Thursday, December 8, 2011


Some exciting news in my life:

Jackie and I are buying a house!
I have a part-time temporary job!
I am starting a new piece!
I am obsessed with power-tools...

Back to the blog...

I recently joined the American Composers Forum and am so excited about this resource! It is an online community for composers and people who want to get in contact with composers.

Their is an entire section called “opportunities” which lists information ranging from composer residencies, to job openings, to competitions. It is seriously incredible!

I read a blog post, or an interview (I don’t remember) by Eric Whitacre who encouraged composers to enter as many competitions as they can. He specifically pointed out (several times) that you will not win, but that they are a great way to motivate yourself to get pieces done.I have decided to take him up on his advice and start entering competitions.

Right now I am aiming at a January 17th deadline for a 3-5 player, string +/- piano work. I am trying to hit several birds with with this bow... (pun intended(please laugh, I am so desperate)) By that I mean, I am going to try and submit the same piece for several different competitions.

As I looked at my calendar, I realized that I had to say no to a lot of competitions that I wanted enter, because of time. Especially considering that it often takes me three times longer to finish a work than I expect it to, and ten times longer than the average composer.

I am also submitting a few past scores to other competitions, which is nice because those don’t require much of me: except revisions (as needed), and mailing (which is some times a total pain in the ass).

With all of that said I came across a competition that wants the composer to compose a work in 60 minutes. They control this by releasing the instrumentation an hour before the scores are due... Which is awesome! It sounds like a really exciting challenge, but I can’t help but think that it would be really easy to cheat... I mean I can write out a motive, harmonize it, and then when they release the instrumentation, just orchestrate it (which still might take longer than an hour(especially if they are really strange instruments that no one has ever heard of (like a Portuguese thiamin rod (Who in the Hell knows how to write for that?!)))).

Regardless, I am going to try and write for that competition, and if any of my composer friends want info on it just let me know.

I am going to upload my string score as it progresses... I think... It is kinda freaky to upload WIP (Works in Progress (that is for you Geoff Munnerlyn (you definitely are not smart enough to get that acronym))) on the web first of all because the ideas can easily be stolen... and second of all because they are WIP... I often get excited about the smallest victory in a piece that no one but me even notices...

Lastly, I work mostly in Sibelius *Loud screaming sound* (that noise you just heard was my comp teacher screaming in sheer terror, and rage) and found that much of my work isn’t documented, as I progress. All that I really got at the end was the finished score, which is sad because I can’t see my progress, my mindset, wrong turns, and neither can anyone else. I began using versions in Sibelius which is really handy, I save it every morning before I start working (if I remember). I am writing this mostly for the historians that look back on my writing, and wish they could see my process.

That’s all for today...

Thanks for reading!

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