Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Judd Greenstein, Alex Ross, Julia Cameron

Just a couple quotes that I've found recently in reading which are nice little tidbits for my own compositional life:

On the compositional process, from an interview with the esteemed Judd Greenstein. I had a piece of mine premiered on a concert that his work was in as well, in Brooklyn. My piece was okay. His was pretty awesome...

"If you do something three times, in your head you've actually probably done it a hundred times, and most of those different ways that you tried to work out the rhythm or the harmony never made it in, but, god, do we really have to do this a third time because haven't we done this enough already? Well, no. In the context of the actual piece, we haven't, but in your brain you've done it way more than enough and so that's a challenge.

I need to want things to stay in play longer than they actually do. I want to be disappointed anytime something stops happening. If something changes, I want to make sure that the thing that happens is even more engaging, for whatever reason, than the thing that has just left."

I've done this so many times in my own work, and then regretted not repeating something, because it changed too quickly.

From writer Alex Ross, on new music, particularly about the composer George Fredrich Haas, who I know nothing about, but will inviestigate ASAP!
"Perhaps audiences are finally beginning to approach twentieth-century music with the same open-mindedness that they have long accorded twentieth-century painting."

My only comment to this is, well, we are now in the 21st-century, in fact about 11 years into it, and folks are finally warming up to music written 40 years ago. But I suppose that's good. If Ross senses a trend into audiences finally enjoying this kind of music-making and artful performance, then that may bode well for me as an 'established' musician later in life. I guess it takes the masses a long time to warm up to new ideas (ahem...civil marriage, cough cough...).

And finally, from Julia Cameron's 'The Artist's Way', which makes me feel a lot less guilty about having beacoup de temp to myself on this Fulbright. It makes me think more and more that it is time well-spent on growing and thinking, reading and writing, pondering new ways of working.

"One of the great misconceptions about artistic life is that it entails great swathes of aimlessness. The truth is that a creative life involves great swathes of attention. Attention is a way to connect and survive."

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