J: What innovative musical thoughts/ideas will Jackson and Almeda Berkey bring to the music world in the future?
Mr. Berkey: Almeda will be searching for texts for me to consider for a work for tenor, piano, and string quartet to be premiered in the Spring of 2017. I am currently completing the 6th of my “21st-Century Carols” .. this being an up tempo version of “The Good King” — a setting of Good King Wenceslaus for SATB Chorus with piano, percussion, string quartet and Bass.
Also, I have just this summer sent a work, “Lumen”, for string orchestra and hidden voices to Margarita de Lorenzo Reizabal, conductor of the Conservatory Orchestra at the Leoia Conservatory outside Bilbao, Spain. This work, based on my choral “Nunc Dimittis”, features the string orchestra, the plays of which, while playing the opening of the piece on their string instruments, also simultaneously sing the ancient Gregorian Chant, “Lumen”.
J: How would you like to see the younger generation (post-millennials) get involved in music? Digitally, IPad, piano lessons?
Mr. Berkey: Any and every way possible, especially listening and understanding. There is simply no way to measure the impact that music may have on a human life. music is a gift from God that surpasses all human language.
J: Thank you to Jackson and Almeda for their kind and generous hospitality in their lovely home overlooking Washington’s Hood Canal for this interview. What a blessing and privilege to come to know these two incredibly sensitive and amazing musicians.