"In the Mirror Land: Reflections on a Self-Reflection," the central essay in this collection of texts by and about French composer Joel-Francois Durand, is a wide ranging self-interview in which Durand speaks candidly and engagingly about how and why he became a composer and about the ways in which this choice has shaped his musical and intellectual development. Peopling his conversation are poet Jackson Mac Low, novelist Thomas Bernhard, philosophers Martin Heidegger and Theodor W. Adorno, musicologist Carl Dahlhaus, and a host of others - painters, filmmakers, an architect - along with a vast company of composers from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Two further essays by Durand round out this collection of the composer's writings: an in-depth exposition and contemplation of the use of melody in his music and a short but intense analytical study of his Piano Concerto.
The second part of this volume comprises four essays on Durand's music, contributed by three of his former composition students -- Christian Asplund, Eric Flesher, and Ryan M. Hare -- and by his colleague, music theorist Jonathan W. Bernard, who has also edited and introduced this absorbing portrait of the composer.
Joel-Francois Durand,/b> is professor of composition and Jonathan W. Bernard is professor of theory, both in the School of Music, University of Washington.