KiMani Bridges is a recipient of the 2020 NextNotes High School Music Creator Award.

KiMani Bridges is very interested in how things work. In 5th grade she picked up the flute, the instrument her mom played when she was younger, and began her exploration into the workings of that instrument. As she explored the flute, KiMani’s curiosity about music began to develop;  she longed to understand how music was written–how it was structured. During her junior year at duPont Manual Magnet High School/Youth Performing Arts School in Louisville, she had the opportunity to take a composition class offered by students at the University of Louisville and that was all the spark her curiosity needed. KiMani is already an accomplished flautist and now she is beginning her journey into creating her own music.

Grey for Flute Quintet is one of  KiMani’s, who still primarily writes for flute, first compositions. She spoke about her inspiration for the piece.

“I was watching a very intriguing documentary about the different battles of WWII on YouTube and as I was watching it I noticed how the story was structured and I thought it might make a good subject for a piece of music.”

Kimani created the Grey, thinking about the smoke that seemed to be ever present in the documentary, the literal ‘fog of war’. And as she laid out the movements, Kimani wanted the piece to have attributes related to what she saw as the different aspects of war. The first movement relates to the build up to war which is represented in the dialogue between the flutes and is evoked using call and response. In the build up to the war, the subject of the second movement, she creates the energy associated with the scramble to consolidate resources, move equipment and transport personnel. The abundance of glissandos in the third movement are a representation of bomb dropping as Kamani takes us into battle. In the fourth and final movement, she pulls in themes from the previous movements and invites the listener into a vignette of remembrance.

When Asked about how she adjusted to Global Pandemic, KiMani remarked how sad she was that her senior year essentially ended in March. She had so many plans for the last few months of her final year of high school, most of just spending time with her friends. She had already missed an opportunity to travel to New York and Los Angeles for Luna Competition programs, a school trip to New Orleans and now she will miss out on traveling to the Twin Cities. She was a little disappointed that she wouldn’t be able to meet her fellow Next Notes awardees and ACF staff in person. 

KiMani will attend the Jacob School of Music at the University of Indiana-Bloomington in the Fall which is about 2.5 hrs away from her home in Louisville, and she is very excited even if it is unclear what that will look like. KiMani says she will continue to explore flute performance, 

“Flute will always be a part of me, I want to continue to grow as a flutist, learning everything about the instrument.”

KiMani’s main focus, however, will be studying composition.

“I am eager to be introduced to new music, and learn more in depth about others who write music on a more detailed level, and learn how everything works.”

Join us on Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 7:30pm CDT as, for the first time, NextNotes will culminate in a live-streamed awards ceremony emceed by public radio and podcast creator of Trilloquy, Garrett McQueen. The ceremony will celebrate Charlotte and the other five talented creators who were selected from over 140 across the US and represent the skill and range of music being created today. Learn about their experience as part of this year’s cohort and hear samples from the award winning creations. Livestream the ceremony here.

The NextNotes High School Music Creator Awards are generously supported by The Augustine Foundation, the Rosemary and David Good Family Foundation, The Thelma Hunter Fund, the Dr. Fred Noah Gordon Charitable Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation, and other generous individuals.