Snapshot Composers

Larry London has contributed as a composer, arranger or performer to over fifty films. He composed the music for Isamu Noguchi: Stones and Paper, an American Masters documentary film, recognized as Best Portrait at the Montreal International Festival of Films in 1998. He wrote music for Joann Sfar Draws from Memory, a documentary film for KQED Public Television in 2012. 

Composer Brian Rosen interviewed about his opera "Death of a Playboy" for West Edge Opera's "Snapshot" series. Death of a Playboy revolves around a heated private discussion between a husband and wife that threatens to disrupt Hugh Hefner’s funeral. This new work is a timely study of the pressures placed on women by society and the contradictions of our celebrity culture. 

Videography and design: Jeremy Knight. Content: Kate McKinney.

“Opera is really the genre where you have to know everything in the music,” says Snapshot composer Cyril Deaconoff about his new opera The Last Tycoon based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age novel. He discusses his use of the Jazz idioms that infuse Fitzgerald’s work through the prism of his own musical language. Through his use of leitmotif, Deaconoff describes the relationship between Fitzgerald's characters within the framework of David Yezzi's adapted libretto. The composer delves into the constant tension between artistic expression and financial profit that permeates both Fitzgerald's novel and the act of artistic creation in general.

“I tend to think of it as an example of a premature anti-fascist Warner Brothers movie that contains things they weren’t able to put in the original,” says Harris about his novel and the libretto he wrote for Wold. The selection from the new Opera features the warlord of a futuristic empire as he gives a dissident female scientist prisoner the third degree. The collaborators discuss the genesis of their collaboration and the anti-fascist themes that are uncomfortably relevant today.

Katherine Saxon discusses the challenges and creative opportunities of creating music for a woman with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Her piece features a woman who is suffering a dissociative episode. 

“Musically I approached the different alters (multiple personalities) trying very hard to characterize what is the most salient thing about this personality at this moment and what they want out of this situation,” says Saxon. She talks about her use of leitmotiv for different personalities within the same character and how that opportunity allows one singer to showcase different colors and facets of their voice.