Interview with the Artist: Rachel C. Walker

Rachel C. Walker

The upcoming Performance & Time Arts show is a mixed media performance, containing elements of dance, spoken word, and theater. What role does your piece play in it?

My contribution to the February PTA show is a short, whimsical composition for cello and flugelhorn. While my work doesn’t include any inherently theatrical elements and is ‘just music’, it is very much an extension of the themes Shakira was interested in exploring in the show and serves to tie together some of the other non-musical acts.

Where did you draw your inspiration from?

When Shakira approached me about writing a piece, she suggested the idea of having a musical work demonstrating differences in communication. In this case, the cello and the flugelhorn parts never quite sync up or want to listen to each other. (The flugelhorn is actually played at a distance offstage). More broadly speaking, the personalities and physical movements of the performers I write for are things I tend to turn to in creating new works.

Have you created music for dance/theater works before? How has this collaboration gone in comparison?

My most recent dance/theater collaboration was my opera, “Difficulty on Re-entry”, with librettist Kendall A., which NANOWorks Opera premiered last March at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Like that, this has been a very positive experience. Due to her experience as a dancer and a choreographer, Shakira has found the perfect balance of knowing what she wants and being open to new ideas and means of expression. I hope to work with her again on more dance-oriented projects in the future.

For more information on Rachel C. Walker, visit her site here.

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