Over the past two weeks I’ve been going over lists of composers and their repertoire to see if I could find some common threads that stood out as being both important and new in some way. I would like to take you through my process and show you why I nominated the three works that I did.
I’ve been asked to help add two or three 21st century works (scores and recordings) to an anthology that would be “representative of recent developments” and “work well in the classroom.” The second part shouldn’t be too difficult. The first part, on the other hand…
Save for the ubiquitous concern about achieving the premiere of a new work (or the commission of a work not yet written), the issue that seems to garner the most attention from composers is the generating of repeat performances of their existing works.
The need for greater programming of women composers is, of course, strong and obvious enough that nothing I could say could add to the argument. What little I can do to help the issue along I have done in the hopes that with information comes progress.
We hear things. We hear things no one else can hear, and sometimes we’re not sure whether or not we can hear them either, but we think we can hear them so intensely that we end up hearing… something, and that will do.
Since music is such a temporal art, it’s rare when composers aren’t talking about time in one way or another; whether the topic is metric modulation or missing deadlines, the ever-present clock is never far from our thoughts.
The past week’s debacle surrounding Osvaldo Golijov’s Sidereus overture was set off by two friends attending an orchestra concert in Eugene, Oregon, and the resulting article in the Eugene Register-Guard over the weekend has brought to light a panoply of issues whose ripples are still moving quickly throughout the music community and may have ramifications far beyond the individual situation.
Not only are we always learning—or, at least, presented with opportunities to learn—but every once in a while we find ourselves seated at the feet of a true master, from whom one cannot help but want to glean as much as possible from such a short, yet valuable, “class.”
The underlying concepts upon which one creates compositions may come from relatively different directions. After some back and forth, we came up with the idea that the difference was on which side of the creative “envelope” each of us tended to start when we made our art.
Between self-publishing, creating performance opportunities through the initiation of new ensembles and concert series, managing commissions, and balancing the various challenges that accompany the life of the freelancing artist, composers find themselves in need of a wide swath of experiences outside of the classroom. Slowly over time, programs have been experimenting with ways to incorporate these additional concepts into an already-packed list of requirements.