Site Search

Other Resources
News Archive

Aaron Siegel Interview

Posted on 01 September 2007. © Copyright 2004-2023 Composition:Today

C:T talks to contemporary classical and jazz composer Aaron Siegel

Aaron Siegel
Tell us something about your background.

I grew up in the suburbs of Washington DC. My musical life was centered on an intimate percussion studio in my neighborhood where the teacher there had all of her students play in percussion ensembles together. My friends and I would go into the city and play at jazz jam sessions on the weekends and eventually I went to the University of Michigan to get a degree in jazz studies. I have always wanted to be involved in diverse range experiences as a creative person, so I have always composed for my own ensembles and produced concerts of my music. I have a Masters Degree in composition from Wesleyan University and currently live in Brooklyn, New York.

How did you start composing?

As a teenager, I had a wonderful mentor named Nora Davenport. She was a percussionist in the National Opera but she was a composer as well. She was always bringing new sketches of her music into our percussion ensemble rehearsals and we would finish writing the pieces as an ensemble. Since I didn’t know any better at that time, I assumed composing was a daily part of every musical life.

What drives your work, what are you passions?

As a listener, I enjoy work that is puzzling and abstract. Not for its own sake, but because it is clear that the composer had to write the piece that way, that their own idiosyncrasies didn’t allow them to do otherwise. My work comes from this same place. I am passionate about sticking to a vision and discovering the new questions generated by my intuitive process.

How do you compose? Do you sketch? Do you composer at the instrument or away from it?

Growing up I remember being told to practice X amount of hours a day. I was terrified by this. It would have been so much better for me if I had been told to grow my relationship to music every day; jot down ideas as they come up, experiment with short pieces that your friends can play, and think critically about the results. I am working on any number of compositions at a given time. Some of them are just ideas, some have instrumentations, some come out at the piano as a sequences of pitches that I orchestrate later, and some come out fully formed, written in pen and are simply copied into a final version later.

Which non-musical influences have affected your music most?

I am inspired by art that is engaged in experimental investigations. For Virginia Wolff the novel was simply the means by which she was able to communicate. Without the need to adhere to novelistic convention, Wolff was left with the possibility of conceptualizing characters and a narrative form to serve her ideas. In the films of Werner Herzog, characters, narrative, images are only the skin on a structure of ideas. Instead of giving us something that we might relate to immediately, Herzog forces us to linger with images in uncomfortable but meaningful ways.

What is your musical philosophy?

With all of the adaptations and post-modern recontextualizing that is prevalent in a lot of art currently being made, it’s hard to remember that there is true merit in original ideas. I don’t mean to sound all grand about this (I am partial to the idea that there isn’t much left to surprise us with), but I think that there are still different perspectives on the way the world works and they should be taken on their own terms, not in reference to something else.

Who has been the greatest influence on your musical style to date and why?

I feel very indebted to the work of Morton Feldman. Up until his death, he continued to believe in the power of live music with acoustic instruments and I find that dedication quite inspiring. There is a lot to say about his harmonic language and orchestrations and I find his rhythmic notations sublime. In my mind, he changed the paradigm of notation. For him the notation really served the feeling of the music. And his pieces are so challenging and rewarding to performers.

What's the craziest idea for a piece you've ever had?

I once got together thirty people and gave them each a four-foot tube and a marble. We stood on a wooden stage and I asked them to drop the marble through the tube onto the floor. When all of the marbles hit the floor they made a beautiful splattering sound. Each of the performers picked up their marble at a different time (this made for a lovely view from the audience) and then dropped their marble again roughly ten seconds later. We repeated this cycle of activity for around 8 minutes. It was a powerful experiment in collective action and the subtle differences amongst seemingly static gestures.

What inspires you to write?

Most of the time I write from a completely uninspired place. I often get inspired only after I write things down. Looking at a page of material is much more inspiring than anything else. Then there are real questions to ask and problems to solve.

What are your plans for the future?

I am working on an evening-length piece for string quartet and four actors. The text I wrote is comprised of a series of monologues and dialogues between four family members who find it increasingly difficult to talk to one another. I have enjoyed working with a text. Words convey a special aspect of tone that is much more explicit than music. It’s also fun to play the music off of the text. Something that seems straightforward in the text can be made much more funny or sad when the music is applied in the right way. This project is going to take place at the Chocolate Factory Theater in Long Island City, Queens in May of 2008.

How can people find out more about you?

I have a website at which contains a lot of information about my music. I would also recommend checking out my podcast at I have been posting interviews with other composers for a couple of months now and they are an interesting way to learn about new composers and their music.

Interview by Composition:Today © Copyright 2004-2023

Comments by other Members

Posted by :  SandraJ at 16:54 on 01 June 2020
I am happy for you as well. You are so lucky that God gave chance to you to work on this project and all your efforts were there right in to and today you have made it all. Well done you have done excellent paymetodoyourhomework reviews job. Good luck!
Posted by :  nur at 10:51 on 23 July 2020
Quite refreshing to know details which you get to know, perhaps its a must for everyone to be interview like this.

[url=]Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder Wholesale[/url]

Posted by :  nur at 10:52 on 23 July 2020
Quite refreshing to know details which you get to know, perhaps its a must for everyone to be interview like this.

Posted by :  nur at 10:52 on 23 July 2020
Quite refreshing to know details which you get to know, perhaps its a must for everyone to be interview like this.
[url=]Tea Globally[/url]

Posted by :  nur at 10:52 on 23 July 2020
Quite refreshing to know details which you get to know, perhaps its a must for everyone to be interview like this.

Posted by :  jamseales0 at 12:38 on 07 March 2021
Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info. 먹튀검증사이트
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 10:17 on 10 March 2021
I know your aptitude on this. I should say we ought to have an online discourse on this. Composing just remarks will close the talk straight away! What's more, will confine the advantages from this data. 먹튀
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 07:51 on 16 March 2021
Efficiently written information. It will be profitable to anybody who utilizes it, counting me. Keep up the good work. For certain I will review out more posts day in and day out. 먹튀검증
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 09:08 on 17 March 2021
I was impressed with the site that you created, so memotipasi many people to be more advanced, there also kunjugi me, as a comparison safestore auto
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 13:05 on 20 March 2021
It is the kind of information I have been trying to find. Thank you for writing this information. It has proved utmost beneficial for me. 꽁머니 사이트
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 10:58 on 04 April 2021
I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it up. Onewheel XR Accessories
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 11:27 on 07 April 2021
You make so many great points here that I read your article a couple of times. Your views are in accordance with my own for the most part. This is great content for your readers. Managed IT Support companies near me Beverlywoods Los Angeles
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 07:26 on 18 April 2021
Specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction are responsible for the creation and development of our pharmacy. We know the problem and we know how to deal with it. Kamagra
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 15:02 on 24 April 2021
Qikink enables anyone to sell products online without inventory, processing and logistics hurdles. Anyone can signup on and start selling products online. Print on Demand
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 19:32 on 30 April 2021
Due to the current situation, we’re taking extra precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of our customers and employees. We are closely following Government guidelines. With this in mind, our services will continue to be fully operational. hot tub covers winnipeg
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 18:30 on 01 May 2021
As a Family Owned & Operated Fence Installations business quality control, great results and value are always our goal. fence company in cape coral
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 13:56 on 16 May 2021
I really like your blog. Great article. It's most evident, people should learn before they are able to eye doctor Collinsville
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 04:02 on 12 June 2021
If you live in the Mississauga Ontario areas and are looking for scrap car removal in Mississauga, Top Cash scrap cars removal offers the best & instant prices for your old Clunkers car scrap yard mississauga
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 11:16 on 22 July 2021
Best New Bingo Sites 2021 A2Z Sister Site Free slots no deposit | The Best Place To Find Casinos & their Sister Sites, UK Largest Casino SisterSites ListChoose from A-Z catalogue with best offers. Please visit our site ​for more information and limited offers. Thank You.
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 15:21 on 19 August 2021
Cool stuff you have got and you keep update all of us. seo expert singapore
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 15:40 on 10 March 2022
Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post. buy pregabalin 300mg online
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 14:03 on 12 March 2022
Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that i've been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share. nmp solvent recovery
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 09:11 on 17 March 2022
If you are looking for more information about flat rate locksmith Las Vegas check that right away. pink viagra 100mg
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 15:38 on 22 March 2022
I admire this article for the well-researched content and excellent wording. I got so involved in this material that I couldn’t stop reading. I am impressed with your work and skill. Thank you so much. Best Forex Trading Robots
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 15:20 on 26 March 2022
Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post. Green Arabica Coffee Beans
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 15:26 on 26 March 2022
This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work Best Bitcoin Investment Site
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 15:33 on 26 March 2022
Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post. counterfeit money sale
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 06:39 on 15 June 2022
Coaching marketing nn Lorem ipsumnn Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in . expert en publicité numérique
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 06:39 on 15 June 2022
Free Airdrops BSC List with Airdrops Ninja! Airdrops have been preliminary verified by us with our wallet . selfdrops
To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .