28 April 2015


Yes, there is nothing in the least wrong with your suggestion. It is, in fact, by most measures, simply reasonable, and realistic.

Nonetheless, the freedom in which I exult I will not lightly exchange away. If I can accommodate your suggestion, I shall. Yet, I find too much joy, myself, in "abstract art" -- in art on its own terms and focused upon for what it is, itself -- that I should in any degree concede that non-narrative art is in any wise audience-unfriendly.

In fact, the freedom in which I exult is part of the nursery for the work I do. What if my work were not nearly so good, bent to the apparently beneficial purpose you suggest?

Maybe, I should just go on writing as I damned well please.

24 April 2015

Eve of a test drive

Tomorrow, our Triad choir have a rehearsal qua program run-through. It will be roughly equal parts exciting and interesting, as I think we have as yet sung only two of the pieces on the program straight through in rehearsal. But then, part of the joy in this endeavor is the communal fearlessness.

23 April 2015

A tale of partial success

The case against "50% success" in the Arts ....

A friend offers the following regretful critique:

'If [piece #1 by composer N.] suffers from one problem - the finale being of far greater interest than the first two movements - then [piece #2 by composer N.]  suffers from the exact opposite issue. The first few minutes are incredibly fun to listen to, and exciting not just in the conventional sense but in the "interesting new directions" sense. But the last 10 minutes or so really bore me. Bummer.'

Has the look of a composer with enough skill to spin notes, but no mastery of Composition.

22 April 2015

Brief blurb

I took a year or so to write the Credo of my unaccompanied Mass (not that that was the only composing I did during that period). When at last the Credo was done to my satisfaction, and even though I half-fancied that I might write an instrumental piece as a change-up — I found myself reflecting anew on how little text there is for the Agnus Dei. Thus I composed this in short order, a bit less than a week, I believe. The speed is partly accounted for in a reference here and there to passages from the Credo and from the Kyrie.

19 April 2015

Another "Sorry!"

[name of conductor] and I got a chance to sit down and peruse your scores, and while we appreciate you sharing your music with us, the scores you have sent thus far don't indicate that you music [sic] is a good fit for [name of ensemble dedicated to new music].

14 April 2015

Singers at work

The musical endeavor which reached my ears as a rumor last December, and which has steadily made earnest progress in the interval, is becoming a sonic reality. Triad: Boston's Choral Collective had another focused and productive rehearsal last night in Harvard Square. They are a fine group of colleagues, and the music we are making is already beginning to reach the Delicious stage.