Composer Highlight: Adam Roberts / by and Play

Adam Istanbul Photo.jpg

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! We are so excited to be playing Adam Roberts' Shift Differential  twice this week! It is a beautiful piece that is surprisingly short and will definitely leave you wanting more. If you are in Boston today you should come on out to hear us and the enchanting Lilit Hartunian (violin + electronics) at The Record Company (960 Mass St.). 

Now it is time to meet Adam and see what he has to tell us about himself, his piece, and his snacking habits!

What was the inspiration for this piece?

In the back of mind was the texture of Indian alap. I am interested in small inflections, little expressive glissandi. The opening material reflects that inspiration. I was also interested in creating a background texture with very quiet harmonics in the opening, a thin layer of background paint, so to speak.

What are you most excited for this spring?

I am excited for the weather to warm up and to spend more time walking comfortably outside and hanging out in parks! I've recently moved to NYC and love walking aimlessly, getting to know new streets, blocks, areas. Spring will make that by far more pleasant. 

What is your favorite and/or least favorite thing about writing for the violin/viola combo?

Strings are so flexible, able to produce sounds of great delicacy and aggression. I love the range of expression of strings. This duo in particular offers an extensive pitch range with a lot of registral overlap. I appreciate the melding, super-instrument qualities of this duo. 

SNACKS! Give us some fresh ideas. What are you snacking on these days?

I keep a bag of apples and peanut butter around. It's a quick hit of sugar and protein that allows me to keep working without too much of a break on busy days.

Tell us something we don't know (about you, about your music, or about the world in general).

I just returned to the States after four years of living and teaching in Istanbul. Many musicians and friends end up in NYC, and I'm enjoying meeting people again after, in some cases, 10, 15, or more years from all periods of my life—from childhood, university, music festivals, etc. And I enjoy making new friends as well!


If you want to check out more stuff by Adam (and you should!) take a look at his website!