In March I begin a three-week residency as Denver Art Museum’s first Creative in Residence. I’m nervous and excited about the experience. I don’t know exactly what to expect; I have participated in just one other residency before, in Catskill, New York, but the setting was quite different and very pastoral. I have also traveled abroad as a Fulbright Fellow to Iceland, but that experience immersed me in a new culture and landscape, rather than a setting much closer to home.
I have brainstormed so many project ideas in advance, and I am looking forward to realizing a handful of them, knowing that they will change and evolve along the way. I may even find that being in the galleries for an extended stay may conjure entirely new ideas. Having a budget helps me set goals for the projects. I am slowly whittling down a list of materials I might need and people I will want to invite in to assist.
I have worked with the public on music-related projects before, but rarely have they been pieces that can live on in some way when I am not present. I am also curious to see how I can create work while in the galleries, interacting with visitors while I prepare for works or involve visitors in process of creating. Music composition is often a solitary act, so I wonder what kinds of pieces might be intriguing for visitors even if they are only half-completed…or even if I am able to concentrate amidst commotion!
My personal goals for this residency are ones from which normally cause me a little anxiety. I would like to become more comfortable with sharing my work in an unfinished state, allowing my process to be more apparent. I would like to take more risks in my work, knowing that I might make big mistakes in front of people, embarrass myself, or perhaps make guests uncomfortable in stumbling into a piece in progress. But as history has shown, my favorite (and usually most personally ‘successful’) projects have been the ones that I have been the most uncertain about, or pieces that I felt vulnerable, having shared something quite personal.
Professional goals are also important for me to set. I feel honored to be able to realize ideas that have gone previously rejected by other institutions, and I want to use my time and resources to their best benefit. I am striving to get great visual documentation of my work—I have a feeling that this residency could be a huge boost for showing future supporters some of the harder-to-categorize works I make! Finally, I would like to use this residency to explore more of the potential of music and musical instruments within physical spaces. My creative experience has been primarily in recital halls and in recordings, so I want to challenge myself to think more three-dimensionally. Through sound, I want to capture the spirit of the works in the collection and bringing that spirit out into physical space.