What musical background you come from?
Do you often use voice in your compositions? Does it have a special place in your music?
Did you have a singing background from childhood?
Do you sing yourself?
When and how you met first singing?
Did you study vocal composing (ranges, technicality of the voice, categorization, analyzing scores, prosody, choir composing etc)?
Or did you have to research it yourself?
Composing for singers
Is writing for a voice different then for an instrumentalist?
Is your preparation/background study different?
Do you have a specific sound in your mind when you compose for a singer?
OR do you listen to the voice first and get inspired by it?
Did you work with classically trained singers and also singers of other genres and vocal cultures and backgrounds? How would you describe the difference?
Did you take into account these differences when composing? Was there a different method during the rehearsals to achieve the sound you wanted?
Would you say, when you use a classically trained voice, that you are interested in the special abilities such a voice can produce?
Or you start from a more ‘contemporary’ sound ideal, and you suffer sometimes from not enough flexible singers?
When asking for a ‘non-traditional sound’ from your singer, what terminus technicus you use to describe the sound? Are you familiar with scaling and specifying parameters beyond vibrato, such as resonance, difference between chest voice/head voice/ falsetto, exaggerated pronunciation, projection, etc?
How is the process to work with singers for you? Is it different from instrumentalists?
What are the obstacles? What are the specialties?
Could you mention a few examples of fruitful collaborations between you and a vocal performer of your piece?
Could you mention some examples of struggles and difficult relation for both sides?
Is there a singer who you work often with? What is the secret of your good relationship and fruitful collaboration?
Vocal composing education
Would you agree that in the contemporary field nowadays the aesthetics of the voices used tends to ask for lighter, non-vibrato, (mainly female) voices?
Do you also resonate with that in your art?
Why did this aesthetic separation happen, you think?
(amplification, style freedom, mixing genres, non vibrato - Andriessen)
Would you agree that nowadays there is not enough focus on composing for the voice, background studies for it, connection between singers and composers?
Would you agree that the reputation of vocal (and especially choral) composing is very low in comparison to chamber music, electronics and symphonic works?
Did you write opera? Was it for a ‘house’ or you could choose your own singers?
Do you compose differently if you know that you are writing for an opera singer
(a voice developed to its maximum to project sound in big opera houses, range higher, sound different, projection etc…)?
Did you encounter different problems?
How do you see the future of vocal composition? Do you think it will get more in focus? Would you like to experiment more with working with classically trained singers/choirs?
What would you suggest to change in singers preparation/education who sing modern music? What do singers gain in their carrier and their regular repertoire by singing modern, you think?
How do you start writing a vocal piece? What questions do you ask your singer(s)?