|From student to composer
RELEASED: Dec. 2, 2004
DANVILLE, KYMiles Barger may not be a familiar name today, but someday he could be listed among such musical greats as John Cage and Philip Glass. The sophomore double major in music and English from Brandenburg, Ky., is composing one of his first pieces as part of contract with a Lexington artist.
At the recommendation of Larry Bitensky, assistant professor of music at Centre, sculptor Zoe Strecker hired Barger to compose the music to accompany her latest installation. Strecker's recent work illustrates the dangers in households and day-to-day environments. Barger uses ambient sounds such as traffic, children playing and nature, along with readings from instruction manuals, vocals, synthesizers and drum machines.
Barger's piece, which will also earn him class credit, lasts about 20-25 minutes and will play while people view the artwork.
"It's been great to work with someone who also has an artist's vision," Barger says. "It's been a good experience to write something, play it for her and collaborate. I've had fun as well."
Barger began studying piano at 7 and later began playing percussion instruments but says he never considered composition until he came to Centre.
"I have known Miles since he came to Centre, and he very quickly showed himself to be one of the most imaginative music students I've taught," Bitensky says. "He has just the right combination of talent, experience, intelligence and drive that makes him a natural composer. When the opportunity for this collaborative project came up, I knew that Miles would be the kind of person who could approach this with real creativity, and he's done an extraordinary job of composing an ambitiously rich, multilayered electronic soundscape that captures the spirit of the installation perfectly. I'm greatly looking forward to watching Miles grow as an artist over the next few years."
Barger plans to continue writing music and already has a string quartet in progress.
The opening preview of Strecker's work featuring Barger's music will be on Dec. 10, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Loudoun House Gallery in Lexington. Admission to the preview event is $10. Free public viewings will be Dec. 11-23, Tuesday-Sunday 1-4 p.m. For more information on the showing, visit http://www.lexingtonartleague.org/loudounhousegallery.htm.
To order a CD of Barger's music, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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