A reading is one of those things that there is nothing you can do to prepare for (other than the hundreds of hours making the paper look good). Once you are there, it just happens, whether you’re ready for it or not.
This week I want to check in on an issue I grazed, as it were, with a haphazard spray of speculative birdshot last week: What does a composer have to be in the 21st century?
It’s become a joke among us composers here in Minnesota. In our face-time meetings with members of the orchestra, when we get to the part when it’s time to talk about individual pieces, it happens without fail: “Now first, where’s Sean? Who wrote surface tension?”
Is it possible that listening and composing are contradictory impulses?
Today, we focused on the nitty-gritty. The basics in terms of law, our rights, and even more, $$$. Well, maybe only $.
Do we need to have a healthy music program in place in order for composers to work with students?
It was a marathon of various happenings that started this morning. After our breakfast meet-and-greet with Aaron and Beth, the Orchestra’s artistic planning associate, we launched (and lurched) right into our first working meetings: sessions with members of the orchestra to discuss our pieces.
The pay, the prospects, the status—you’d have to be crazy to think that composing is a career. And maybe that explains everything.
Sean Shepherd is one of eight composers who will have a piece read during the 2006 Minnesota Orchestra Reading Sessions and Composer Institute (the American Music Center is a partner in this project). Sean has just landed in the Twin Cities, and he has agreed to give us a play-by-play of what’s happening up north each day over the next week.
After so many failed attempts at orchestral hip-hop, is it even worth trying out other hybrids?