"Thoughts on April 25th's concert" by Paul Safar

Hello Cherry Blossom!

This Saturday, April 25th, we are proud to present Birds, Blossoms, and All Things Living; The Music of Paul Safar at 7:30 pm at the First Christian Church, 1166 Oak Street in Eugene. This affordable concert ($10/ $5 students, suggested) is sponsored by Aprovecho Research Center, and is all about inviting new audiences to hear new music. Since this concert is "all Paul", we thought we'd give you some thoughts from the living, breathing composer himself, so you can get an inside look at the music! Read on, and make sure you check out our home page with the image of Kim Still's gorgeous poster- you'll get a visual feast as well as the names of the performers!


 I am a composer of contemporary classical music, but sometimes I wonder...what IS contemporary classical music? "Contemporary" means taking place in the present time, while "classical" refers to a historic period. Living composers are trained in a classical tradition which covers the period from before Bach to after Stravinsky.  Yet we can't live without feeling and absorbing the music around us today as well. So as contemporary composers we have the freedom to find our own voice both within tradition and in our own time. I think this is why, for me, no two living composers' music ever sounds the same.


I have been writing pieces for over twenty–five years.  Along the way, I have written pop and folk songs, rock music and a few things that might be called jazz tunes. I love singing Beatles songs. I bask in the improvisatory quality of jazz.  But contemporary classical music is my home. I find writing within this world incredibly exciting. Every piece is a new territory to explore. I always go back to the tradition and craft of classical music while integrating elements of today’s complex world. Like many composers these days, I infuse my music with my love of vernacular styles like rock, jazz and world music.  Nothing exists in a vacuum. I am proud to carry the label “living composer” and I am grateful to be alive in a world that offers up so many kinds of musical inspiration to play with.


My main collaborator in these artistic pursuits is Nancy Wood, whose help with lyrics, editing (including this) and everything in between is immeasurable. Nancy writes and curates  text with as much care as I write music. As a singer, she knows what words feel like, sound like, and how they ring with meaning and expression. Nancy and I are excited to share music that springs from both the head and heart.


 I thank you for being interested to hear NEW music. In this show we are celebrating the birds, the blossoms, and the love of life. So we are presenting a mix of everything-- some pieces are  very accessible, some perhaps a bit more angular or edgy and some perhaps even bordering on pop music. The lines between genres can and should be blurry!


To quote Dean Still, who gave the impetus to present this concert, thank you for taking part in “active listening in a sacred space”.  Welcome to Cherry Blossom Musical Arts.


Paul Safar


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