Composer Nico Muhly talks with the Boston Globe about his inspiration for the piece “Aston Magna,” being premiered this weekend at the season finale weekend of the Aston Magna Music Festival. The work is inspired by the 1918 Aston Magna estate, built by Charles Freer, and now owned by Aston Magna Foundation Co-founder Lee Elman.
“Though Muhly has been to Aston Magna [estate] several times, the piece is meant not as a strict aural description; rather, it uses the estate — its structure and shape — as an imaginative catalyst. “In a sense, I was trying to figure out what makes that specific not just house, but also site, unique in the world,” he said during a recent phone conversation from his parents’ home in Vermont. ‘It’s a place [with] a sort of special quality of outdoor space — how trees are organized, how shade is organized. I think that’s something that’s unique to the Berkshires. But also specifically, this estate is a specific version of that.’ “