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Seen and Heard International reviews Mission: Commission

From Seen and Heard International: A Live Review Site for Opera, Ballet, Concerts, Broadcasts, and Theatre

Mission Commission: demystifying the art of creating music at the source

07/06/2022 by Rick Perdian

"What was the composer thinking? It is a question asked repeatedly: sometimes merely out of curiosity, at others in wonder, and every so often due to a total lack of comprehension of what has just been experienced. Through Mission Commission, the Miller Theater at Columbia University seeks to demystify the art of composing by probing into a composer’s creative processes."

"Curated and narrated by Melissa Smey, Associate Dean and Executive Director at Columbia University School of the Arts, Mission Commission is a fascinating, engrossing and highly entertaining series of interviews with three composers, culminating in performances of the works whose progress had been documented over six weeks from inception to fruition. Smey has the benefit of a trio of particularly engaging, compassionate and articulate composers – Oscar Bettison, Vijay Iyer and Kate Soper."


"Smey is a not only a skilled interviewer who compels the composers to reveal as much about themselves as their profession, she is also skillful at fashioning a compelling back story to the podcasts through reoccurring thematic threads."

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