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Posted by Kimberly Capehart at 10:18PM   |  3 comments
Nicholas Walker will be playing the double bass in the American Dissonances concert in the Hockett Recital Hall, this Tuesday, April 1st

Blog posting by Kimberly Capehart, Documentary Studies and Production '16, FLEFF Blogger, Cherry Hill, NJ

Nicholas Walker is one of the most accomplished, yet unbelievably humble, persons I've ever had the pleasure of having a conversation with. 

When we spoke over the phone last Thursday afternoon, Walker had just managed to clear a 30-minute chunk of time in his busy schedule (in between teaching, practicing, advising, and all the other things he manages to do in a day) to talk to me about all things double bass, American Dissonances, and FLEFF. In fact, as an associate professor of Performance Studies in the Ithaca College James J. Whalen School of Music, world traveler, and incredibly accomplished musician, "busy" might just be understatement to describe his life. 

Walker has a long history of performance, having played all over North America, as well as in Australia, Russia, South Korea, China, the Netherlands, Germany and more. His next stop will be right here in Ithaca, New York, where he will perform in the American Dissonances concert in the Hockett Family Recital Hall in the James J. Whalen School of Music, this Tuesday, April 1st at 8:15 PM. 

"When I travel all over the world, I’m playing for people who live in the area I'm visiting, so the important thing for me is that I’m coming from somewhere else and visiting a community, and for someone else who's attending the concert, it’s important to them because I’m someone from somewhere else who has come to play for them," says Walker. "But Ithaca is a very culturally vibrant community – it’s really important to bring different cultures to the community, not just to perpetuate our own cultures'" he notes of this phenomenon of culture-swapping. 

He continues, "I feel like music can really break down the barriers between different communities, especially at FLEFF, where students and faculty and community members are coming together from different disciplines. Breaking down those barriers is so important because our individual disciplines have a lot more meaning and value when shared with others."

Walker adds that he's excited to be breaking down barriers as a musician and collaborating with different musicians in a variety of musical styles for the American Dissonances concert. The arrangement, which will feature Frank Campos playing trumpet, Jairo Geronymo and Deborah Martin playing piano, Wendy Mehne playing flute, and Dawn Pierce playing mezzo soprano, is a collaboration of the works of Bernstein, Copland, Costello, Gershwin, Walker himself, and folk songs.

"There’s an opportunity here for so many different people to come together and to be a part of this festival," says Walker. "I really think that it’s important to engage in many different disciplines and to be a part of many different communities and I’m really glad to be part of a community where this kind of collaboration is happening – it’s remarkable!'" he concludes. 

Come see Walker perform his own original piece, Chorale, in the American Dissonances concert this Tuesday. Be sure to get there early, as the concert will absolutely sell out! 


3 Comments

I remember seeing Professor Nicholas Walker perform in Ford Hall a few years ago. In addition to playing some classical staples, Walker performed a few of his own pieces. His music stretched my ideas about the capabilities of the double bass and string instruments. I'm very excited to hear Chorale and attend the American Dissonances concert!

I've never seen Professor Walker play before, so I'm really excited to see him play for the first time! I asked him, in our interview, how long he had been preparing for this performance, and he said that any performance is really a lifelong preparation: a culmination of years of training, practicing, writing piece, etc. It was a really interesting perspective, so I definitely think his passion will shine through!

Professor Walker was one of my favorite performers last night. It's nice to read this post after the fact and get a little insight into his perspective. I love that someone as accomplished as he can still advise that people be engaged in multiple disciplines. Sometimes I wonder what the right balance is of perfecting one talent versus being well-rounded. I liked his quote on this at the end of the piece.



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