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Opening Doors to Music: A Conversation with Two Composers

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We've all seen beautiful paintings and photographs of doors; far less common is music inspired by them. NMSU tuba professor Dr. Jim Shearer asked his colleague, Lon Chaffin (Music Department Chair) to write a work inspired by doors -- and using photographs taken by Albuquerque artist Jim Gale, Chaffin incorporated the images into a multi-media composition. Shearer also commissioned Arkansas-based composer Lester Pack and NMSU alumnus Justin Raines to compose new works. The result: three world premieres for the rather unusual combination of tuba (performed by Jim Shearer) and string quartet (La Catrina Quartet). Chaffin and Pack came to KRWG to discuss the writing of the pieces, their approaches to composition and more, in this interview with Leora Zeitlin, host of Intermezzo.

Leora Zeitlin is one of the hosts (Thursday/Friday) of Intermezzo, KRWG-FM's local classical music program, which airs weekdays from 2pm to 4pm. In addition to showcasing an eclectic selection of music, Intermezzo features interviews with visiting and local musicians, "name that composer" challenges, ticket giveaways, and on Fridays, the popular "Intermezzo by Request."