Engraving Ephemera

The topics of engraving and notation software that I’ve touched on over the past few weeks did not seem to want to go to bed this week, so I thought I’d give an update on each one. I’ve also included some of the more extensive portions of the discussion that occurred on my own Facebook profile.

Adventures in Engraving

There are still those who feel that handwritten manuscript is a viable option today, but they are mistaken; performers and conductors have become acclimated to engraved scores and parts over the past twenty years and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who will put up with anything other than clear, engraved performance materials.

The SoundNotion Interview

About a month after starting my column with NewMusicBox back in early 2011, I discovered that someone was talking about my posts online–on video, no less! Following a link that Google Alerts sent me, I found this likeable group of four graduate students at Michigan State University, piled into a large room with laptops, microphones, cameras, and a healthy gift for banter. Calling themselves SoundNotion, they’re new music’s answer to The McLaughlin Group.

Sharpen Your Quills!

As notation software has become as ubiquitous within the composer community as Photoshop has become with professional photographers, it will come as no surprise that the threat of one of these major applications being discontinued is of great concern to many professional composers.

Summer Camp

As crazy as it sounds, even with the dorm living quarters and cafeteria food (not to mention the powder-blue uniforms), summer camp promises to be a very satisfying place for a composer.

Point A to Point C

Recent composer-based and concert-based activity has gotten me thinking about that nebulous time and space between the point where a piece of music has been created and the point where a listener/audience member first experiences that same piece.

Hilary Hahn Concludes Her Model Contest

This was not a “kingmaker” contest, but one that truly strove for diversity and a wide net. The winners (all eleven of them!) were announced on June 15, and I had the privilege of speaking with Hilary Hahn herself about the contest.

Personal Filters

After all this time, we still haven’t figured out that there is enough room in our culture for each style, each genre, each musical language to not only stand on its own, but for others to present and interpret the music in new and unique ways.


I’ve had several “adventures” in my life that on the surface seem relatively unrelated, but have ultimately been spiraling me towards where I am today. My current visit to Los Angeles has been unearthing old and forgotten memories of one of those adventures.

The “E” Word

Feasibility, relevancy, and sustainability will continue to raise their ugly heads as the three primary concepts that are endemic in composition education today, and all three point to the necessity of emphasizing entrepreneurial skills throughout a student’s time in school.