Composer/Musicians Béla Fleck and Dylan Mattingly
Banjo phenom Béla Fleck was here in town last week performing his concerto The Impostor with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. We talked about his sometimes nerve-racking foray into orchestral composition, captured in his documentary film How to Write a Banjo Concerto. We also discussed the influence of Earl Scruggs and his more complicated relationship with the music of that other Béla (Bartok), who he was named after.
Then a conversation with Dylan Mattingly, lauded by his mentor John Adams as “a hugely talented young composer who writes music of wild imagination and vigorous energy.” We talked about Dylan’s emotionally-driven compositions, including his tribute to Amelia Earhart (Atlas of Somewhere) and his soaring Sky Madrigal, which just debuted at the Cabrillo Festival. We also listened to and discussed selections from his choral work inspired by Euripedes’ tragedy The Bakkhai, “an attempt to recreate the feeling of the unsettling, beautiful, horrifying, and ecstatic choruses of the play.”
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