TAMPA — This week a new musical album, featuring the works of six LGBTQ+ composers, is being released and it’s all self-funded by local Tampa musician, Taylor Irelan.
Irelan has been playing the flute since he was 11-years-old but it wasn’t until recently that he started playing pieces that truly reflect his life and his community.
“There are well-known composers going all the way back to Tchaikovsky, Copeland, that were openly identifiable as LGBTQ+ but they never wrote about it,” said Irelan.
Irelan, Founder of The Tampa Flute Studio, said it seemed like every marginalized group was telling their story through orchestral music, except for his.
“I was just looking up LGBTQ specific albums and there really weren’t any, for any instrument really,” said Irelan.
So he put out an open call asking composers from the LGBTQ+ community to not just submit scores, but music about their lives.
“We were fortunate enough to get tons of submissions from around the world, we were really surprised with how many wonderful, amazing works we got all from the LGBTQ community,” said Irelan.
Six of these composers ended up on the final album, named The Journey, which consists of flute and piano.
“I really picked the ones where I felt like goosebumps, I felt like, ‘I felt that before,’ I know a friend that’s done that before, and I’ve lived it, yes,” said Irelan.
There are no lyrics, but each score is accompanied by a description, from the composer, explaining what the piece is about.
“Really highlight some lesser-known composers, really get some of these stories out there that I think are so important,” said Irelan. “What was really inspiring is most of them said this was the first time they’ve written a piece about themselves.”