English and theatre double major Sloane Spencer ’93 recently sat down with Mike Mills of the band R.E.M to talk about music composition, working across genre lines, and his latest project, “Concerto for Violin, Rock Band, and Orchestra.”
Through the Q&A published on PopMatters, Spencer dove deep with Mills about the creative process and what audiences should expect of the touring show.
“I mean it is a concerto,” says Mills, “in the sense that the defining aspects of a concerto are to showcase the virtuosity of the soloist. That is the point of the concerto. Trouble is, if you hear the word ‘concerto,’ it immediately builds up these walls in their minds about us, some stuffy guys. This is much more like a rock show: you know, audience participation, audience connectivity. There’s nothing stuffy or formal about it. We’re here to have a good time, and everyone else should be.”
Outside her freelance writing, Spencer works as the host and producer of Country Fried Rock, a one-hour weekly specialty radio show that emphasizes rock and country roots of Americana, alt-country, and country rock musicians. This builds upon her 15-year experience as a radio personality.
“Delving into literature or a character intrigued me as an English and theatre double major at Denison,” says Spencer. “As my career in radio unfolded, I realized that my passion for helping musicians tell their stories stems from examining that same interest: why do people create?”