Now that summer is in full swing, it is time for me, after 4 fantastic years, to bid farewell to the TIMARA department and to Oberlin. Hard to believe it’s been so long, the time has rushed by in such a blur. From teaching the Max class, Advanced Digital Signal Processing, or the seminar on composition and literature, it’s been a blast! And of course OINC — I am truly amazed at what you all created out of our weekly gatherings. I can’t tell you all how grateful I am for all of your enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, hard work, and of course all the weird interests and crazy side projects you all get into. You kept me busy just trying to keep up, and fueled my imagination in so many ways.
It seems appropriate to reminisce a bit more about OINC, since in many ways that was my signature contribution to the Oberlin culture, and was so pivotal in my own development. It’s amazing to me how much the ensemble changed over its 4 years of existence. There was, of course, the size – it grew much larger than any self-respecting improvising ensemble has a right to be. But we made it work, and the challenge of doing so turned out to be a fascinating problem to be tackled anew every semester. The tenor of our work changed as well, as we became so ever more invested in examining what makes for good improvisation when the rules are not specifically defined. And of course there was CarnivOINC — what an incredible ride that was! I was extremely proud of how you all handled yourselves while working with the visiting ensembles, and I know they were all impressed with you!
As many of you already know, this fall I will be joining the faculty at Miami University (it’s in Ohio, not to be confused with the one in a much warmer clime!). I am very excited about the new position, and look forward to being part of a thriving music department not so far from here. Strangely enough I will be on sabbatical during the spring semester to complete a Musical Research Residency at IRCAM in Paris. It is indeed going to be a year filled with exploration and adventure!
Though signing off for now, I will most certainly miss you all and reflect often on the oh so many fond memories of my time in the TIMARA department. I certainly plan to visit whenever I can, and if you are ever in the Cincinnati area, my doors are always open. I look forward to hearing about future activities here at Oberlin, as well as the many adventures you all have ahead!