‘It’s Coming’ to Seattle stage

  • By Theresa Goffredo / Herald Writer
  • Thursday, April 19, 2007 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Sometimes failure can act as a form of inspiration.

Take, for instance, the example of James Myles, who tried to compose a piece of music but whose first attempt didn’t go so well. His second try was more of a success. He finished the piece and called it “C’est vient” or “It’s Coming.”

On Monday, this piece will be performed by members of the Seattle Symphony. That’s a pretty successful second attempt, you might say, especially when you learn that James Myles is only 16.

Myles, of Lynnwood, is among 10 young area composers whose work is being showcased as the culmination to the 2006-2007 David Diamond Young Composers Workshop. Seattle Symphony musicians will premiere these chamber works in a free performance at 8 p.m. Monday at Benaroya Hall.

Myles and his peers will talk briefly about the inspiration behind their work before each piece is performed.

“It’s going to be a really cool concert,” said Beth Ferlic, a spokeswoman for the Seattle Symphony. “It’s a pretty neat thing we do every year.”

Myles has been inspired many times before to compose music. He has written close to 50 works so far.

A junior at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo, Myles is active in the school’s music program along with playing a variety of instruments, such as the baritone saxophone, bassoon, euphonium and clarinet.

Wait a minute. Euphonium?

That’s the instrument that looks like a smallish tuba but has the range of a trombone. Myles discovered the euphonium after playing the tuba for a while and realizing, in his words, he wasn’t a very good tuba player.

“The tuba is a lot harder, just getting a good tone on the tuba,” Myles said.

Myles finds that playing many different instruments like he does comes easily for him.

“Once you get the hang of it, you just get the feeling of the instrument and you know what you’re playing,” Myles said.

Myles, who has been playing music since the fifth grade, plans to major in music in collage, either in performance or composition. He’s also studying Russian and says his role model composer is Shostakovich, who he describes as having a “meaningful dissonance” to his work. Myles might also have been influenced early on by his mom, who plays French horn.

“I just love to play,” Myles said. “I’ve always liked music and I used to think when I was younger ‘just one more year until I can be in band.’”

Myles and his peers completed the 12-week David Diamond Young Composers Workshop, which gives students the chance to work on all aspects of composing under the tutelage of Samuel Jones, a composer in residence with the Seattle Symphony. Seattle Symphony music director Gerard Schwarz will host Monday’s event.

Arts writer Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424 or goffredo@heraldnet.com.

Teenage composer James Myles poses recently outside Kamiak High School.

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