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.

Grants & Grantees

Rudolf Staffel (1911–2002) was a ceramist and a 1996 Pew Fellow.

Playwright and Pew Fellow James Ijames talks about how history influences his work, the importance of failure, and more.

Fall begins with a lively schedule of Center-funded projects, including ambitious artistic collaborations, performance premieres, exhibition openings, and experimental installations.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Trevor O’Donnell has a long track record of helping theater and arts organizations build larger audiences and earn more revenue through a number of strategies.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Lucinda Childs is one of America’s most important modern choreographers and an original member of the Judson Dance Theater in New York.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Shawn McBride is a writer and a 2005 Pew Fellow.

Alex Da Corte appears twice in Interview and Karen M’Closkey & Keith VanDerSys are singled out in Metropolis. Plus, news on Brian Phillips, Zoe Strauss, Matthew Mitchell, and CAConrad.

Grants & Grantees

Opera Philadelphia presented the American premiere of Hans Werner Henze’s Phaedra (2007).

Collaborators & Colleagues

Jazz pianist and Blue Note recording artist Jason Moran serves as Kennedy Center’s Artistic Advisor for Jazz.

Grants & Grantees

Bringing together some of hip-hop’s most influential pioneers, Clark will present what he calls his “physical autobiography” in a dance-theater performance blending street dance techniques with spoken word narration and video.

Jazz Bridge presents a performance featuring bassist Christian McBride and guitarist Monnette Sudler.

The William Way LGBT Community Center presents OutBeat: America’s First Queer Jazz Festival. The four-day festival will highlight intersections between sexual orientation, gender identity, and jazz history and culture.