. Interchanging Idioms: People are basically honest, so why not share my compositions openly?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

People are basically honest, so why not share my compositions openly?

In an age where music can be passed around the world electronically, and getting noticed is all about exposure,
I am taking the attitude of making my music publicly available when possible.

Particularly in terms of TwtrSymphony - the whole idea is to be transparent with the project; that includes the scores.

My personal quest is to get notoriety for my music. There are 7 billion people on this planet now; trying to get noticed is both easier with the advent of the internet and social media and more difficult with so many more people competing for the same recognition. Getting recognition for a composer means I have to get my music into the hands of people who will play it, getting it played so people can hear it and getting both of those groups of people to want more.

As a composer, there are basically two ways to earn a living directly off of my music: Getting paid by people to perform my music and getting paid for the scores of my music. We could go into recordings of the music and commissions, but those can both still fit into the above two categories. Unfortunately, people aren't likely to want to perform my music if they don't know about it. They certainly aren't going to want to buy scores if they don't know to some degree what they're getting.

People might say I'm shooting myself in the foot by putting my music out in the open market. While yes, one way for me to make money is for me to sell the printed music. I might also miss out on getting paid for performances of the music as people can just print and perform the music without ever telling me. However, I am at the stage of my career where more performances are better than a few shekels in the pocket. Most performers I work with have been honest about performing my music and I end up getting paid where there is money involved. In the end, I think popularity for the music will win out.

Composer's like John Williams, James Newton Howard, Hans Zimmer can charge money for their scores because their music is already known - compliments of the film industry. The odd juxtaposition is that these composers already make a tidy some on their film composing, so the money for their scores is just gravy! While I'd like to score films (and have done some minor projects), I don't have the notoriety (yet) that would allow me the luxury of selling my scores with any modicum of success.

Other composers, like Libby Larsen, Jennifer Higdon, John Adams and Steven Reich have made a name for themselves. They regularly get commission. Groups seek them out, commissioning pieces or asking to play existing pieces because of the compose's established reputation. Alas, I am still working towards that level of notoriety.

So, in the spirit of getting my music out there in a public forum, here are a sampling of the parts for the first piece written for TwtrSymphony: The Hawk Goes Hunting. There are no "chair" assignments, so the parts are not listed as Instrument 1,2,3... ect., but rather by color. Also, these are just the parts the musicians are playing, not music for the entire piece.

Since the musicians of TwtrSymphony are playing in remote sessions there is no reason to include large sections of rests while other musicians are playing - as such, these parts can not be performed together in a live situation to recreate the piece.






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