Composing a Life through Creativity
"Gumert's dazzling use of timbre, rhythm and melodic line propel both the novice and expert listener through her architectural formal structures. Simultaneously intimate and personal, while exploring human relationships in general, Gumert's compositions inevitably challenge and communicate with the listener the urgency of "Composing a Life" through a seemingly unending wealth of sonic ideas."
Journal of the IAWM, Vol. 10, No. 2
As a composer, I believe that music must express ideas and emotions as well as exhibit craft; therefore, composers must be engaged with the world on multiple levels and bring to their work a knowledge of other arts as well as an awareness of global issues such as gender roles, education, justice, and the environment. In my quest to express my ideas and emotions about these issues, I often draw on extra-musical elements, such as poetry, visual images, and physical gesture, while at the same time creating functional musical shapes.
I frequently call upon performers to move through space; the position of the instrumentalist and the direction from which the sound comes are both important. The choice of instruments is an integral part of a piece, and I use timbral counterpoint and timbral shifts as formal elements. As a singer, melodic gestures are important to me, even for nontexted pieces. I often use syncopated rhythms, irregular meters, and polymeters. I draw on techniques from past eras to express my conception; my works have used isorhythms, ostinati, rotating “rows,” counterpoint, drones, extended instrumental techniques, juxtaposition, and a variety of formal “shapes.”
As a music therapist, I work from a strengths-based approach to enhance the well-being of individuals of diverse ages and backgrounds. I have a deep interest in multimodal models of therapy and have incorporated drawing and movement into music therapy sessions. I have a strong grasp of technology and have worked with individuals in care to create music videos and compositions.
My approach is multicultural, feminist, intersectional, and community-based, with a strong emphasis on enhancing quality of life through the development of interpersonal relationships and creative self-expression.
I came to music therapy through my development as a composer, finding that my creative work focused on questions of trauma and healing, the experiences of dislocation and immigration, and the challenges of finding one's voice. I wanted this healing work to become a dialogue between therapist and client rather than continuing to be a monologue between composer and audience.