Sunday, September 19, 2010

Composers Composing

As I sit here, listening to Mozart and incredibly unmotivated to do much of any kind of compositional work, I feel as I am becoming more and more disenchanted with the whole mess altogether.

Perhaps this is a sign that I should go to bed and try to work again tomorrow. But before I do, I wish to complain briefly about the business of composition. I read a quote earlier today from late composer (and former head of composition at my alma mater, Oklahoma City University) Ray Luke that said "being a composer is easier than composing." I'm not sure in what context this was meant, but reading it as is, I just can't agree. The competition, festival, commission, and grant circuit can be time consuming, expensive, and incredibly frustrating. I'd much rather be fighting an army of musical ideas in my brain than have to deal with that bureaucratic mess at all.

One of the reasons I disliked the business of singing was the constant rejection. Some people get fired up as a result of rejection, become more motivated and dedicated to bettering themselves. I, on the other hand, shrivel up and dry out with each and every "thanks, but no thanks" letter I receive. 'Weak' might be one way to describe it. Alternately, 'sensitive' and 'personal' are more so how I like to think of it.

I apologize for the whining. It's just, the creating, practicing, performing, listening, and interpreting of music is the only process I really care for. When I care for it. Which is mostly ('but not always,' says the guilty voice in my head).

I am just incredibly jealous of those who do play the business side of composition so well. Teach me, oh entrepreneurial ones! Help me see the light!

1 comment:

James Sproul said...

Oh... I have to say, this post spoke to me in a most substantial way.

I have felt and continue to feel these feelings on a regular basis.

I always figured, as far as competitions are concerned, that the law of large numbers has to play in there somewhere right... but each time I get the "thanks, but no thanks", "it's not personal" "it's not you it's us" letter I just scoff. It is absolutely personal. I feel a little more dejected each time I read those stupid words.

I often wonder at my choice, but I just think about not doing it ever again, and I don't like that either.

I wish I had some advice for you. I suck at the business side of things.

anyway, I could rant and rant... but I just wanted to let you know, you are not alone. At the very least realize that in a couple of years you will have that Doctorate... and then perhaps a job somewhere. not that that helps any.!

what a stupid profession!!