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?
After giving the matter some thought, I realized that many of my teachers have been exemplary in some fashion or other, and although I never framed the evaluation of mentors in terms of inspiration, they’ve provided invaluable models for thinking about composition in particular and life in general. Why not call them inspiring, then?
Is it possible to sell out without having to change musical styles?
Perhaps our institutions could offer graduate students an internship that puts them into the public schools as composers-in-residence.
Lessons on the importance of delegation, sobriety, ingenuity, tolerance, activism, and resourcefulness. Plus: a treasure from the filing cabinet.
The omnipresence of recorded music illuminates, ironically, the issue of venue and its impact on the experience of listening to music.
Most “emerging” composers in our world, as well as aspirants in almost any genre, seek any opportunity to get their music in front of an audience whether financially lucrative or not—in most cases not. It’s probably the one piece of common ground between all of us, even if the economies that support the successful practitioners of each genre are so stark in their differences.
Learning how to compose or perform music is a very different skill from not needing a diaper anymore, yet we use the same word for it: training.