Composer Spotlight – Jennifer Butler

At Sunday’s concert, Standing Wave will be playing the premiere of a piece they commissioned from Vancouver’s Jennifer Butler. Jennifer has this to say about her new work, entitled Stolen Materials/Stolen Time.

The process for writing Stolen Materials/Stolen Time began with the deconstruction of children’s songs, and a desire to capture the dramatic emotional life of a young child.

As I worked with these ideas, I began to think about childhood more through the lens of the mother. Not surprising, as I most often sat composing with my new baby sleeping (however briefly) on my chest. By stealing materials from children’s songs and merging them with my own musical language, and the complex wave of emotions and thoughts that come with motherhood, I am placing familiar elements in new landscapes, borrowing memories from childhood and blending these memories into a more adult musical language.

The writer Elizabeth Gilbert recently tweeted, “Traditionally, women have always made their art out of stolen materials and stolen time.” This statement immediately resonated with me, and tied me to the timeless legacy of female artists who must steal moments of time in order to create, but do it anyways.

SW & JB hard at work
Composer Jennifer Butler joins Standing Wave as they rehearse her new work.


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