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Mar 30, 2021

This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra interviews Damien Simon, a renowned musical composer, author, and guest lecturer who has written dozens of scores for multiple genres and sizes of groups around the world. Damien is a graduate of the Purchase Conservatory in New York and the University College of Dublin in Ireland. Damien guest lectures at dance conservatories, consulting his audiences on how to best collaborate when creating art. Damien consolidated these lectures into his published book — The Collaboration — which seeks to help others create well together.

When Damien began composing scores for dance and ballet, his music passion found new life. He found himself swept up in the magic of seeing others reacting to his music in a fresh way. However, Damien quickly became aware of the natural friction that occurs between the artists that make the music and the artists that choreograph the dance. On the podcast, Damien shares his experiences producing scores for the stage and shares some key tips on making the most out of every collaboration. 


Moving Quotes:

"There's a lot of fear with choreographers and artistic directors about working with composers. They're scared it will be a mess. It's the same with composers. It's so easy to overcome that. It's all about communication between the two of you. The more you communicate, the more you get the job done well. And quickly. And leave wanting to do more."

"I enjoy using my music as a medium. I see my music. Not only do I hear it. I also see what others get out of it... That's what I love."

[On marketing yourself] "No one is going to come to you; you have to go to them. If they don't know who you are, they're not going to come to you."


Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:

2:55: Damien discusses his journey as a musician, from his first instrument to studying on a different continent.

4:45: Damien, who has had a diverse background as a musician, explains what brings him joy when writing music for dance and the arts.

5:53: Simon gives some tips on working well when creating a score alongside a choreographer.

8:11: Simon, a published author, discusses his book — The Collaboration — including why it was written and who it was written to.

12:34: Damien speaks to the natural friction that occurs between the artistic goals of the composer and the choreographer and gives some advice on how to overcome those differences.

14:26: Damien shares some tips on creating a business based on your craft.

17:55: Simon encourages younger musicians to heavily consider which route in music you want to take prior to choosing your path.

21:32: Simon discusses the change that he hopes to see in the arts world through the knowledge that he shares.

24:09: Damien rounds out the conversation by sharing some of his future plans.


Bullet List of Resources – 

Damien Simon