Nicholas Landrum, Current DM Student
Alinea is meant to serve as a watershed piece, or as I like to think of it, a notebook burner. In the summer of 2016, I found myself wanting to purge a lengthy number of compositional ideas from my notebook, and to start anew aesthetically, pushing forward stylistically with great vigor. I wrote Alinea to suit this need, and also to begin that push towards a new direction in my writing.
The alinea symbol (known colloquially as the “paragraph symbol”) represents beginning of a new thought in writing. The work serves as a pastiche of notebook sketches, with each section representing a cathartic tearing of the page out of my sketch pad as it makes its way into the work (and onto the studio floor). Though not explicitly narrative in nature, the work serves as a compositional self-portrait of who I was as an artist from 2015 to 2016, with traces of what came before, and all the while looking toward the future. In particular, lyricism and driving rhythm found their way back into my work, while hints of rhythmic play and organic structure lean towards new aesthetic goals. Also, admittedly, the work is inspired by Alinea restaurant in Chicago, and its head chef, Grant Achatz, whose whimsical culinary masterpieces continue to inspire me from afar.
Nicholas Landrum is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, bass-baritone, and electronic artist whose work focuses on navigating the world between punk, electronic, and contemporary classical idioms. Recently, his works focus heavily on larger formal structures (or “big shapes”) and communicating a potent personal narrative through juxtaposition of experimentation and lyricism, as well as a strong commitment to collaboration. His works have been commissioned and performed by loadbang, North Coast Winds, the historic Tenth Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, and members of the Boston Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, and San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Recent performances and honors include the Dean’s Prize in Orchestral Composition from the IU Jacobs School of Music, his string quartet Apertures being selected as the winning entry of the Kuttner Quartet Competition, selection as composition fellow at the 2017 Red Note Music Festival (Illinois State University), composition fellow of the Musica Nova Orchestra in Phoenix, Arizona, performances at the Society of Composers Inc. National Student Conference, and with the Jacobs School’s New Music Ensemble. Landrum has served as associate instructor at Jacobs and recently joined the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Young Composers’ Program. A Philadelphia native, Landrum currently resides in Rochester, New York, with his wife, violinist Hanna Landrum.