Leading up to our Ignition Duo show, we will be writing about a few of our composers and performers! Julie Barwick told us a bit about herself in preparation for the big show at the Center for New Music.
Be sure to check out the show at the Center for New Music on February 27.
Tickets will be available at the door, and rest assured we will have Lagunitas beer present, as they have offered their generous support of the arts.
I started my musical education through piano lessons, thanks to my mom who decided to buy a piano completely unexpectedly. She was an amateur guitarist and big-time music appreciator and I discovered a lot of music perusing her wide-ranging music collection. My dad also had a great LP collection of a lot of classic rock stuff, with the occasional Switched-On Bach type oddities. So my musical life started with a lot of listening.
During my undergrad studies at UC Berkeley, I became simultaneously interested in theory/harmony and improvisation, jazz and otherwise. I think composition just eventually became the inevitable meeting place of these two sides of my musical personality.
Other than the piano, the only other instrument I have ever played was the guitar. Around the age of 12, I began to teaching myself guitar. I was interested in anything I could actually play, which were for the most part, alternative rock guitar riffs. I remember when I first got my electric guitar, I was so excited… for about 5 minutes until I realized that it didn’t at all have the massive sound of the Smashing Pumpkins or Nirvana! It was about that time when I also became more serious about piano, and decided I would continue to admire the guitar’s vast capabilities from the perspective of a listener, instead of performer.
After all these years, I find myself still thinking about those guitar sounds and just how fun it would be to write something that explores that. In our first Guerrilla Composers workshop, David and Ramon talked about how they felt that the electric guitar could do more than what’s typically being written for it, especially in an ensemble setting. That inspired me to write something that would be truly meant for the electric guitar. So I channelled my 13-year-old, ’90s rock guitar self and challenged myself to write something that harkened back to those sounds that I heard and wanted to re-create but didn’t know how at the time. I wanted to reconcile this with the music I hear and love now.
Working with the Guerrilla Composers Guild has been like my very own composer fantasy come to life. As a composer, the most fun thing I can think of is to have the opportunity to work with other composers and performers in a collaborative setting. I’m excited and grateful to have had the chance to do that with Guerrilla Composers Guild + Ignition Duo.
The Guerrilla Composers Guild is a fiscally-sponsored affiliate of the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the service of chamber music in California.
Please consider making a donation to help us put on our future shows! We are proud to be fiscally sponsored by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, and would love it if you considered donating. If you would like to donate goods or have a special request with a donation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
The show is also supported in part by Lagunitas, and we are so excited to feature their beers for your enjoyment!