Get to Know...John Moody
Through the Composer Spotlight series, we’ve discovered that many of the pieces originated through a personal connection. Tutti Frutti (for Two-ti Virtuosi Flutti) by John Moody, is no exception. John composed it as a gift to his cousin, Turi Scilipoti, in honor of his graduation from Eastman in 2016. Tutti Frutti (for Two-ti Virtuoso Flutti) received an Honorable Mention in the Newly Composed Category in this year's FNMC Composition Competition. John was busy writing for flute in 2016, along with Tutti Frutti, he composed two other chamber pieces, Drip for woodwing quintet with piano and Falling Up for flute, oboe, synthesizer, and looper which was premiered January 9, 2017 in Spartanburg, SC.
We’re excited about two upcoming performances of Tutti Frutti! FNMC members Kallie Snyder and Sarah Jane Young will perform the complete work at the Florida Flute Convention on January 28, 2017 and Emily Nazario and Brittany Trotter will perform select movements at the Mid-South Flute Convention. Don’t worry if you won’t be able to attend one of those performances, you can listen to a great performance on his website or SoundCloud page!
Q&A with John…
What about new music for the flute appeals to you?
The flute is a very nimble and versatile instrument, with a beautiful tone. It is also capable of several "special effects". When I write music for the flute I try to take advantage of these attributes!
Who is/are your favorite “new music” composer/s and why?
Lately I've been listening to lots of Unsuk Chin. I think her music is fascinating - it is virtuosic and full of special effects. In spite of the dissonance in her works there seems to be an intriguing tonality present in her music that I am trying to understand. I have also always liked the music of Jacob Druckman and John Harbison.
What is/are your favorite “new music” piece/s and why?
I think Unsuk Chin's Violin Concerto is amazing - as is her Cello Concerto. Jacob Druckman's "Aureole" was the first "New Music" piece that I ever really "liked". I first heard it back in the eighties when my wife played it with the Charleston Symphony. I was totally drawn in to the music, and after the piece I thought to myself, "Oh my, I think I actually LIKED that piece of New Music!" John Harbison's "Symphony No. 2" is a wonderful piece, as well as the "Mirabai Songs" found on Dawn Upshaw's amazing debut album.
Describe your musical background and current activities.
I have a BME in Choral Music from the University of South Carolina. I took a composition class and loved it. So, I went on to get a Masters Degree in Composition from USC, then we moved up to Boston, where I got my Doctorate from Boston University. When I graduated the college composition jobs were scarce. I found a wonderful High School choral job in Spartanburg, South Carolina where I have been for the past twenty years. I have always stayed very active in composition, however. Now that my children are out of the house, I am composing much more. Along with the composition and choral music I have also been an active jazz pianist.
What advice can you give to flutists about approaching new music in practice?
I advise musicians to approach New Music with an open mind. Also, dig deep into the piece and find the music that is in there. What I love is when a great performer finds something that I didn't even think about in my music. There is this possibility for synergy that is so great in music, and when it happens the resulting performances can be truly stunning! I think this is true regardless of the genre of music. I advise the flute player to approach New Music the same way they approach any other kind of music - try to find the emotion that is hidden in those written notes, and bring it out. Strive for that synergistic experience between composer, performer and audience!
More About John…
John Moody lives in Spartanburg, SC where he teaches AP Music Theory and Music Tech at Spartanburg High School and directs the Second Presbyterian Chancel Choir. John received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina where he studied with Fred Teuber and Gordon “Dick” Goodwin, and his Doctorate from Boston University where he studied with Marjorie Merryman and John Harbison. In addition to teaching and composing John is an active jazz pianist in the upstate of South Carolina. He has received several commissions from wind ensembles, chamber ensembles and choirs. His piece, “The Open Road”, for Wind Ensemble and Jazz Piano can be found on the recording “The Speed of Heat”,by the United States Air Force Academy Band, and recently his piece “Drip” won the “Treefalls call for scores” competition, and was premiered at the November 20, 2015 “Espresso Chamber Music” concert in Spartanburg, SC.
For more information, please visit his website www.johnmoodymusic.com. It was created by his cousin Turi Scilipoti, for whom Tutti Frutti was written!
If You Liked Tutti Frutti…
Instrumentation: wind quintet and piano
Year of Composition: 2015
Instrumentation: flute, oboe, synthesizer, looper
Year of Composition: 2016
The Flute New Music Consortium is an organization dedicated to the creation and support of new music for the flute.