|View of Bethlehem from one of the |
Zoellner Arts Centre Balconys
- My feedback in the seminar, as well as the one-to-one I had from Sven-David today was very positive. The main issues I needed to address were the engraving (making sure the notation is exactly as I want, and as detailed as possible), creating a greater sense of ebb and flow in the piece using more dynamics (and more space), and reworking the middle section of my piece to create a great sense of buildup. The general consensus was that my writing was beautiful and very nearly there, just some tidying and a little exploration in the middle - very happy with that indeed!
Our lunchtime was somewhat of a 'working lunch', as we had a representative from Peer Music come talk to us about the general business of Choral Music Publishers; how to approach them, what publishers are looking for, issues with copyright (in particular to text setting), and answer any questions we may have. A useful lunch 'break' indeed, as Todd was able to give a real insider view into publishing, and take away some of the mystery and 'fear factor' about them; putting a face to a name, so to speak! There is this general consensus that these big organisations are just faceless entities that do a job and it's impossible to get in and work with them, but actually, just chatting to someone from that side of the industry takes away that concept. These days, it's more important to be pro-active and spend some time finding the right people to talk to, in order to build a relationship so that they're more likely to be interested in working with you.
|The life blood of any well respected composer #coffee|
- Anyway by the time we got round to my piece I was pretty happy with the outcome of my second reading. Most of my revisions were exactly what I wanted, but there's still a few little things to tidy up. Hearing other people's pieces, and how far they've developed and where they are going as works is fascinating. Some have very much managed to write what the guys here refer to as an 'ear worm': a piece that gets stuck in your head. Jared Field's piece 'Old Things' definitely is one that people have been humming around the building (apparently mine is another one that people have woken up singing, Dr Sametz included!). Some people would probably think that sitting in a room for 5 hours and listening to a choir sing and discuss works you've never heard would be pretty dull - well, it's not! It's very enriching, and one of the things that Dr Sametz actively encouraged was to really listen, and steal ideas from each other - and that has actually happened a couple of times: I've taken a little idea from Barry Sharp, and Jared took an idea from me (and so on). As Stravinsky said: "... good composers know how to borrow, great composers know how to steal..."
Not so much of the social side of things today until after both rehearsals, when a couple of us went to a local bar: composers, singers, and our composer faculty. A great night out just getting to know each other's worlds (and in my case, explain where Guernsey is and how it relates to the UK and the EU.... a difficult conversation! Haha!). Many people have asked me 'why do you feel the need to go out to the US to do these forums/workshop?' - well, actually - this is why! It's as much about meeting other composers, choral directors, and singers and getting to know people, and network in a personal way as it is about writing music. If people know you, and have heard your music, or observed how you work and like who you are as a person, they are far more likely to want to commission you, or get a different ensemble to perform your work again for you. As the old saying goes, sometimes, "It's not about what you know, but who you know." - Safe to say, I'm getting to know some pretty awesome people!
I feel like closing today's blog out with an inspirational quote that popped up on my twitter feed: