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In Tune With... Jacob Gotlib

Jacob Gotlib at a mic, in dark-rimmed glasses and a sweater

In Tune With... is a monthly interview series that introduces you to Louisville's artists by exploring their connection to classical music and to our city.

Jacob Gottlib, Creators Corp Program Manager at the Louisville Orchestra and composer.

What is your concert day routine?
It depends if I'm onstage or behind the scenes! For the former, I try not to pack my schedule too tightly – I like to give myself some time. I like to give myself some time to unwind and do nothing, maybe warm up on my instrument and play through the set lightly. A few hours before the show, I'll have to pack up and load all my gear, unload at the venue, sound check, etc. As much as possible, I try to make sure the day feels unrushed, so I save up all my energy for when I hit the stage.

If I'm behind the scenes producing or working the show, it's a bit more hectic! I try to plan out as much as I can the previous day so that the day of, I understand exactly where I need to be and what I need to be doing at all times. I'll make sure I have time to get a quick cup of coffee during the day or sometimes a pre-show drink if I can.

Where is your favorite spot in Louisville to hit up following a gig, concert, day of teaching, etc.?
Recently, Atrium has been my favorite post-show hangout! Its location is conveniently close to my house and downtown, and I always love their beer selection. Besides Atrium, I love to hit up Wild Swann in the Grady Hotel, particularly after a show at the Kentucky Center.

What is your "desert island" piece?
Ah, a musician's least favorite question! On this particular day, I might have to go with Gerard Grisey's "Quatre Chants Pour Franchir Le Seuil" ("Four Songs for Crossing the Threshold"). It was his final work, and for me, it was the one where he sublimated the experiments and research of his earlier works into an aching and mysterious expression.

Which musician (living or dead) would you invite to a dinner party, and why?
I would love to have been at a dinner party with Nina Simone. She was the complete package: one of the most extraordinary musical minds of her generation, one of the most incisive social activists of her day, and lived one of the most fascinating and full lives I've ever read about. I don't think I would say a word at this party; I would absorb every word she'd say!

What are you listening to right now?
I've been on a big death metal kick lately: Cryptopsy, Morbid Angel, Opeth, and especially Portal. A lot of metal is about complex rhythms and percussiveness, but Portal prioritizes texture, atmosphere, and density—I find myself listening to their music more like I would a piece of contemporary classical music than I would more conventional rock or metal music. I grew up listening to metal as a child, and the dissonances and atonality of much of that music prepped my ears to love avant-garde classical music in my teens and 20s.

What's somewhere in the Louisville area you haven't been to but would love to explore?
I'd love to check out the ruins of Rose Island (Charlestown, IN) someday! I can never resist some overgrown ruins, but overgrown ruins of an abandoned amusement park? Be still my heart!

(Check out the culmination of Jacob's work this year with the composers at the Creators Fest 2024! Happening Saturday, May 11th.)

Have someone you would like to recommend for In Tune With...? Send Laura an email at latkinson@lpm.org

Laura is the evening host for LPM Classical. Email Laura at latkinson@lpm.org.

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