Fellows Friday: Q&A with Matthew Mitchell

Fellows Friday: Q&A with Matthew Mitchell

Matthew Mitchell, 2012 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.

As part of our “Fellows Friday” web feature, we focus on the artistic lives of our Pew Fellows: their aspirations, influences, and creative challenges. This week, we speak to 2012 Pew Fellow Matthew Mitchell, whose musical compositions address intersections and cross-pollination among various strains of acoustic, electric, composed, and improvised new music. Mitchell is a member of the improvisational sextet Central Chain, and the leader of the Normal Remarkable Persons ensemble.

What is your favorite title of an art work?

Kraanerg by Iannis Xenakis. It’s a composite word in Greek meaning “accomplished action” or “energy,” but I also find the title pleasing in the abstract sense, as someone who knows no Greek.

Do you think about your legacy and, if so, how does your thinking about it affect your practice?

Only in the sense of wanting to make the best use of my time and not have a sense of regret when time is up…so maybe healthy urgency leading to an ideal combination of breadth and depth, which will hopefully reveal itself to me further as time goes on.

What do you most daydream about when you are working?

Mostly just trying to beat back thoughts of “being responsible.”

What are the primary vehicles you use to support your practice? What makes it possible?

Coffee.

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