Distinctive Tonal Music Inspired by Magical Places


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New Mexico Musician Fulfills Boyhood Dreams

Artigo 09.10.2012 21:15

Two dreams born in New Mexico fifty years ago came true for Albuquerque composer and teacher Michael Mauldin. Published in Business Wire, April 24, 2006.

Two dreams born in New Mexico fifty years ago came true for Albuquerque composer and teacher Michael Mauldin.  Born in Texas in 1947, he came with his family to Ghost Ranch Conference Center in northern New Mexico several summers in the 1960's.  He noticed as a boy of 12 that the music he wrote on the camp’s piano had more color and energy than his other music.  He wanted someday to live and write music in such a place, one that created as much space inside as that which surrounds.  He also wanted to encourage other young composers to use magical places to stimulate their music.

 Since then Mauldin completed music degrees, raised a family, directed choirs and orchestras, and received many commissions and honors, such as being named Composer of the Year in 1980 by the Music Teachers National Association.  But nothing compares, he says, with two happenings which most fulfilled his boyhood dreams.  In 2000 he conducted the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra to produce the compact disc, “ Enchanted Land ,” which contains five of his works inspired by the scenic and spiritual landscape of New Mexico.  And in 2005, he bought and restored a rambling adobe home to create a composing and teaching retreat near Cuba, New Mexico, less than 50 miles from Ghost Ranch.

 Since its first release in 2001, “ Enchanted Land ” has been widely distributed.  Records International said, “The music is richly orchestrated, tonal and accessible to anyone who enjoys a composer who actually tries to communicate with his audience.”  Independent reviewer Jane Ellen wrote for CD Baby, which sells the album, “Each of the works on this CD portrays a different aspect of Mauldin’s love affair with New Mexico and his ongoing search for ‘the space, the light and the timelessness’ of the region.”

The creation of a teaching retreat near the area which first inspired him makes him feel he has come full circle.  Some of his students are the age he was when he first wanted to share the creative effects of places.  He gives students the technical training needed but feels some teachers and composers fail to communicate a sense of wonder.  The text of his recent work for the Mesa Verde National Park Centennial said, “We honor special places that teach us how our fathers loved the design in living things.”


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