During my residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center, my goal was to start developing sketches for my three compositions: parti… for violin solo, spargens for trombone solo, and concretize my plans for Tramespace, a diptych for large ensemble that I would be working on for the coming few years. I have accomplished the objective, and I feel that I have some solid materials to work on after the residency is over. However, the residency also brought me some unexpectedly fruitful projects with other Fellows. They are: a public interdisciplinary presentation/dialogue with Kenyan visual artist Peterson Kamwathi Waweru, several video montage projects with Argentinian poet Arturo Carrera, as well as a recording/improvisation project with composers Claudio Baroni and Theresa Wong. I do not consider them as distractions from my own works; instead, I firmly believe that these spontaneous happenings enrich my creative vision in music and encourage the multilateral perspectives on arts-at-large.
Without any doubt I could say that the fellowship was one of the singularly important events in my life thus far because the castle, surrounded by the immense natural landscape, was a locus of listening. In each moment of listening, whether to the weaves of birdcalls, to the thought-provoking ideas of the other Civitellians, or to the clarity of my own ideas formulated in the uninterrupted tranquility, I was constantly challenged to listen more. To listen more so that a deeper sense of understanding is revealed “fold-by-fold” – this was a welcoming change after my recent years in New York, where I often felt the need to filter out the saturated soundscape in order to hear. So I am very glad to have been powerfully reminded of the act of listening during the month of May at Civitella, where the trace of chilly spring still lingered in the air.