Gelsey Bell nominated the composer, performer and writer Kate Soper:
Kate has a fearlessness. You can see it when she sings – she jumps in head first with her whole being. Kate uses the act of composing music, and particularly song form, to mull over philosophical questions like the slow roasting of a pig on a spit, with many turns to different angles. I am particularly inspired by how Kate explores the relationship between music and language. She uses ideas and techniques in ways that wouldn't occur to me. Her conclusions are not always the same as mine and our compositional instincts breathe with different hues, but that only makes her work more intriguing to me. I have a lot to learn from it.
Her music is full of embodied philosophical arguments that I want to respond to with other songs – songs that span all the crevices between the quick complexity of speech to long pure tones of sung harmonies. I have also learned a lot from the way Kate is not yet set in her techniques and is open to trying things in new ways. If she wants something in a work that is better communicated with dialogue than a song, she writes a scene. If a compositional idea is working best in structured improvisation rather than her scored parts, it becomes an improv. She is rich in integrity and curiosity. She is playful and whimsical. The way she works as a performer and a composer inspires me to be more myself, more true to my own ideas, to work harder, and to reach into an infinite depth of sincerity.
Work by Kate Soper: