Composer Highlight: John Rot / by and Play

Say 'hello' to John! He is a wonderful composer (and person) studying at Columbia. We met him through David and Jesse (composers from our concert in October), and we are so glad that we did. We can't wait to share his piece in what remains behind;  with you on Friday! Here is what he had to say about his music and life...

andPlay: Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration and/or title of your piece?

John: I suspect that a primary reason I'm attracted to writing chamber music is my tendency to humanize individual voices and instrument(alist)s. Over the course of the piece's eighteen or so minutes, we witness a relationship form, flourish, and ultimately die between these two very human entities.  Two individuals come together to explore and build upon their commonalities, always mindful of their constantly evolving personality, and in doing so attain a unity of understanding and intention representative of their wealth of shared experience.  However, time brings with it both juncture and fracture, and the two inevitably diverge once the relationship has run its course.

The title is taken from William Wordsworth's Ode: Intimations of Immortality.  The poem itself is not terribly relevant to the music, but the notion of immortality does have some resonance, particularly in the viola.  Unlike the violin, whose genesis and conclusion we witness somewhat directly, the viola projects an aura of timelessness.  There's a feeling that the viola has experienced a lifetime before entering the finite timeline of the violin, and that it has a lifetime remaining once it departs.  The violin – and, by extension, the audience – is privy only to a tiny slice of the viola's eternity, during which both voices nevertheless have a profound and lasting effect on the other before going their separate ways, one to termination and the other to yet another beginning.

What is your pump-up music?

Queen's live performance of "Somebody to Love" from the Rock Montreal album.  Or "Zero to Hero" from Hercules.

What can listeners expect or listen for in your piece?


What would you choose as your last meal on this planet?

An extensive array of spicy vegan fare.