My time at Civitella Ranieri was tremendously rewarding. I stayed in Granaio, the old granary, and Civitella supplied me with a piano and sound equipment. I had three main goals: I wanted to deepen my practice of improvisation, master the basics of recording, and compose new music. The first two of these went together: I had a laptop and microphone with me and devoted hours each day to recording my solo clarinet improvisations. These I edited into pieces that I uploaded, day by day, to an album on Bandcamp, which I made available free to the public. The album, “From the Granary,” is at
On our visit to the Madonna del Parto in Monterchi, Dana Prescott introduced me to the poetry of Gjertrud Schnackenberg. In the Civitella library I found Gjertrud’s book “Heavenly Questions,” which had such a strong impact on me that I began writing a piece, “Archimedes,” in response. As the piece developed, and I struggled with questions of form and substance, I felt especially fortunate for the time, the space, and the artistic camaraderie accorded me by my residency at Civitella.