There are so many incredible Black women composers in history, some of whom are steadily gaining the recognition they truly deserve, albeit posthumously. It would be irresponsible, however, to ignore the dozens of living, working, successful, and upcoming/emerging composers who happen to be Black women. In this vain, please enjoy this interview with the incredible Lawren Brianna Ware!
Castle of our Skins : What was your journey into becoming a musician?
Lawren Breanna Ware : I was born into a musical family and began my musical journey at the age of 5. My oldest aunt on my father's side was a piano major, choir director, and teacher, and I (along with the rest of the family) was inspired by her. My parents (who are also very musical---my father being a trumpeter and bass vocalist, and my mother being a saxophonist, alto vocalist, and former pianist) started me in piano lessons at the age of 5, and music has been my first love ever since (many other instruments followed the piano, including the violin, saxophone, cello, viola, guitar, bass guitar, organ, and voice). I was inspired to begin composing around the 5th or 6th grade. After hearing the scores to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Passion of the Christ, and Pirates of the Caribbean, I knew that I wanted to compose as well.
CooS : What are some of your current musical projects?
LBWare : I am currently working on a CD project with the Birmingham Arts Music Alliance in collaboration with the Amernet String Quartet. The CD is to be released later this year. I am also working on a commission for a trombone and piano piece, and I am composing a Pierrot ensemble piece. In addition, I will be opening for Branford Marsalis and the Branford Marsalis Quartet in April of 2019 at the Overture Center for the Arts. In the meantime, I am steadily composing, practicing piano, teaching piano, and researching DMA and Ph.D. programs.
CooS : Who has inspired you musically?
LBWare : My musical muses are: Chopin, Barber, Copland, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Kapustin, Poulenc, Fazil Say, William Dawson, Germaine Tailleferre, Alexandre Desplat, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Joan Tower, and Ludwig Görranson to name a few (in the "classical world"). I am also inspired by the band "Snarky Puppy."
CooS : Imagine an organization gives you a $10 million commission to compose ANYTHING you want for any number and type of musician. What piece would you compose? What would be the instrumentation? The length? The style or styles?
LBWare : I would love to compose for orchestra (and choir if needed). The piece would be for a major motion picture. I love film and film music, and would LOVE to compose a score for a major motion picture! Otherwise, I would love to compose a three-movement piano concerto (style=romantic/modern/jazzy).
CooS : Thanks so much, and congratulations on all of your projects and successes!
Please be sure to follow Lawren Brianna Ware on her social media platforms:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lbwaremusic/
Writings, musings, photos, links, and videos about Black Artistry of ALL varieties! Feel free to drop a comment or suggestions for posts!