Young Composer, Ike Katula, writes for ACGYO

IkeThe Austin Classical Guitar Youth Orchestra will premiere a new piece by young Austinite Ike Katula as part of their final concert of the season (details here). Along with other Crockett High students, Ike participated in a weekly composition course over the Spring semester with ACG composer in residence, Dr. Joseph V. Williams II. Ike’s composition Argetilean Dance was selected to be premiered by the ACGYO.

Alec Bainter, member of the ACGYO, interviews Ike on writing the Argetilean Dance:

Alec: What inspired you to write the piece?

Ike: It was part of a project I was given.

Alec: Did the theme come from anywhere, or was it something that just came into your mind?

Ike: It kind of just came to mind; it was just something I wanted to write. When I started, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I had no direction. I started with one short chorale, and by the end, the music had nothing to do with what I had originally written. But I still really liked it. I learned a lot about the process of writing and composing.

Alec: Dr. Joseph Williams (composer and director of the ACG Youth Orchestra) mentioned you went through a process where you started with one thing and decided you didn’t like it, but you ended up keeping part of that original idea when you wrote the final piece. What was that process like?

Ike: Like I said in the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing, so all I had was a cluster of ideas. So I kept the ones I thought were OK and then worked with them until it became something I liked. It was really a mess when I first started, though. There was a lot of stuff, and it didn’t really go together or tie back in anywhere.

Alec: Is there anything interesting you want to tell us about the piece?

Ike: I guess something interesting about the piece is that the title, Argetilean Dance, is based off a word that’s not even a word. My friend uses that word as a joke, and I wrote the piece for him. It comes from “argetile,” which is actually a word for the underside of a leaf. But my friend uses it as an adjective, like “Why are you being so argetile?” People assume he’s really smart, but he’s just making up a word. Also, “Argetilean” sounds like a combination of Argentinean and Chilean, and the melody has an Argentinean style to it, which I thought was funny.


Argetilean pic
The first page of Ike’s “Argetilean Dance” with rehearsal notes from director Dr. Joseph V. Williams II.

Ike Katula has played music since he was six, when he got his first guitar. He attends Crockett High School, where he plays cello in the orchestra. He also plays in the guitar ensemble directed by Ron Hare. He is planning to attend the U.T. Butler School of music for composition and hopes to eventually score and compose soundtracks for movies.

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