In the mind of Quinn Gutman, music is a multisensory art form. Not only can it make us hear amazing sounds, it can also make us feel emotions and give us experiences we cannot describe in words. Therefore, why not use this to our advantage?
We tend to go though life passively. We do one thing, and then another. We have a certain set of ground rules for how to live our life. We never stop to wonder “Why do I do this thing? Is it just a habit I’m used to? or is it something I like doing?” “Why do I believe this? Is it my own belief? Or have I been brought up with it knowing nothing else?” “What would the world look like if it were different?” Quinn uses their music give the audience an opportunity to ask these questions. Their most recent premiere, What is G-d? is a choir piece asking the simple question of “Why do we think of G-d as an old white man?”
As a composer, Quinn has worked with leading ensembles including Quorum Boston, Mivos Quartet, EnsembleNewSRQ, the JACK Quartet, SŌ Percussion, and Yarn/Wire. They’re currently working on a piece for flute and cello about the toys you might have played with as a child. One of their two big projects at the moment is a song cycle commissioned by soprano Cortlin Presley, telling the story of The Count of Monte Cristo from Mercedes’ point of view. The other is a collaboration with soprano and writer Karlie Traversa on a web series with a live performance about a the lives of toys and the lessons they teach.
As a soprano, Quinn specializes in contemporary music. Composers in their repertoire include German Cáceres, Anton Webern, Elliott Carter, Nadia Boulanger, and Judith Weir. Quinn currently sings in the LGBTQIA+ choir Quorum Boston and in the chamber new music ensemble, Ensemble Uncaged. They also sing in their own works including The Acosta Cats, for soprano, electronics and piano, and A Cappella Arias, a collection of songs meant to be sung without accompaniment. Right now, Quinn is rehearsing in a production of Speed Dating Tonight by Michael Ching to be performed in June.
Quinn is currently working on a Master of Music in both Composition and Voice at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, studying composition with Amy Beth Kirsten and voice with Jeffrey Gavett. They hold a Bachelor of Music in Composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where they studied with Lewis Nielson and Josh Levine. Other teachers include; composition/electronic music — Aaron Helgeson, Tom Lopez, Joo Wan Park, Sam Pluta, Sky Macklay, and Craig Levesque; voice — Perri Montane, Nicole Levesque, Tracy Chebra and Danielle Sinclair; art/video — Donald Harvey, Sam Pluta, and Susan Bleignier.