Hey Look! I’ve been reviewed.
This was from the Dana New Music Festival concert on May 1st 2013. It was a truly enlightening experience to work with a group this large for the first time and I felt that they did an admirable job on my piece, Eclectic Images, as well as the numerous pieces composed by other talented area composers and the concert, though long, was wonderful.
One thing that I will take away from this experience is the lesson of Patience. It takes a lot of time and effort to compose a piece of music this length(this piece alone was the result of at least 200 hours and probably more, four and a half months of long nights of hair tearing from working and reworking themes and trying to figure out Finale’s many cleverly hidden features, and many hours of listening to string music and reading about the instruments) . The imagination to come up with the themes and harmonies is often the easiest part of the process. It’s the craft of editing and re editing the score multiple times to make sure that a) the rhythms and notes are not only playable by the musicians but as efficiently scored as possible so they are able to read the rhythms in one or two read-througs, b) The score is organized in the best format possible so that conductor and musicians can REMAIN AS CALM AS POSSIBLE and avoid unnecessary confusion and aggravation in the rehearsal as most groups have limited rehearsal time and c) There are NO PARALLEL FIFTHS! (this has been drilled and instilled by many a composition professor in voice leading instruction and considering that my professor, Dr. Robert Rollin, was the conductor for this concert, I needed to be on double duty watchdog mode for this, and other common errors). Many thanks to Dr. Gweneth Rollin for the hours sitting with me and walking me through this process,as well as editing much of the score and parts outside of my lessons as well.
The most difficult movement for me to score was the fourth, Sheer Elation, mostly because of the poly-rhythmic structure of 6/8 against 3/4 that would not always line up then inputted into the computer and ended up being scored in 6/4 with grouped triplets . This was also probably the most difficult for the musicians to read as well for similar reasons but ironically became the favorite of many of them and the audience. For a future version of this movement, I may re-score the piece in 4/4 with drag triplets to make it even more efficient but that is a project for a future date when I have some more time.
All in all, the hours spent on this piece were well worth it. It was a pleasure working with the Festival Orchestra and having the privilege of hearing Eclectic Images performed in real life and not on a midi player for the remainder of its existence.