Discipline: Music Composition

Carolyn Yarnell

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: Huntington Beach, CA
MacDowell fellowships: 1990, 1991, 1994, 2002, 2022

Carolyn Yarnell, composer, photographer, painter, and sometimes poet, expands the realm of classic beauty through sight and sound. Yarnell finds sources of inspiration in nature, science, and in the emotive spectrum of human experience.

A California native, Yarnell was raised in Sierra Nevada Mountains. She holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Yale. Noted as an orchestral composer, her compositions have been performed from Carnegie Hall to the National Cultural Center of Taiwan. She was commissioned by soprano Julia Bullock for her project "History's Persistent Voice", fusing the traditional slave song with the work of Black artists.

During her 2002 Fellowship at MacDowell, Yarnell wrote the libretto and composed the music for her autobiographic opera. Sonic Vision, the first CD entirely devoted to her music, was released on Tzadik in 2003. In 2022, she is composing songs commissioned by soprano Julia Bullock for her project “History’s Persistent Voice,” fusing the traditional slave song with the work of Black artists.

Portrait by Pamela Madsen

Studios

Monday Music

Carolyn Yarnell worked in the Monday Music studio.

Given to the residency by the Monday Music Club of Orange, New Jersey, Monday Music Studio is sited next to an enormous boulder deposited by glaciers thousands of years ago. A small dormer once pierced the east slope of the roof, but after damage suffered in the 1938 hurricane, the roof was rebuilt without the dormer. The…

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