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Meet Gillian Perry

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gillian Perry.

Gillian, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up on a bird farm in rural Texas. My house was between two very small towns, Italy and Milford. I started piano when I was seven and began writing my own music when I was eleven. I wrote just for fun, but eventually (due to the encouragement of my piano teacher) I started writing my compositions down. One of the first pieces of music I wrote was about one of the birds that had died on our farm.

My mother was a co-founder of a non-profit theater for kids, so when I wasn’t tending the birds or playing music, I could be found onstage in the back half of a cow costume. Both growing up in a rural area and my theater experience continue to influence my music. In undergrad, I double majored in music composition and film and went on to get my MFA at CalArts. Since graduating CalArts last year, I have been working on freelance composition projects as well as teaching piano. I also recently finished up a composition fellowship with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra were I had the joy of creating music with LAUSD students.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Most of my challenges have been with my own mental health, though I have been very fortunate in my life to not have debilitating mental health challenges. I have bouts of anxiety and depression with minor dissociation making an appearance every now and again.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
In my music, I explore themes of childhood, dreams, and trauma. I am particularly interested in a childlike perspective and how that perspective shifts and changes as we grow older. There are a lot of different types of music that I love to write: I love writing for voice as well as writing my own text, I love writing for the orchestra, I love writing/creating multimedia works (particularly ones that incorporate film), and I love writing songs on my ukulele. It is my hope that my music can help people, including myself, to see life from a different perspective.

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Image Credit:

Picture with the black stage in me in the white dress is by Rafael Hernandez

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