Fall 2013

Original Music Part of Centennial Celebration

Professor Brian Post

Professor Brian Post strives to compose music that reaches people. That means it must be interesting and accessible, but not so soothing that it’s simply background noise.

“If someone says my music was ‘nice,’ that’s the kiss of death,” jokes Post, who specializes in composition, music theory and music technology.. “You don’t want someone’s mind to wander to their grocery list while they’re listening to your song.”

Post, who most recently composed the score for a campus production of Shakuntala, is now composing another original piece: an arrangement for voice and piano to honor HSU’s 2013-14 centennial celebration.

“My ultimate goal is to draw listeners in, to keep them engaged and remind them what it means to be a part of the HSU community,” Post says of the composition, which will premiere next spring. “Of course if they walk away remembering the music, it is an added bonus.”

Post’s selection will be inspired by the poetry of several HSU faculty members. “I always like to incorporate multiple disciplines into my work because it provides me with more ideas to draw from,” he says.

Last semester, Post enlisted the help of English student Justin Tretten through a faculty-student research grant. In the University Library, Tretten found several books of poetry, including works by English faculty members Elma McCann (1930s), Reginald White (1947-62), Jorie Graham (1980s) and Jim Dodge (1990s).

Over the next few months, Post will scour the books for passages that resonate with him.

“I might take a poem and recite the first few lines over and over, until music notes attach themselves to the words,” he says. “Or the poem might give me a harmonic expression, which I’ll later overlay with a melody. It’s an organic process.”

Post’s composition will premiere April 26 in Fulkerson Recital Hall. Assistant voice professor Elisabeth Harrington will perform the piece with accompaniment by HSU faculty musicians.

“It will be an acknowledgement of the wonderful creativity that has preceded me and that I’m now a part of,” Post says.