Tom Lopez
design by nadya primak // brushes by linda rae // code by tom lopez © 2013-2024 fwmp

My creative work usually involves collaboration. Sometimes it is explicit, as when I am working with choreographers or filmmakers. Other times it is less apparent, but still crucial, as when I am developing a new composition in close consultation with musicians. I think this is because I value the richness of work generated when there is more than one author, when we tap into the depths of the collective subconscious and uncover exceptional material.

Another priority has been consistent for many years: the value of experimentation within creative endeavors. I think it is interesting to notice that society respects that scientists need to conduct experiments. Even though most people do not understand the research being conducted in the depths of laboratories, people still accept that research is crucial to the advancement of science; even more importantly, that scientists need to conduct experiments, the majority of which may fail, before the light of innovation might reveal itself. There should be a similar understanding for artists. There are artists who work on the edge of understanding just as there are scientists working on the edge of understanding. Artists conduct experiments too, the majority of which may fail, before their unique inner voice might reveal itself. Scientists and composers can prepare the experiments, the materials, the processes, and so on, with care and craft; but ultimately, we must conduct the research / compose the music. And it is sometimes the case that ingenious discoveries are born of lucky accidents during experiments gone awry.

Performances of my music have occurred around the world and in a wide variety of venues. Many have occurred on the Oberlin campus where I have been honored by the talent and eagerness of faculty and student musicians to engage with new music. I have been fortunate to release several works on recorded, commercial media. Scores, parts, and other materials are available for download.

Virginia Woolf is one of my favorite authors and she beautifully describes how I move in sound:

"I sing - - I, who am unmelodious and hear no music save rustic music when a dog barks, a bell tinkles, or wheels crunch upon the gravel. I sing my song by the fire like an old shell murmuring on the beach." - Virginian Woolf, The Waves, Harcourt, Brace and Company (New York City, 1931), p. 171.