Author Archives: Dan Visconti

The Experience of Composing

I need to generate a lot of ideas without stunting their early growth with too much specificity (and with nary a thought to their feasibility in performance), but I also need to be ruthless and shrewd in dispensing with (and editing) ideas that don’t make the cut even after I’ve allowed them their best shot.

The Self-Promoting Composer

Nowhere is the current Wild West of promotional norms more apparent than the internet, which, while vastly improving our ability to communicate, often diminishes the quality of the resulting communication. For composers (a breed not always noted for our tact!), it’s incredibly important to learn how to navigate it, especially as so much of what we do or type on the internet is permanent, and a hastily-scribed caffeinated rant can continue to make its impression felt for years to come.

A New Contemporary Music Festival Moves Forward in Austin

By bringing together a diverse group of local cutting-edge artists working in graphic, dramatic, and musical media in a welcomingly relaxed venue unburdened by typical concert conventions, the festival’s marathon concert tapped into what is so great about the Austin vibe: a community of people who are artistically curious, non-doctrinaire, and unpretentious.

Amped Up

By Dan Visconti
Language sadly often removes us from the direct perception of reality.

Tracing an Idea

By Dan Visconti
In approaching such complex and far-ranging concepts as artistic influence, genre cross-pollination, and the manner in which technology both aided and modified much of Schoenberg’s inherited artistic vision, the Washington, DC-based Verge Ensemble has opted to let the listeners form their own perspective rather than trying to advance a particular thesis—turning the concert experience into a way for listeners to draw some of their own conclusions.

Returning to the Ring

One of the things that makes me hopeful about humans is that despite our considerable foibles, we have a tendency to want to deal with difficult events and unresolved conflicts by reengaging them rather than avoiding them. In the short term we may choose to flee, but in the long run even this impulse is superseded by the desire for closure (for some), or for others perhaps just the savor of a good challenge.

Juggling with Notes

By Dan Visconti
I like keeping my projects separate so that their own distinct features and challenges come to the fore, yet I’ve also noticed the advantages of judicious compositional multitasking.

Opening Moves

By Dan Visconti
There’s no opening measure, line of verse, or premise so beyond redemption that it couldn’t possibly be spun into a successful whole.

Recommendation Letters

By Dan Visconti
Any way you slice it, the recommendations process is sure to be absurd, uncomfortable, and excessively bureaucratic for all involved.