Paul Cannon has been a member of the Frankfurt-based group Ensemble Modern since 2014. A graduate of Rice University, Paul spends his days performing contemporary music of all genres.
A couple months ago, I got two messages that led me to contact Paul for an interview. The first was a message from my wife with a YouTube video that had gone viral on Reddit.
I also got a message that same day from Rice University bass professor and past podcast guest Paul Ellison recommending that I connect with Paul Cannon. We scheduled an interview and had a fascinating conversation.
We dig into:
- not worrying too much about careers early on – leave room for unexpected opportunities
- if your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail
- how opportunities are useless unless you have the goods to back it up
- how Paul approaches a piece like Jacob Druckman’s Valentine
- techniques for counting 5s and 7s and getting them organic
- challenges with finding audiences for contemporary music
Links to check out:
- Paul’s Ensemble Modern profile page
- Video about Paul from Ensemble Modern (YouTube)
- What it’s like to rehearse with Ensemble Modern (YouTube)
- The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play by Ben Watson (quite a read!)
- Frank Zappa demoing the Sinclavier
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