By Darnisha DunningContinue reading
By Nathan Durkin
On Monday, our class had a special guest: Renee Baker. A fantastic composer, I had the pleasure of listening to some of her work from the silent film Borderline, having her talk about the different instruments, the different types of composing. From talking to her, I know that I’ve barely scratched the surface of the music world from my time as a trumpet player. The music, however, was not the most amazing part of her visit. The most amazing part of her visit was how awe-inspiring of a person she is. From the moment she opened her mouth I could tell she was fierce. The more she talked the more I could see the fight she’s put up, and the fight she still has. The way she explained her craft was simple enough for everyone to understand, but it also left me with an understanding that her knowledge goes way deeper than I can even comprehend. She’s fought through the system to get her knowledge, to get the respect she deserves, and she has no trouble whatsoever convincing me of her talent and skill. Some day, I strive to be that way in my field of choice. Right now, I just need to get those papers to show the world I know a thing or two. That drive you can see clear as day from the second she starts talking is the drive I strive to have in life. Maybe one of these days I’ll get there. It’s always so inspiring getting to interact with people of such high passion, experience, and skill, and I walked away from today with a sense of awe and respect for what she’s done – along with a newfound vigor to tackle my studies.
Today in class, we had guest speaker Renee Baker talk to us about herself and her amazing work. Baker is the founder and director of the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, which performs contemporary music and music from up and coming composers, as well as new scores for silent films. She is redefining what it means to be an African American woman in the arts. We had the privilege to watch parts of her latest project, Borderline, starring Paul Robeson. Additionally, she gave us the inside scoop on her unconventional scoring methods. She was full of energy, very engaging, and a pleasure to listen to!