Words of Encouragement

Two seemingly unrelated events over the past week—a fire and a conversation—have demonstrated to me the power of support and encouragement from those around you.

Visual Enhancements

The incorporation of video as part of the creative process is slowly becoming a new and important aspect of new music in general. As technology becomes even more pliant and simple to use, we’re only going to see more innovations in this area in the years ahead.

Venue Reflections

This past weekend I live-blogged my third Bang on a Can Marathon concert experience. This year in particular was interesting because of the change in locations, as this presented the opportunity to compare and contrast the same event in two very different performance spaces.

Perceptions of Opportunity

As more of us understand the new reality and forgo the perceptions of the past, the more we will all be attuned to the various aspects of opportunity, including when it doesn’t exist, how to make sure it does exist, and how best to proceed once that opportunity is available.

The First Time

Hundreds of millions of people have seen Disney’s version of Le Sacre. It became a door–a misshapen door, perhaps, but a door nonetheless–for many to venture into contemporary music.

Oklahoma: New Music North of the Red River

My first introduction to Oklahoma was driving up I-35 in 2003 the day after a previous tornado had hit Moore. When I left, however, my impressions were not of windswept plains but of a surprisingly strong community of musicians and audiences who are open to performing and hearing new music.

Lost to the Ages

Obviously there are some genres–jazz quickly comes to mind–in which specific musical creative events occur and are lost on a daily basis. We can’t keep everything, so it goes, but when it comes to our musical creations, this is how we as composers are going to be remembered.

Upheavals in Grantland

Recently there have been several major shifts in “umbrella” organizations that oversee granting opportunities for composers, performers, and presenters both here in the United States and in the United Kingdom. I am hopeful that these changes in grantland will assist me and my colleagues in our music-making for years to come.

The Occasional Cheeseburger

The fact that even active student performers have a hard time being enticed to come to a concert with a guest artist or composer because of the “seriousness” they’ve experienced in the past did get me thinking…of cheeseburgers.

Working with Choreographers

Over the years I have discovered that working with choreographers and dancers is challenging not only from a technical standpoint, but also that the various limitations force me into artistic directions that I would have never explored otherwise. Now that I’m working with “emerging” composers, I try to ensure that they get those same opportunities during their studies.

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