Getting a First
Although the final grades are not out, the preliminary marks lead me to believe I will achieve a First Class Honours Degree from Napier University for my BMus studies. While the reaction from all those around me are praise and hearty congratulations, I am feeling a bit lost with marking it as anything extraordinary.
I do not want to put down the education I have received. I do not want to make little of my accomplishments over the past four years. What I am trying to say is, I do not think what I did was extraordinary for me. I do not feel, particularly in this last year, that anything I did was much of a stretch for me. I really wish I had done more, gone farther and done better. Yes, I (potentially) have First Class Honours Degree and it doesn't get any better than that. I guess it's just that I expect more of myself.
Does this sound egotistical? I don't mean it to.
Achievements this year:
- Finished writing and conducted my first symphony
Yes, I am very proud of that.
- Wrote 30 minutes of a opera that has real potential (IMHO)
Yes, I am proud of that
- Wrote a complete string quartet (not just a short 5-6 minute string piece)
that is being professionally performed (not just as a vanity project)
Yes, I am proud of that
Things I didn't achieve:
- Better understanding of what makes some composers music so intriguing.
- I'd like to study Mahler, (John) Williams, Corigliano indepth. I did study Holst,
Brittan, Ferneyhough and Maxwell-Davis (and others), but there are so many more
that I should also have gotten to and just didn't.
- Better handle on the tricks in orchestrating for symphony orchestras.
- I am woefully lacking in knowing the tricks of master orchestrators. My first
symphony does a number of interesting things - but there are still more out
there (there must be) and I don't know them. It's like I am a painter who learned
a couple of techniques, but then look at Monet and realise I have no business
attempting water lilies at this stage in my development - and that's frustrating!
- Better handle on sound mixing.
I don't want to be a sound engineer, but so much of film music is done though
computer generated sounds. I am not getting the clarity of sound I know can
be achieved (even with generated sounds) so my works do not sound as good as
- Better understanding of Popular music
I took a Dance Music class, but still just failed to grasp what it is that makes
modern pop, hip hop, rock, drum&bass, club, house
. Music tick. I didn't
take a pop degree, but it is so much of what is part of the musicscape of today
that I feel inadequate in my knowledge.
The list goes on Hopefully this provides some understanding as to why I'm not necessarily celebrating my achievement. Maybe I have just walked up a large hill (maybe even a mountain) but there so many more mountains left to climb. Taking time to celebrate climbing this one doesn't seem appropriate.