PT84: “Music is not a Competitive Sport,” with Rain Worthington

Today we talk with Rain Worthington, a self-taught composer with performances all over the country and the world. Our discussion covers how she started composing and without a background in theory, why a rigid analytical view of music can block creativity, and why we must not think of music as a competition.

Today we discuss:

  • How New York’s Minimalist composers and the artistic culture of the city allowed Rain to experiment as a novice (13:11)
  • How Rain and Luke found freedom by releasing themselves from the confines of western musical standards. (22:09)
  • How composers and conductors fall in love with a fragment of music. (29.54)
  • Being a self-taught composer, and how thinking too much about the theory of music can block creativity in composition and performance. (34:21)
  • What makes a composer, a musician, a piece, or a performance unique when we have only 12 notes and almost everything has been done already. (40:06)
  • The emotional content of music, taking the listener on a journey, and how programs that are too specific can separate the listener from the music. (44:53)
  • Building a career by building relationships, understanding that art is not a competition, and realizing that every success for one is a success for everybody. (54:29)
  • The pieces that best reflect Rain as a composer, her compositional efforts to process the tragedy of 9/11, and how we can respond to any tragedy as artists. (1:06:45)

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