Composer and flute, whistle and recorder player, Susan Conant, blends ethnic inspired melody with classical and jazz harmony. Although she mainly concentrates on music that inclueds some sort of flute or whistle, her composing activities fall into three categories: classical chamber music, arrangements of traditional tunes (vocal and instrumental), and composition of new tunes in a folk/fusion style. Examples of all three streams can be found scattered amongst her two albums available on cdbaby.
"I grew up spending my summers at Pinewoods, an adult folk dance camp, jamming with incredibly talented musicians from all over the country. If written music was provided, it was simply a tune sheet. Everyone made up the rest on the fly -- the harmony parts, arrangements and riffs on the melody. I loved the spontaneity. But when I moved to the far suburbs of Chicago, I knew few people who could improvise like that. I was working with a wide assortment of instrumentalists at many different skill levels and began writing them arrangements. Eventually it just became more fun to write my own repertoire. My musical influences are a mash-up. They include the British, Celtic and American dance tunes that infused my early summers, classical music and jazz and blues which permeates our American culture.
My journey of composing is aided by my experience as a landscape architect. Designing gardens and composing are quite similar. Each begins with a kernel of an idea. There are rare, radiant times where the elements simply jump into place but usually there is a messy stage, where ideas get tossed around, stretched, rejected, twisted and finally pulled into a framework".
In addition to offering music on cdbaby, Conant arranged the title track and performed on the Taylor Festival Choir's highly acclaimed "Sing We Now of Christmas" disc. She can also be heard on the Hungry Monk's album "Superior Crust" (available on cdbaby). A prolific performer, Conant offers an assortment of unique programs featuring various instrumentation and formats ranging from piano and flute recitals to school programs that combine storytelling with world music. Sheet music for many of her compositions and arrangements of traditional tunes is available on her website.