Music - Gómez-Estévez and Joyce

Brooke Joyce and Pablo Gomez-Estevez

Composing a Piano Suite for His Children’s Book Titled, "Lulito"

Pablo Gómez-Estévez ’17, Majors: Music, Philosophy

Brooke Joyce, Associate Professor of Music

About the Project

“I’m composing a piano suite using a method called text painting, which means I’m taking a piece of literature and weaving in music that reflects the text,” Gómez-Estévez says. “My composition is based on a children’s story I wrote, titled ‘Lulito’, and involves writing a movement of music for each scene. The end product will be an illustrated children's book that includes a CD of the music.”

What Challenges Did You Encounter?

Joyce feels this was an ambitious project since it involved composing about 20 minutes of music. “It was a challenge to balance the somewhat competing elements of the music,” Joyce says. “The final product is meant to be both a concert piece for an advanced pianist as well as music that children can enjoy while they read a story and look at pictures.”

Gómez-Estévez discovered it wasn’t always easy to go with his intuition during the creative process. “It was difficult for me to be silent and listen to the small voice inside that already knew where to go and what to do. I sometimes had to get out of my own way to deliver what I was feeling,” he says. “It was also challenging to deal with the many layers of this project since it included writing the story, doing an analysis of my own writing to sketch the music, and finally composing of the music.”

Fascinating Discoveries

“Although this isn’t a new genre, it's a fairly underdeveloped one,” Joyce says. “I believe Pablo's work will set a new standard.”

Gómez-Estévez says he’s impressed with how far this project has gone and the wide range of possibilities it has for performance. “It involves many aspects including a story, music, an illustrated book, and an animated story,” he says. “I’m fascinated with how much I’ve accomplished by believing in myself and the true power of this ‘small’ idea.”

A Great Learning Experience

Gómez-Estévez feels this project has matured his ability to compose music. “It’s been a meaningful experience for me and the end product will be part of my portfolio for graduate schools,” he says. “I also like how I can present myself as a professional composer with published work.”

Gómez-Estévez will perform the piano suite as part of a recital in the Noble Recital Hall on the Luther campus during the next academic year. He will also present the full project as a reading session for children accompanied by the original music.

It's never too early to begin thinking of yourself as a professional, undertaking ambitious work that could have a major impact on the world.

Brooke Joyce