Get to Know...Julie Barwick
Flutists love a good duet! We can always find a friend to play with and they’re great to program on guest artist programs with the hosting teacher as well as for flute fairs/conventions, and of course, to use with our students to help them improve as chamber musicians. Julie Barwick has introduced us to another great option this year with Conversations for two flutes (flute two doubles on alto flute). Conversations was a finalist work in the flute duo category. You can listen to a great recording on Julie's SoundCloud page. Julie has several other works for flutes, including a recently completed flute trio, Personal Space, commissioned by Areon Flutes.
We were also excited to see that Julie is an advocate for women in the creative arts through her Helia Arts Collective. As an organization run by women, we’re always super excited to see women advocating for the arts and female composers. Julie is joining a fantastic group of female composers who have found success in our completely blind competition. Of the 13 winning compositions, five were written by women and eight of twenty-seven winning and honorable mention works were composed by women. Overall of the forty-six composers who have been selected as finalists, honorable mentions or winners roughly a quarter (11/46) are women and two of them were finalists in multiple years! Of the total pieces honored, 14 out of 56 (an exact quarter) are by women! We’ve loved seeing that the blind process has resulted men and women, young and old(er) (18-72), from all over the US and fifteen countries being honored for their work. We love that your background is irrelevant in our competition, your music speaks for itself!
Q&A with Julie…
What about new music for the flute appeals to you?
As a composer, I find the extreme versatility and agility of the flute very exciting. The wealth of sounds that can be created with just a solo flute is astounding. In my experience, I also find flutists to be some of the most dedicated and open-minded musicians, especially when it comes to creating new music. I wrote Conversations for Siroko Duo (Jessie Nucho and Victoria Hauk) and not only are they both amazing flutists, open to nearly anything, but they are also strong champions of commissioning and performing new music.
Who are your favorite “new music” composer/s and why?
The list of my favorite new music composers is impossibly long, but I do want to highlight the Common Sense Composers Collective, and especially the composers Belinda Reynolds, Dan Becker, and Marc Mellits. They have inspired me through their teaching (I have both studied with Becker and Reynolds), their collective philosophy that emphasizes collaboration, and of course their music.
Describe your current activities.
Currently, I am focused on two main projects. The first is I am the 2017-18 Composer-in-Residence for Elevate Ensemble, a San Francisco Bay Area new music ensemble. I have two commissions from them, and currently working on the second, a chamber symphony.
I am also a recent co-founder of Helia Music Collective. I formed Helia Music Collective with fellow composer, Emma Logan, as way for us to support the creative endeavors of women in music. Earlier this year we had our first concert/collaboration with Siroko Duo that featured all new music written by women. We are currently planning our next project for 2018.
Do you have any upcoming events that you would like our friends and followers to know about?
As mentioned above, as part of my residency with Elevate Ensemble, I'm working on a commission for chamber symphony (including one flute!), to be paired with Schoenberg's pivotal Chamber Symphony. The concert will be at SOMArts in San Francisco, May 19. Details about the concert can be found here:
More About Julie…
Julie Barwick (b. 1983), is a composer and pianist originally from Southern California and now based in San Francisco. Drawing inspiration from her classical and jazz background, she not only enjoys writing for traditional chamber music ensembles, but also non-traditional ensembles as well as experimental jazz groups.
Her music has been performed throughout the Bay Area and US, and was recently selected to be on the Verdant Vibes Benefit Concert in Rhode Island in February 2017. As a winner of the 2016 Areon International Composition Competition, she was commissioned to write her piece, Personal Space, for Areon Flutes. Julie is currently Elevate Ensemble’s 2017-18 Composer-in-Residence, and will be writing two new pieces for Elevate this season. Other recent projects include commissions from San Francisco Guitar Quartet, Siroko Duo, Jill Morgan Brenner, Carla Fabris, Andronica Trio, Hot Air Music Festival, and Ignition Duo through the Guerrilla Composers Guild.
Julie received her B.A. in music from the University of California, Berkeley and her M.M. in music composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has studied with composers Belinda Reynolds, Dan Becker, David Garner, Cindy Cox, and Henry Threadgill.
Please visit her website at juliebarwick.com to learn more.
If you liked Conversations…
Chamber, with flute
The Flute New Music Consortium is an organization dedicated to the creation and support of new music for the flute.