You cannot collect the rejection slips, unless you send in your work.—Porridger’s Almanack (Breakfast of Ganglions)
About this time last year (though undocumented in the blog, hélas) a new music ensemble, domiciled nearby (and a Henningmusick connection with one member) called for scores. Not very surprisingly, they were overwhelmed with submissions (including three scores of mine, hereinafter detailed).
It was very difficult to choose only 16 pieces from 896 submitted (<2%) with a constellation of logistics and curatorial decisions in play, so please do not think this reflects poorly upon the quality of your creative work.
Of course, when the volume is as great as that (just shy of 900, for Mercy’s sake) a ‘rejection’ is nothing personal—success becomes a kind of lottery. Still, let me consider how I might possibly improve mine own chances.
The three pieces I submitted were: ...illa existimans quia hortulanus esset...., (very nearly) what everyone was expecting, and Things Like Bliss. Of these, the first two are duos, and if one priority was to involve as many of the group as possible, these would naturally be set aside. The last is a quartet, but perhaps it just didn’t grab them. I own the piece entirely, and stand ready to perform it as soon and as often as circumstances permit; there is no denying that its gentle, pastoral character will not stand out as “colorful” from among a pack of 900 scores.
The present plan, then, is to prepare a scoring suited to this ensemble of Counting Sheep (or, The Dreamy Abacus of Don Quijote); and, I have already adapted Kurosawa’s Scarecrow for string quartet (though I want also to apply tremolo to some select passages).
So, we shall see. These two scores address my speculation as to why last year’s submissions were not selected; but obviously, it’s all a spin of the wheel.
Of course, I could “Threnodize” the scores—give them new titles with electrofyin’ sociopolitical relevance, and see if that dressing increases their chances out there in The Jungle.
Won’t do that this year. But if my work is passed over again, I vow to do exactly that next year. Purely as an experiment, you understand.