Recital Talk with Casey Karr '15

Oberlin double bass student discusses his performance experience.

April 15, 2015

Conservatory Communications Staff

Casey Karr recital poster.

Senior recital marks the culmination of years of hard work for Oberlin students. We talked with double bassist Casey Karr '15 about his experience.

Could you describe your recital?

My senior recital reflected an array of compositional styles in which I’m interested. It included music from the Baroque, Romantic, and contemporary periods. What I find pretty special about this program is the collaborations with people from other departments. I’m working with a TIMARA composer, Sage Jenson, on a piece for bass and electronics, and with a couple of non-conservatory students to put together a jazz tune. These are both relatively unusual for a classical degree recital, and should add some nice contrast to my more standard repertoire.

What’s the most challenging decision you had to make in planning your recital?

The hardest part of planning the recital was narrowing down the repertoire! I started off with so many broad ideas about how to showcase the things I’ve learned, but I had to decide which ones were really important.

What or who inspires you?

I’m most inspired right now by my peers at Oberlin. Obviously, listening to recordings of legendary musicians from the past and present is invaluable, but there’s something far more real about seeing your friends doing amazing things alongside you. It’s challenged me to try to keep up, and to find a way to make my own voice.

What strategies do you use to prepare for a big performance?

Slow practice is the key to my preparation process. Full runs of pieces have to happen, but as the date approaches, it’s really a matter of solidifying all the work I’ve already done. Once the music is in my ear and under my fingers, I just have to make sure I can do it with as little effort as possible.

What do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?

10 years from now, I hope to be employed by a full-time orchestra. This is a lofty goal, and I’d be happy to be sustaining myself on musical performance of any kind. I also hope to continue venturing into new territories outside of the orchestral canon, whether I end up in an orchestra or not.

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