Civitella Ranieri is celebrating African American History Month by featuring some of our African American alumni. We asked composer Carman Moore (CRF 2010)…

1)    What are you working on now?

I am presently working on several projects.  One called CYGNUS (Swans Across the Milky Way) was commissioned by the wonderful chamber ensemble CYGNUS.  It is scored for flute, English horn, 2 guitars, violin, and cello.  They intend to perform its premiere this year.  I am also co-creating a dramatic song cycle about the wisdom of Nature called EMBRACING THE ROOT with Danish vocalist Lotte Arnsbjerg.  For that I will be traveling back and forth between NYC and Copenhagen (and am seeking commission funds).  I’m also creating with Ms. Arnsbjerg a wonderful social project called Transformation Festival, which celebrates the overcoming of trauma using the arts—“from Victimhood to Empowerment.” I will be off to Berkeley, California in March to perform at a Transformation Festival held by The Black Repertory Theater.  I will also be conducting my Skymusic Ensemble in performance this year.

2)    How did Civitella influence you or your work? 

The Civitella experience reminded me how precious it is to be away from the distractions of “everyday life”and close to and in-love with one’s latest work.  Being well-fed and in the company of first-rate world artists also enriches one’s work.

3)    Please share one anecdote or specific memory from your time at Civitella.

I was domiciled at the enormous (and beautiful) Ballroom in the Castle with also a very large bedroom. I recall it taking me a full week or so before I didn’t experience a clutch at the heart upon entering the big ballroom in the dark of night and beholding the bigger-than-life portraits of the ancient lords and ladies.  Often you’d turn on the light switch and get only some flickering.  Then once in bed I would notice hanging at the foot of the bed a huge painting of Judith about to stab Holofernes to death.  I finally made my peace with these characters… After all they were my “ghost hosts with the most.”