Interview with Dublin, Ireland based Composer: George Higgs
Composer in Latin means, “One who puts together.” What are your
methods as a composer?
Each time I create something I try to think of a distinct way to approach
an audience, and then to create a narrative using that approach. This is
generally my way of working. My most recent piece, DOOR, is a good
example of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hI3pOdzPqs
You have always had a unique perspective on life. How does that
influence your work?
I think I'm always barking up the wrong tree. It just so happens that I
never give up, no matter how misguided my approach might be.
As a child, what propelled your fascination with invented languages and
My feeling of intellectual alienation from my older brother and sister,
with whom I was always trying to catch up in terms of learning. I
figured the only way I could outdo them would be to create my own way
of communicating, and thereby alienate them!
What artists of any genre inspire you and influence your work?
At the moment, I am fascinated by an astronomical clock created about
a thousand years ago in China. The creator of this clock inspires me.
Actually, I like the Chinese poetry from that period as well, the Tang
dynasty. It's very much based on immediate experience. Poets like Su
Tung Po, and Tu Fu.
In Ireland, you have brought your art to working with the deaf. Can you
describe this work and your impressions on this endeavor?
The main thing I can say is that, just as with hearing people, deaf
individuals each have a distinct way of approaching music. There is no
pattern for their response based on a lack of hearing.
What are some of your most successful and favorite pieces of your own art?
I like all of it for different reasons. I also feel
disappointed by all of it for equally different reasons.
How do you balance your work with parenthood and what do you hope
to give to your children as an artistic legacy?
There is no balance. It's generally a mess. I try to keep aware of what
interests my children. I try to have fun with them and teach them what
I can. I do my utmost to mix my work with my life, but it's not always
You were born in Pennsylvania to British parents. What made you
move to Ireland as a young adult and what do you miss about the United
I went as a student, and became romantically entangled. Three children
later, I am still here and will probably never leave. I don't miss the US,
except for my family. It's not that I don't like it, but I think that any place
is simply what you make of it.
As an accomplished artist, what can you share with everyday people?
about using their short lives to become more creative?
I like to think of myself as an everyday person, so I would feel out of
line to patronize anyone else. We're all creative in our own way. Some
people, like me, simply go out of their way to prove it.
What is currently exciting you and driving your artistic passions?
That Chinese clock. I love that clock.