<< -- 2 -- Ted Kendall THE GOOD KIND OF MUSIC
Half an hour, one Beef Chimichurri and two cups of coffee later, there can be no mistake about Sean Hickey -- he is a true 'artist's artist'. His library contains over five thousand recordings, countless piles of musical scores, and a mountain of classic literature. He is an avid world-traveler and an established writer, who views the gorgeous creations of Mother Nature with the same veneration as he regards the great man-made oeuvres of literary prose. While at home in New York City, Hickey can often be found at the Performing Arts Library, where he spends hours on end cruising through its rich bounty of musical resources, and putting the capacity of his library card to the ultimate test.
Asked to name some of his musical influences, Hickey answers thoughtfully: 'Some of my favorite artists are complete unknowns; people we don't know, whom we never really hear about. I've always been interested in parts of the world that are outside the European canon, from which classical music has emanated. I am a huge, huge collector of recordings by composers from Mexico, Central, and South America -- Ginastera, Villa-Lobos, and Alberto Williams, to name a few.' Does he have a specific composer he reveres? -- I ask, to which Hickey replies, without missing a beat: 'Stravinsky. He was certainly the Picasso of 20th century music, in that he successfully adapted a lot of different styles over his life and career. I mean, here was a guy who was born in Czarist Russia, and died in New York City in the 70s. He witnessed two world wars, and had his music performed all over the world. He was a performer and conductor, and he truly embodied the life of a composer.'
Hickey's new CD with Naxos, Left at the Fork in the Road, features an abundance of woodwind works -- a daring choice in repertoire for the début album of a young composer. While most young composers may have opted to present a piano solo or string début disc, Hickey remains steadfast and content in his choice. 'I've written a lot of music for winds in the last few years, because I know a lot of great wind players, and I wanted to put together a good variety of what I felt was my best work.'
Copyright © 6 November 2005
Ted Kendall, New York, USA