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5 minutes with ... David Darling.

Grammy-nominated artist, David Darling, is a multi-faceted cellist who co-founded Music for People, a non-profit educational network that promotes music improvisation as a means of creative self-expression. His dedication to arts-in-education innovation and creativity earned him the 1995 Artist of the Year Award from Young Audiences, Inc.

Why is cello your first choice instrument? (I'm jealous; I want to be reincarnated as a cellist--or a cello!) The cello, like the human voice, exudes great emotion and expression.

My son named his cello "Chubby." Should I be worried?

No, it shows affection.

You're passionate about improvisation.

It's a great gift through which we express ourselves in the most honest and direct way.

... as opposed to "shock and awe" virtuosity?

All types of performance are equal in their power to bring forth the magic of music.

Define Music for People.

A natural, humorous and humane way of discovering everyone's destiny in music. Our seminars help people who think they're "tone deaf" to become vital members of the musical community. Music is a birthright, always available and never too late to begin.

What would you love to debate and with whom?

I'll challenge any administrator who doesn't believe that creativity should be at the center of all education.

Even if this administrator reveres stereotypical "master" teachers who exact conformity through shrill denunciations, hair pulling, exorcisms and wanton acts of wet-noodle flagellation?

Genuine master teachers should be honored for their expertise and dedication but particularly those fostering individualism in a humanistic environment.

Eastern philosophy permeates your recordings. I especially like Raven Dance with Paul Winter and The Tao of Cello.

My early career with The Paul Winter Consort introduced me to various musical cultures. Playing Hindu, Brazilian, Asian and other world music, put me in contact with Eastern sounds and philosophies. I have been deeply interested ever since.

Should we clap with one hand at your concerts?

Some of my greatest experiences involve silence after performing.

Do you see yourself as others do?

I hope not!

You don't mind the "new age" label?

I'm always influenced profoundly by classical tradition, but I also admire "new age" ideals of peace, racial equality, education for all, etc.

You like contemporary classical music?

Yes--you could even say I often break out in "Ives!"

Any all-time favorite musician? Composition?

Miles Davis--such sounds and feeling! Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings.

Your single greatest achievement is ...?

I'm simply grateful to be a performer and teacher of music.

Your biggest disappointment ...?

No personal ones. But delving into history, I'm incredibly dismayed by peoples' cruelty to one another.

What's next for you?

Two solo CDs for next year. I'm also premiering a new work for solo cello, solo baritone and cello orchestra in San Francisco and New York.

What comic barb would you sling during an imaginary "First Annual Celebrity 'Pun-off' Roast" for Luciano Berry, Milton Rabbitt, George Crumb, the "Deli" Lama and Yo-Yo "You-Know-Who?"

Hey Yo-Yo! You are not your MA!!! You are YO-SELF!!!!

Arthur Houle is founder and director of the International Festival for Creative Pianists (www.pianofestival.org). Houle has taught at the New England and Boston Conservatories, the Universities of Iowa, North Dakota and Texas-Austin and, most recently, at Albertson College.
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Title Annotation:Music for People
Author:Houle, Arthur
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Interview
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2006
Words:533
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