Earle Brown | Available Recollections: Lucky

A conductor who was to give the first performance of Trailing Vortices, my Fromm commission from Earle, met with me a few months before the premiere. His first comment was, ‘Your music is nothing like Earle’s’. ‘Uh, huh right should it be?’ I asked. We did not hit it off. ‘Is the selection of a composer for a commission based on if the commissioner feels you cop his style sufficiently, or on a deeper intrinsic value, something one sees or hears below the surface of the notes?’

Trailing Vortices (1986) was premiered at the Aspen Music Festival

Earle could see and hear something that goes to the core structure of sound and the potential of an individual passionate about moving the language of music forward. I have come to realise that it was not mere luck, but instead being at the right place at the right time and with the right score. The stars lined up for Earle and me. I am grateful to have known him.

Originally published in: “Earle Brown: From Motets to Mathematics” Contemporary Music Review, Volume 26, Issue 3 & 4 June 2007 , pages 371 – 375

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