Taste and individual interests will always drive us to those composers and performers that resonate with us, but I think we have found common ground from which to propel our artistic dialogue into the future.
There are many differences between the worlds of concert music and of film music, but one striking similarity is how little those who aren’t intimately involved with the process know and understand about what actually happens as concert works or film scores are being created.
Sometimes we need to set aside the training that can shackle us to what can or should be done and instead to tap into the sense of “play” that comes so naturally to us when we’re young and have no concept of boundaries or rules or expectations. One of the biggest challenges along these lines is that many of us don’t recognize when we’ve stopped “playing,” especially after so many years of accruing the necessary tools to perform/create at a high level.
A year and a half later, there are finally signs of what effects the Sibelius shakeup has had and what the future holds for those who see notation software as an irreplaceable tool.
The concert reviews won’t mention them, historians will only consider them if there is a scandal, and the audience won’t think twice about them, but it is often those who stand just offstage who provide a vital and necessary component to the birth and growth of much new music.
While competitive drive can be unhealthy if left unchecked, if focused correctly, it can also be turned into an advantage that can reap benefits for everyone.
It is all too easy for those of us who are active in new music to get so focused on the workings of the business–be they awards, commissions, premieres, recordings, scandals, spats, or celebrations–that we lose sight of the simple gifts inherent within our art form.
The more consistent one’s style and language are, the easier it is for a select group of performers and listeners to form a strong relationship with a composer over time. Conversely, less consistency can increase the variety and numbers of performers and audiences that enjoy a composer’s works.
The point of playing clarinet in a public school setting isn’t to prepare for a career in a symphony orchestra, but to allow students to see themselves, their work, and their life through a new, creative lens.
Over the past several years, there have been a number of composers, performers, and ensembles that have caught the attention of those in the media. It would be very easy to infer that their music must not only be of high quality but of superior quality when compared with the work of those who are not being noticed…and therein lies the rub.