And one more thing...

There might be some personal nonsense in here, too...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What We Talk About When We Talk About Composing...

Meeting actors and TV personalities is one thing, but I just feel like meeting musicians is the coolest.

Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term Art, I should call it "the reproduction of what the Senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul."  The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of "Artist".

Art is why I get up in the morning, but my definition ends there.  You know I don't think it's fair that I'm living for something I can't even define.

I recently attended my first American Composers Forum's National Composer Night Out event.  It was nifty meeting other folks at various stages in their musical careers — students, professors, fresh young voices, experienced retirees, folks working both within and without "the system", and one much like myself who's only getting started in midlife.
 I felt like such a poser.  No credentials, no CV, no site with links to my work.  Not even a card.
 Of course I'm being unfair to myself.  There's nothing wrong with coming late to the party that is a career (or avocation) in music, regardless of my background or reasons; when I start to doubt that, I think on such late-blooming artists as Toni Morrison, Leos Janáček, and Grandma Moses.  I've already blogged about this problem, so I won't kvetch about it again now.
 But I was surprised by what irked me the most.  I was asked about my particular style and interests/goals.  These were very reasonable questions, and I had no concrete answers.  This set me to thinking: really, just what is my agenda, beyond this opera (and its partners in the proposed triptych)?  And while I may not have a defined style as yet, what kind of music am I eager to write?
 This calls for an art manifesto!
 Such a thing will require serious introspection and reflection, and will be a work in progress.  But I can't let myself get distracted now — I've got to stay focused on not accomplishing anything!