#ASCAPProud: Julian Hornik
Julian Hornik is a composer, lyricist, and librettist based in Brooklyn, NY. He wrote the music and lyrics for Giovanni's Room, an adaptation of the James Baldwin novel, and Tenn, a new musical based on the early life of Tennessee Williams, which premiered at Symphony Space in NY as a part of “Project Broadway,” and was subsequently produced at Yale’s Whitney Theater. “Tenn” was further developed at the 2018 ASCAP Musical Theater Workshop, and the 2018 Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project. Julian’s piece commissioned by the NY and LA Gay Men’s Choruses commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots will premiere June 2019 at Carnegie Hall.
Q How does creating music fit into your identity?
A. My identity—and especially my identity as a gay person—is inextricably linked to my relationship with music; growing up, it was through music that I was first able to locate queer heroes and fervent allies—theatre composers and pop divas alike—who made me feel seen and important. And it was through songwriting that I found a productive channel for my sense of ‘otherness,’ an arena in which being different wasn’t merely ok, but an immeasurable asset. That I get to make music is such a massive privilege, and because of what music meant to me as a kid, it also feels like a responsibility: to write songs that are unabashedly queer, the kind that middle-school me might have played over and over again on his iPod Shuffle, and felt proud to sing.
Q. What is your wish for the next generation of queer creators?
A. If I have a wish for the next generation of queer creators, it’s that they continue to make work that is uniquely and loudly informed by their queer experience, and crucially, that the through-line of that experience becomes less and less about struggling against something, and more and more about celebrating community and a glorious shared history.