Deborah Henson-Conant

Telling stories with music at HipHarp.com

I usually consider myself a composer-performer.  But I love the moments I become a composer to someone else’s performer.

When I was 12 I knew I wanted to be a composer – to meld story with music in operas, musicals, art songs – stories with music in any way.  I sent away for my first copyright for a song when I was 13, and I was proud of that like other kids are proud of sports trophies.

All my life I’ve been questing to connect with great performers:  to write with their voices in my ear, to hear my work come out of their mouths.

I became a performer myself by default, when I struggled to put on paper what I wanted to hear.  Every time I walked on stage I was saying, “This is the way you would perform this if YOU were up here … this is what I MEAN … I am the manuscript.”

And every time I experience a great performer truly ‘own’ my work I know I’ve made it home.

Recently I met Ute Gfrerer at a 3-day Audition held by Stage Source in Boston.  I was there as a producer, looking for a male lead for my musical ‘The Golden Cage’ – and then Ute appeared…

A week later we were at the piano, poring through my musicals – every one of them written with a strong woman as the leading character … and starting to scheme about what show we can create together out of my music and her artistry.

Stay tuned … this story is just beginning.

And it is definitely a story with music.