Hi everyone! My name is Timothy Cunningham, and I am so happy you have come to visit my website. This personal blog will be a place where you can learn more about me, my works, and any collaborations or projects I'm working on. For this first post, I thought I'd share a little bit about myself, so you can get the full backstory.
I was born and raised in the Greek Orthodox Church, which – if you don't know – has a beautifully rich tradition of Byzantine chant. This tradition, mixed with the more recent efforts of Orthodox choral composers of the 20th century to arrange the beautiful melodies for choir, have culminated in my earliest experiences of music. It would be remiss of me not to mention these influences, which are crucial to my musical identity as a composer. Byzantine chant is incredibly expressive – in a way not many people get to experience. Each tone has its distinct emotive quality, and because of differences in tuning systems, it doesn't fully translate to Western music notation. However, a passion of mine is trying to convey these deeply rich sounds into a contemporary choral setting. There's also something immensely beautiful about the Greek language – a language that is rarely set in choral music, excluding the frequent "Kyrie."
My favorite aspect about music is collaboration. There is something so special about working with someone individually, especially when it's something as intimate as music. As a composer, collaboration is one of the things I emphasize. Rarely do I write music without a specific ensemble or performer in mind, and I often go on to work one-on-one with the director or members of the ensemble to integrate myself in the rehearsal process. I've had the opportunity of writing for soloists, ensembles, directors of theatre, and short film directors. I have also collaborated on many other musical projects, not just composition. Last year I worked with the student theatre company to direct the music for their fall musical Amelie. I recruited and conducted the pit orchestra, and taught all of the music to the actors. As someone who is also very interested in conducting professionally, it was a truly amazing opportunity to be involved in all aspects of production – auditions, rehearsals, performances – and get to experience the rush of a live ensemble.
Before I conclude this post, I thought I'd share a little bit about my life outside of music. I am currently also studying mathematics at the University of Redlands because math has always been a passion of mine. Ever since I was a kid, math was always my favorite subject. Especially when it comes to pure mathematics, there's something so satisfying and beautifully artistic about the order, yet there's still so much mystery. While I do not currently plan on pursuing a career in mathematics or further studies, I will always be an admirer of the field.
Another passion of mine is education. I love to teach, and I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to teach and tutor over the course of my college career. Most notably, I was a Junior Composition Faculty Member at the University of Redlands Piano Camp. Over the summer, a fellow composition major and I created a week-long curriculum on graphic notation for the composition students at Piano Camp. It was a huge success! The students created absolutely incredible compositions, and we were both incredibly impressed and proud of the results.
Some side hobbies of mine include hiking, baking, and making pop-up cards. Thank you for reading, please reach out to me if you have any questions, or if you just want to chat!