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David Clark Interview

February 4, 2004

Myriad : Hello, Mr Clark, thanks for answering some questions. You won the First Prize of the 3th Tune Friendly Contest with your piece "The Chance I almost had" and we wish first to know who you are. Could you please introduce yourself?

David Clark David Clark: I'm currently a student in the Computer Science department at Texas A&M University, and plan on attending medical school. I have spent most of my life here in Texas except for a two-year stay in Haîti during which I was doing missionary service.  I am a lover of art, especially literature and music, and hope to continue to compose as a hobby throughout my life.

Myriad: On what kind of hardware are you working ?

David Clark: I've done all my work on a PowerMac G4 450MP under Mac OS9 and OSX.

Myriad: What has been your music itinerary ?

David Clark: I have a diverse musical background: My parents are fans of classical music and are musicians, so I was exposed that even before birth.  At age 10 I took piano lessons, but unfortunately lost interest after two years.  I played the trombone for 6 years in school, and was a member of both stage (jazz), concert, and marching bands.  Later, I became interested in the piano again and in singing.  I've been experimenting with composing since I was 15 (I'm currently 24), and have had no formal training.

Myriad: Do you play an instrument (or several) ?

David Clark: Piano, trombone, a little guitar.

Myriad: What are your tastes in matter of music ? You can quote artists or music genres if you want.

David Clark: My musical tastes are diverse.  I am most interested in the classics, especially the music of the Romantic period, but I am also interested in classic rock and modern pop.

Myriad: More precisely, what are you currently listening to ?

David Clark: I just got an Enrique Iglesias album as well as one by Céline Dion.

Myriad: And what kind of music don't you listen to anymore ?

David Clark: I don't care for alternative rock much anymore.

Myriad: If you had to chose a piece to be put into a capsule to be sent to the inhabitants of Alpha Centauri, what would be your choice ?

David Clark: Mozart's Requiem.

Myriad: If you had to be out of the world during a whole year, what are the two albums you would take away with you ?

David Clark: Mozart's Requiem and Wagner's Tannhaüser.

Myriad: About the piece which won the contest, what has been the source of your inspiration ?

David Clark: Various musical drama's, namely Les Misérables, influenced The Chance I Almost Had specifically, but most of my inspiration comes from everyday experiences mixed with daydreaming.

Myriad : What has been the progress (process?) of your composition (technical details will be of interest for the readers) ?

David Clark: I typically develop a clear idea of the whole piece in my "mind's ear" before I do anything.  This includes first, the overall feeling of the piece, then the melody with harmony.  At a keyboard I may work out certain accompaniment elements within the framework of harmony I've conceived.  Often I'll "play" with it for months or even years before I put any thing to paper (or computer screen, as it may be).

Myriad: Do you have an anecdote to recount ? Not necessarily related to your piece, but related to music in general.

David Clark: I don't have anything to recount that would qualify as anecdotal.

Myriad : What are your goals or your project in relation with music ?

David Clark: My only goals relate to finishing some of my more inspired works.  I compose for the love of doing so, and if people like it, and it is received well enough to go into a production, that is an additional and unexpected reward.

Myriad : Do you have a personal Web site ?

David Clark: Not at the moment.

Myriad : Do you want to pass an advice or a message to the readers of this interview ?

David Clark: If you are moved to compose, don't get in a hurry to do something grand.  Cultivate your talent and study the best of those before you.

Myriad : What other questions would you have wanted to be asked ? What would have been your answers then ?

David Clark: I can't think of anything I would like to be asked now.

Myriad : Thank you for having answered these questions.

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