MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Joan Tower at 80

My profile of Joan Tower, who just turned 80 this month, is in the September issue of Strings magazine.
An excerpt:

Beethoven has been an enduringly powerful
influence. Distinctly uninterested in composing
to texts, Tower is committed to the
abstract power of music that makes sense on
its own terms. “One of my goals in writing any
piece of music is trying to make it as architecturally
strong as possible. Beethoven is my
model for music that is motivated by itself. The
context is what makes things happen.
“You could write a beautiful passage, but if
it’s not in the right place, it won’t sound beautiful.
It could be contextually out of whack.
So the question becomes how to make a piece
go from beginning to end with a narrative
that is motivated strongly.”

Filed under: chamber music, Joan Tower, profile, string quartet, Strings

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