Music Well – Dosia McKay, Composer, Painter, Writer

Reflections on Art and Life

What is the Role of a Composer in Music Creation?

NeoQuartetMy professor at New York University, Kent Underwood, used to say that the reality of music is not the score, but the performance. It is a humbling proposition for a composer, but it is true that my role is to provide a detailed blueprint for the performers and to give them enough freedom and encouragement to bring to life my musical idea. This is what NeoQuartet has done superbly!

Our paths crossed quite accidentally (online) and we met for the first time to rehearse a few days ahead of the recording, with the studio and a sound engineer fully booked and paid for. Needless to say, we have taken a tremendous risk on each other. Although we didn’t know each other, we were united by the belief that this project was worth the risk and that we would do our best to see it to completion.

It was surreal to me to witness NeoQuartet bring my music to life. It was my music and it sounded the way I had imagined it, but they gave it life, breath, and a new dimension. There were times when the Quartet experimented with different dynamics and sound colors, and I backed away, not wanting to interfere, watching the process in awe. Then, at other times I kept changing my mind about bowing in a particular passage and kept asking them for a different technique.

The final recording portrays this journey beautifully. It is very honest, authentic, human, masterfully and meticulously crafted. I am in awe of NeoQuartet’s interpretation and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Photo by Tamara Wyrzykowska


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