Andrew Norman: Better Living Through Architecture
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Andrew Norman was a well-feted kid composer, a precocious pre-adolescent who wrote works with grand, filmic gestures for his middle school orchestra and had the local newspapers filling their style sections with profiles invoking Mozart. Then he went to college.
All of a sudden, Norman's musical world exponentially widened; he was exposed to styles and practices so far outside of his previous experience that he stopped composing altogether. How could he write what he had been writing in a world rich with Lachenmanns, Xenakises and Carters, who were manipulating, torquing and stifling sound to create a whole different world of music? Norman almost left music entirely for architecture, but in flirting with this other career, he actually found his way back to composition, ultimately birthing a style that stunningly weds texture and drama in a unique and wonderful way.