It is a pleasure and privilege to interview this accomplished musician, composer, arranger, teacher, publisher, and ….. husband.
My students know Barry as the co-author and publisher of their piano books and materials.
This article introduces readers to some of Barry’s current projects as an arranger and composer, and his philosophies about music and the arts.
Q. Aside from teaching and publishing, what other projects are you working on at the home studio?
I continue to arrange and produce for poet/songwriter, Barry Wise and singer/songwriter, Deedee O’Malley. I am looking forward to doing more of this kind of work in the near future.
Q. What compositions have you composed over the years? What musical styles do you like to compose in?
This past decade, I have been composing expressive character pieces for solo piano. I am inspired by Chopin, Beethoven and Mendelssohn as well as Cat Stevens, Chick Corea and Billy Childs among many others.
Q. What are your goals as a composer, today?
To continue composing my collection of Preludes, eventually publishing and recording them.
Q. What event first sparked your interest in the piano?
I don’t recall a specific event. My parents noticed my noodling on the piano when I was a toddler. Both of my parents had played piano, so there was a musical influence in the house. When I was 8 years old, friends of the family referred my parents to Mrs. Dolores Rhoads of Musonia School of Music in North Hollywood. She nurtured my interest and guided me through my first seven years of piano training.
Q. What is your viewpoint of music as it relates to your students, our community and culture as a whole?
I see music as vital to our culture. I have seen instances where music has revived someone’s inner sense of self worth.
Music is one of the best vehicles for human creativity because it can be created newly each time it is played. A piece can be performed differently and thus perceived by the audience differently, each time. As a performing art, music is temporal, like dance. A piece can only be perceived in its entirety through an elapsed period of time. It requires that you be with it for a while.
Thank you Barry for your gracious time for this interview and contribution to this article. We look forward to updates on your projects and compositions.
© Linda Wehrli