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Kathy Henkel of Sign of the Silver Birch Music Returns to CUTV News Radio in a Brand New Show

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, October 16, 2018 / -- Writing about music has often been dismissed as “dancing about architecture,” but when an artist composes a poem to accompany a painting, the two forms share a dialogue with each other elevating both. This is the process of ekphrasis, one art describing or depicting another work of art, and it’s a highly sophisticated approach to composition in any medium, including music.

“I try to keep away from other music when I'm writing music. I’m very inspired by the visual arts and nature,” says composer Kathy Henkel. “In my music, I tend to be a reporter. It's typically something I've seen, like walking the Cornwall Coastal Path. I'm trying to recreate a feeling I felt at a certain moment, or capture a specific scene, and report on that through the music.”

Kathy Henkel is the founder of Sign of the Silver Birch, a music publishing company where she combines her two passions: composing and traveling. For 40 years Henkel has composed instrumental chamber music, art songs for voice with piano or harp, and much music for double-reed instruments, like bassoon and English horn.

“When I'm composing, I don't do anything else. Time doesn't exist,” says Henkel. “In grad-school days, I don't know how many times I started a soft-boiled egg, walked over to the piano for a minute, and before you know it, there’s an explosion in the kitchen, a burnt pan, and bits of shell and egg everywhere.”

Henkel first began composing in earnest when she was 16, resolving to write the great American musical. Henkel’s works have since been performed across the country, as well as in England, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Canada and Mexico.

“My music tends to be angular with rather jagged melody lines. I enjoy using quartal harmonies and melodies moving by fourths up and down the scale. I also like octave leaps, open fifths, and the occasional whole-tone scale passage in the manner of Debussy. I'm a contrapuntal composer; I like ideas working together or against each other. That's why I mostly write for two or three instruments or quartets because the players are sharing a conversation, working together as one,” explains Henkel. “In fact, I feel that a conversation among equals is one of the most important elements in my music.”

CUTV News Radio will feature Kathy Henkel in an interview with Doug Llewelyn on October 18th at 3pm EDT

Listen to the show on BlogTalkRadio

If you have a question for our guest, call (347) 996-3389

For more information, visit

Lou Ceparano
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