Gloria Coates-Berceuse (from the Solo Sonata)

Posted on November 29th, 2009 by


Gloria is an acclaimed painter, and there’s a special relationship between her compositions and her painting

I met Gloria Coates in Munich in 1991. From the moment that we met, I felt empathy: a conversation began which continues unabated. We have shared ideas over innumerable cups of coffee at the Lenbachhaus. There, the paintings of that most musical group of painters, the Blau Reiter, can be seen.

Gloria Coates-Berceuse

Engineer: Jonathan Haskell (Astounding Sounds)

As a quartet, we often speak about Gloria’s way of listening to her own music (she is, perhaps, the most self-critical composer that I have ever met). Unlike many composers, she will not sit in rehearsal with the score in her hands. Instead, she will almost always close or cover her eyes, intently concentrating on every moment, every sound. Gloria’s greatest concern is that her music ‘works’, that, on every level and scale, the piece is as effective as it can possibly be. This is, perhaps surprisingly, liberating, as she experiences her music in much the same way as a player, almost as if she herself is playing. Perhaps super-listening is the secret of her unique voice. Gloria’s music needs to overwhelm listener, player, and composer. Once the floodgates are open, its extraordinary beauty is irresistible.

Gloria Coates at Home in Munich. 9 3 17

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