Unpacked: with Gracie Caggiano (’21)

How Gracie Caggiano’s belongings make up who she is

  1. “Being a composer is very collaborative effort. I find that I have to talk to a lot of different people because even though I’m creating this certain work, I have to collaborate with performers – because I can’t play all of these instruments on my own! I also have to collaborate with poets when I want to use text in music.”
  2. “There’s a lot of technology and resources nowadays – notation software – but I find that it makes the creative process more intimate to use actual paper so I stay stocked up on it.”
  3. “I have some scores from the library. I go to the library all the time and look for music by other composers that can help me learn different techniques for composition.”
  4. “So along with composition, I also study voice here at Stetson and I take lessons. So we have to learn so many songs every semester. And so a big part of my life outside of composition is practicing. It’s also a way to see works by other composers in real time as I’m working on them.”
  5. “This little notebook [is] just where I write what I have to do. I’m kind of a fluid person when it comes to scheduling, so I don’t have to use a planner – I find that it doesn’t work for me. So I use this notebook and just waste everything that I have to do once I get it done.”
  6. “Being a musician, you’re always listening to things and that’s one way that you learn. Half of the listening is just listening to life because I feel that nature is a primal composer and that we can learn from it. But the other half of it is actually listening to works by other composers. I mean you can look at the scores, but actually hearing what’s going on has a big impact on learning.”
  7. “A little different compared to everything else, it was a gift from a friend. There’s a legend that in ancient times they use this stone to heal snake bites, and so it’s a reminder to stay strong even when you have something going on that’s stressful or impacting you.”
  8. “I’m a music theory tutor at Stetson. That’s something I’ve just started this year, but I enjoy it a lot. The end goal of course is to compose all the time for the rest of my life, but I also have a strong desire to teach, and so this is giving me some experience in helping people gain knowledge – not teaching per se but helping people understand.”
  9. “I drink coffee a lot. It’s kind of a comforting thing to wake up in the morning and just have a cup of coffee and start brewing ideas for the day. It’s nice to just sit there and wake up, get caffeinated, and start thinking.”