget about how music makes you feel

You can find Gary’s music on his Website and Youtube page.

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