A Week in Culture: Nico Muhly, Composer

From The Paris Review:

Nico_BLOG 5:45 A.M. I wake up in a panic—an anxiety dream about an e-mail argument, which is prescient given the early-morning realities of my inbox. To calm myself, I buy music online manically. The new Iron and Wine cover is neurosis-provoking neon, but I buy it anyway. While listening on headphones, I fall back asleep and iTunes continues and mysteriously plays Paula Deen’s “Thanksgiving Special,” in which she makes oyster dressing. I actually like her accent, although the way she pronounces the word for (as in, “I’ll let this fry up here for a minute”) strikes me as uncharacteristically Vietnamese.

12:00 P.M. Car trip into downtown Reykjavík with my boyfriend! An assistant is sorting through this afternoon’s brass sheet music, so I feel at liberty to give my boyfriend free run of the iPod in the car. He deftly assembles an outgoing play list of “Canadians” (Tegan and Sara, the Arcade Fire, Katy Perry—we both assume she is Canadian but cannot verify) and an incoming play list of “Lesbians of Color” (Tracy Chapman and Toshi Reagon).

6:00 P.M. This afternoon’s work is to record brass arrangement for the upcoming album of Mia Maestro, an Argentine songstress. I’m still surprised by the magical lift the two horns and two trombones offer to the surface of a song. The trick is to delay their entrance longer than you think is right, and then, after one more bar’s worth of waiting, sneak in.

More here. (Note: For Anjuli Raza Kolb…in case you missed it!)