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Ethan Iverson interviews Alvin Singleton on "Do The Math"


(photo: Alvin Singleton, left; Ethan Iverson, right)

Alvin Singleton, who recently celebrated his 75th birthday year with a portrait concert at Roulette, has been interviewed by pianist and composer Ethan Iverson on his blog, Do The Math. Calling Singleton "one of the most important living American composers," Iverson queries Singleton about his influences, collaborations, commissions, performances, and more.

One of the most extensive and thorough interviews with Singleton ever published, their conversation traces Singleton's musical life through his early days in Brooklyn, his training in New York and at Yale, his experiences with other major composers and performers, and the preservation of his unique compositional voice in the face of countless 20th-century aesthetic movements. 

(video: Argoru IV; Stephanie Griffin, viola)

Along the way, Singleton covers a large sampling of his works over the years, including the Argoru series, Be Natural, Mestizo II, In Our Own House, Inside-Out, ShadowsSecret Desire to Be Black, and many other works published by Schott Music. Discussing his recent work for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Different River, Singleton and Iverson had the following exchange: 

EI: Different River is an orchestral work for Atlanta that has various strong thematic characters. When there are big blaring major triads next to more conventionally advanced modernist harmony it is rather shocking.

AS: Well, the piece itself is the river. And as river flows, the scenery changes. But it’s still the same river.

EI: A metaphor for American music, perhaps!

Be sure to check out the full interview at Do The Math.
 

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