A memory submitted by Eric Nohe, Class of 1983

I attended “Composer’s Seminar” with Donald Erb. Erb is an historically important composer. Erb exposed us to freedom in in modern composition while rejecting the soul-deadening restrictions of serialism.

Erb demonstrated important techniques of composition: thickening and thinning of textures, contrasting contrapuntal melodic structures, contrasting tonal centers and contrasting dynamic structures. In sharp contrast to the academic and performance classes; Erb’s Composer’s seminar was the only class that encouraged creativity that I experienced at SMU.

I composed a work for electronically modified Classical Guitar (as part of the seminar), that was chosen by Martha Graham to be choreographed by graduate students in Dance and to be performed in a Dance Department recital. Ms. Graham coached the Choreographers/dancers in rehearsal at which I performed the work, that I composed. The collaboration with the dancers and Ms. Graham was the best artistic experience that I had at SMU.