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‘Imaginary Companions’

New York-based composer and musician Pascal Le Boeuf will participate in a conversation explaining his new composition, “Imaginary Companions.” (Courtesy of Shervin Lainez)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Pascal Le Boeuf composes music with other musicians in one room.

In the past year, his being comfortable had to change.

The New York-based composer is the latest guest of the Taos Center for the Arts’ “Where We Meet” series.

Le Boeuf and the Taos Chamber Music Group’s Nancy Laupheimer will discuss their process for working on the piece “Imaginary Companions.”

The online Zoom event is free and takes place at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18. Registration is at tcataos.org

“We were trying to create ways of interaction,” Le Boeuf says from his residency at The Aaron Copland House. “Artists got really creative during the pandemic. You can use the music or the arts to turn that pain or frustration into something for the world. We talked about this and decided that we wanted to address our situation through music. After spending our lives making projects with people and musicians in person, this was the next best thing.”

“Imaginary Companions” is an 8-minute concerto for solo flute accompanied by an imaginary orchestra comprising a multitude of layered strings recorded in remote collaboration with cellist Zan Berry.

“This music is meant to provide listeners and remote performers such as Nancy and Zan with a sound environment to explore their inner worlds, but with company from a world that we’ve imagined together through this music,” Le Boeuf says.

Le Boeuf wanted to explore our “shared personal/internal worlds and how they overlap, and the human tendency to project parts of ourselves into our environments (like kids playing with dolls, or imaginary friends, or making art), so we can feel like we are interacting with others even when we’re alone.”

Written for Laupheimer in late 2020, “Imaginary Companions” is the first work to be completed and performed as part of TCMG’s COVID Commissioning Project.

The project was conceived last spring by Laupheimer as a way TCMG could continue to create and share music after the cancellation of six of the concerts in their 27th season; it gives musicians a unique opportunity to make connections with composers to create music reflective of the times we are living through.

“When the pandemic hit, artists were looking to find meaning in our work,” Le Boeuf says. “We’re now finding an audience through a computer screen.”

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