Bruce Stark shares his vision about the composing process, he tells us why his best work seems to happen when he is not trying hard to be original or experiment.
Presenting music in a visually attractive way is clearly a strong trend. In that sense I think many musicians are trying harder to appeal to audiences with interesting visual images. Youtube has made it a standard to experience music with video.
Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?
I think the predominance of Youtube as a listening/watching experience influences classical musicians to be more aware of the visual aspect, and appealing to audiences in this way.
Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favorite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?
No, I don’t have a particular favorite among my own pieces. There is no consistent pattern of how I compose. Usually I start a piece several times before I am satisfied enough to continue. Ideas come in a variety of ways. I work at the piano for small ensemble and solo pieces that contain the piano, because the physical aspect of the movement of hands often inspires ideas. When I compose for larger ensembles such as orchestra without piano, I often compose away from the piano. I usually revise pieces after their first performance. The creative process involves a lot of time and effort, but there is also a mysterious aspect that I don’t understand; I’m thankful that ideas come to me and accept the mystery.
We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?
History is rich in examples of music combined with other art forms. And sometimes music which was created as absolute music is then borrowed for collaboration and takes on another life as part of something else. But the value and depth of the music probably required for that composer to approach it as absolute music and not be distracted by anything else. Other pieces have as their genesis a specific image or story or collaborative project. Both are valid. Most of my music is written as pure music for the concert stage, however some of my music has a specific story or intention that can be described in words.
Every new piece I compose is a new challenge, a new experiment for me. It doesn’t have to be an experiment with a new musical language or theoretical approach. Just the challenge of creating a good new work of the highest quality I am capable of is plenty of challenge and experimentation. My best work seems to happen when I am not trying hard to be original or experiment. It is a more natural, organic process, though it involves a great deal of self-criticism to produce something I am happy with.