From the Maslanka Archive – No. 31, Julian Velasco’s Interview of David – Part 1

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David’s life and work. Did you work with David? Please consider contributing material.

It’s time for another edition of From the Maslanka Archive. We are actively building the Archive, but it won’t be ready for public viewing for a while. In the meantime, we wanted to show off some great items we’ve already collected.

We also wanted to inspire YOU to help grow the collection. We would love to feature you in an upcoming edition! Simply provide us with photos, video, audio, or stories of your time together and you may find them on the front page. 

This week, we are excited to feature Part 1 of Julian Velasco’s interview of David from his home in Missoula, MT in 2016. In Part 1, David discusses dreaming/meditation, composition, and touches on aspects of his following works: A Child’s Garden of Dreams, Symphony No. 3, Symphony No. 4, Symphony No. 5, Songs for the Coming Day, Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble, and Give Us This Day.

“Things come back because during the course of composing a new piece, the memory returns. Suddenly something that I’m working on inspires the memory of the older music and it feels like it has a need to be in this new place. There is no grand intellectual scheme going on here, and no grand thought process, it is one of responding to impulse. It may be hard to see from the outside because all the music is composed, it looks official, it looks like a grand overriding thought has generated this. And I would have to say that that is the case, and yet it is not in the sense of intellectually generating a plan of action, a series of ideas. The composing process is for me the relatively simple one of letting whatever wants to come up through my mind to come up without restriction and taking hold of that, sketching things out. And in the process of composing, whatever shows up and comes to hand is a serendipitous kind of joining of things that want to come together.” – David Maslanka

Listen below to Part 1 of Julian Velasco’s interview with David.

From Julian Velasco’s Official Website:

Hailing from Los Angeles, Julian Velasco is a Chicago-based saxophonist who’s passion for music has lead him to collaborations with musicians from a wide variety backgrounds. His studies have taken him across the country to places such as: Carnegie Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. He has also performed at various music festivals and conferences such as: Music For All, the Detroit Jazz Festival, the College Band Directors National Association National Conference, the Midwest Clinic, the North American Saxophone Alliance Regional and National Conferences, the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival, Music Teachers National Association National Conference, and the Hispanic Festival of Grand Rapids. 

An active orchestral musician, Julian has performed with orchestras such as Elgin Symphony, Lansing Symphony, South Coast Symphony, Orange County School of the Arts Symphony Orchestra, Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra, Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and the Waukegan Symphony. Julian has also been an invited artist to join the Chautauqua Music School Festival Orchestra on multiple occasions.

Julian had the rare opportunity to work closely with composer David Maslanka, and studied some of his largest saxophone works directly with him in Missoula, Montana in the summer of 2016. David remarked him as “one of the finest young saxophonists I know”. An active supporter of new music, Julian has premiered music from composers across genre lines such as: Billy Childs, David Biedenbender, Zhou Tian, and Matti Kovler.

A very special thanks to Julian for sharing this special interview with the David Maslanka Foundation.

Would you like to be featured in an upcoming edition of From the Maslanka Archive? It’s easy! Please send us anything you have (picture, audio, video, concert poster, concert program, correspondence with David, etc.) and we will feature you!