Author Archives: Dan Visconti

Working in the Shadow of the Master

By Dan Visconti
I’ve begun a month-long stay at Aaron Copland’s former house, and a few glances through old photos reveal that I am indeed using the same butt-cushion that A.C. did. These kinds of silly epiphanies are a welcome counterbalance to the sense of weight that comes from composing at the home of the guy who composed Fanfare for the Common Man.

The Element of Surprise

By Dan Visconti
While on the surface it might seem that synced scoring and stage scoring were close cousins, the sudden juxtaposition of the two has only made clearer what a laughable comparison this actually is.

The Language of the Tribe

By Dan Visconti

I began working on a commercial scoring project with a video artist this week, and although the collaboration has been very fruitful it’s also been riddled with minor awkwardness and misunderstandings that come with trying to communicate musical concepts to non-musicians.

The Worst Orchestra in the World

By Dan Visconti
The only requirement for membership in the Portsmouth Sinfonia is that individual performers play an instrument in which they were not proficient.

Lights Out

By Dan Visconti
So much of human history was lived in the precious available daylight, with activities after nightfall severely limited; music must have been one of the only forms of creative expression available to humans after nightfall.

The New Calligraphy

By Dan Visconti
While it’s certainly worth emphasizing the fact that a great many composers create works outside the traditions of notated music (and that others still engage in that noble practice of hand-calligraphy), it’s staggering to consider that perhaps 80 percent of all that passes for “new music” has been run through either Finale or Sibelius.

Sensory Overload

By Dan Visconti
Seeing someone turn into a blueberry in a quasi-realistic way via movie special effects taps into different creative opportunities and challenges than doing so with live singers and orchestra.

Composing with the Metronome

By Dan Visconti
Before spending all of last week composing against a metronome beat (whether thinking, playing, or entering music), I was unaware that I tend to compose in an imagined tempo range, a vague limbo that sometimes was too wide a range.

Mistaken Identity

By Dan Visconti
Being that classical music is just about the only genre of music in which printed programs are the norm, then why is it also the only genre in which gross misunderstandings so easily flourish?

Sins of Memory?

By Dan Visconti
Are there composers who retain a very clear aural imprint of every thing they’ve ever written on the minute level, and at the other extreme, has anyone ever forgotten having written a piece?