As a family we would go somewhere for vacation every summer. I think that there, in those trips, is where my yearning for travel and the idea of “place” became instilled in me. Growing up in a small, rural town in Nebraska, I never really appreciated the place that I lived until I was a few years into my undergrad; with experiences traveling constantly with a nationally-touring rock band, studying abroad in Norway, and performing regularly in orchestras, and several ensembles shaping my appreciation for my surroundings.
Eventually I did realize that Nebraska, shockingly, is a beautiful place. The world is quiet there; I could say “placid” and it would be accurate, but I would mean it as a term of endearment. The engulfing expanse of grass, and the dauntingly wide landscapes are immediate in effect, but temporal in comprehension. This experience is something that has forced its way into my musical language. Much of the music I write is quiet, fairly slow and delicate, but there is always activity and constant development of material that, I believe, aids in my music becoming an object in an environment as much as a sonic experience over time.
To that, I think visual art captures these ideas of objectivity, place, immediacy, and quiet stasis perhaps better than music alone can. I think that there is so much to be learned from the techniques used in the visual arts and how they might be used in musical craftsmanship on a technical level beyond any programmatic elements that could subjectively be placed in sonic medium. Still, what we are really dealing with are interactions and situations between people. Real people, not abstract concepts of “performers” and “audience.”
I want to share the ideas I’ve written about above with as many people as I can so that this philosophical and compositional approach might stand on its own as something others might wish to investigate. I’ve enjoyed the trip on my own enough that I would not want anyone who might enjoy it to miss out.
Kory Reeder’s music is meditative and atmospheric, investigating ideas of objectivity, place, immediacy, situation, and interaction. Kory draws inspiration from the visual arts, nature, astronomy, and history, translating their structural elements into musical form.
Kory’s music has been performed across North America, Asian, Australia, and Europe and has been featured on the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, the New Music gathering, Composer’s Circle, SEAMUS, LaTex, The New Music Conflagration’s Traveling Tunes // Traveling Sounds, the national BGSU Graduate Student Forum, the Bowling Green New Music Festival, the Electroacoustic Barn Dance, New Music on the Point, Noise Floor, New Music on the Bayou, SCI Conferences, and Klangraum among others. His work for Hecuba was awarded by The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for achievement in Original Composition Music and Sound Effects, he has been an ASCAP Morton Gould Award finalist, recognized by ACSM 116 (Tokyo), Festival Stradella, and artist-in-residence at Arts, Letter, and Numbers in Averill Park, NY, and the Kimmel, Harding, Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Kory has frequently collaborated with theater and dance programs, writing incidental music for productions of Euripides’ Hecuba, Henrik Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea, Dayna DeFilippis 2016 Dance Recital, and the BGSU MicrOpera program.
Kory is currently pursuing a PhD. in music composition at the University of North Texas. He is a former student of Antoine Beuger, Anthony Donofrio, Sungi Hong, Mikel Kuehn, Elainie Lillios, and Darleen Cowles Mitchel, and holds a Bachelor of Music degree in composition from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and a Master of Music in composition from Bowling Green State University.