I met Nomi Epstein while she was curating Chicago's John Cage festival in the spring of 2012. At the end of each day's events, she somehow still had the energy to indulge me on all things Cage (try putting on Variations V, I dare you). Our mutual admiration for the composer seems to find its way in nearly ever conversation we've had since the festival, whether it's talking about the most recent Cage conference she attended or geeking out over the latest staging of HPSCHD that we heard about that is obviously in New York and why is it not in Chicago HEY WE SHOULD BRING THIS TO CHICAGO.
I have a feeling Nomi thinks about Cage just as much when she's composing. Her works run the notational gamut, from traditional scores to interpreted spatial scenarios, yet each set of means searches for the same ideal: to let sounds be themselves. There is an objectivity in her music that can be comforting to an audience; there's nothing to "get," there's only something to listen to. And that's okay.