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Advice to a Young Composer by Scott Good - Brightcecilia Feature

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Old 18-09-09, 12:57 AM
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Default Advice to a Young Composer by Scott Good - Brightcecilia Feature

New Feature: Advice to a Young Composer. With thanks to Scott Good.

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Never stop, never believe you know enough. Be hungry for knowledge and skill. It should be like food, and not thought of as any less important...
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Old 18-09-09, 10:06 AM
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I hope it isn't as curt as the late Phil Seaman's reply to the hapless youth who approached him after a gig, asking whether he "had any advice for young drummers".

(His two-word response may be paraphrased thus: Abjure the Sin of Onan.)
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Old 18-09-09, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Chilperich View Post
I hope it isn't as curt as the late Phil Seaman's reply to the hapless youth who approached him after a gig, asking whether he "had any advice for young drummers".

(His two-word response may be paraphrased thus: Abjure the Sin of Onan.)
I had to look up Onan...heh heh. I guess he didn`t appreciate the question.
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“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Debussy.
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Old 19-09-09, 06:26 AM
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Nice article. Thank you. It's hard to give advice without sounding patronising or making it sound too easy, but that hits the spot. I like the emphasis on community rather than composers thinking they must be isolated and play 'tortured genius.'
Community. Think about it, engage in it. Remember, you are the composer - the 'leader' - you write the instructions. So your art can be the focal point of a community.

Create an ensemble. Put on concerts. Build trusting relationships with performers - these can last a lifetime. A professional relationship built on trust and respect will not likely go away, but grow over time. These are the seeds one can plant for future fruits.
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Old 19-09-09, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by quartertone View Post
I like the emphasis on community rather than composers thinking they must be isolated and play 'tortured genius.'
Bach's career as a church musician is the great example here (even if the modern composer might translate it into secular terms).

I suppose Hindemith attempted something of the kind with his Gebrauchsmusik, even if the unfortunate term suggested something drab and functional. No need to play the tortured genius (unless you actually are one), but there has to be a place for inspiration and uplift somewhere.
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Old 19-09-09, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by quartertone View Post
Community. Think about it, engage in it. Remember, you are the composer - the 'leader' - you write the instructions. So your art can be the focal point of a community.

Create an ensemble. Put on concerts. Build trusting relationships with performers - these can last a lifetime. A professional relationship built on trust and respect will not likely go away, but grow over time. These are the seeds one can plant for future fruits.
to your first point, that is why I engage social media as actively as I do. Every Twitter feed for a performing group that I start following has received a message about a piece that I have written. You have to get it out there, you have to let people know it is there. I have a couple of hits, and hope to see some fruit soon.

The second point is the one that seems to baffle composers in my area the most. Particularly at the University, for some reason. There are an oodle of performers who are willing to do new music around here. Even for big stuff, there are performers that will do it. I am hiring a string orchestra of 16 pieces for about $1,000 American because of some professional players, and a slew of community and university players.

It is all about exposure, and experience. Composers need the sonic laboratory.
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Old 19-09-09, 10:40 PM
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Some clown has gone and put up a link to the article on TC.

LOL to the power of 10,000.

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Old 21-09-09, 10:46 AM
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Some clown has gone and put up a link to the article on TC.

LOL to the power of 10,000.



I haven't time to muck about with TC's stupid rules - "no links to other classical music forums" nonsense (beyond poking fun at it). Life's too short and I won't play their silly games. They should grow up and stop infantilising classical musicians. Can't Brightcecilia management provide TC with some staff training? Charge them $5000 a session and make Krummhorn sit at a desk....



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Scott posted the article here: http://www.talkclassical.com/6692-ad...-composer.html . The main reaction he got was the demand for careers advice, as if deciding to be a composer is like taking a job in banking or chiropody.The article's pitched perfectly imho. Basically it says to young composers - be excellent at what you do, never stop learning (keep an open mind) and engage with the community, don't lock yourself away. At least that's my reading.

Q: Where can I find composition competitions that are appropriate to my age/location etc.?
A: Google!

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Old 21-09-09, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by quartertone View Post
I haven't time to muck about with TC's stupid rules
They're looking at them now. From Frederik, TC's owner:

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Originally Posted by FRM View Post
Recapitulating and discussing the rules and the way they are applied is always a good thing to do from to time, though, and we are going to do that again in the near future.

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TC's no-link rule:

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It is forbidden to advertise or in other ways solicit traffic to any sites competing with Talk Classical in any way, including but not limited to, links in posts, signatures, profile information, PM's, emails, or IM's.

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But until that's changed anyone from Brightcecilia who links on Talkclassical to Brightcecilia material runs the risk of being disciplined by a TC manager: ticked off, "infracted", banned etc. It's weird - we're one big online classical music community AFAIC - but that's the position. Frederik's a nice guy saddled with an old fashioned rule book. No such rule applies on BC.

Back to young composers....
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Old 21-09-09, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Never stop, never believe you know enough. Be hungry for knowledge and skill. It should be like food, and not thought of as any less important...
As Walter Piston liked to quote, ars longa vita brevis.
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