Black and white photograph of the head and chest of a light skinned bearded man; he smiles faintly at the camera and rests his chin on his hand

Christopher Stark

Elliott Carter Rome Prize
September 5, 2022–July 14, 2023
Associate Professor, Department of Music, Washington University in St. Louis
Project title
Piano Trio
Project description

In Rome I will be composing a twenty-minute piano trio. My work in recent years has become hyper focused on the observation and perception of different environments. My compositional process now includes weeks, even months, of isolated travel where I attempt to embed myself in locations that are unfamiliar to me. Through sustained attention and repeated daily visits, I hope to uncover some of the nuance, serendipity, and ephemera of these places. This process often involves capturing many hours of field recordings, and then analyzing these recordings to uncover musical ideas that may be hidden within these unique sonic landscapes. This idea was born out of an attempt to use the esoteric tools that I learned while studying musical composition to increase my ability to empathize with unfamiliar surroundings and people. Rome would be an ideal environment to enact this process.

The photograph of Christopher Stark is by Laura Bianchi, courtesy of the Bogliasco Foundation.