Recording

A Day in the Life of a TV film Composer? (Bear McCreary)

Blues for D.D. for Solo Oboe by Jeffrey Agrell

Blues for D.D for solo oboe by Jeffrey Agrell, performed by D.D. (the incomparable Diana Doherty).

David Newcomb’s Gems

vibDave Newcomb is a composer who writes for percussion (and performs a mean vibraphone) and electronic music. I really enjoy his YouTube Channel– the many examples of short compositions. Very inspiring! Thanks, Dave!

Composition Tip #19: Different Every Time

Encourage performers to experiment with your notes. They may come up with better ways of doing it than you thought of. It may very well come out different than you dreamed originally. So what? With any luck, every performance will be different in some way. This keeps your music alive, ever-changing and thus interesting, rather than encased in plastic.

Which is more interesting, a live unpredictable grizzly bear or one stuffed by the taxidermist that never changes, never moves, never breathes? Here’s a radical thought (works best in chamber music): include short sections that say “continue [or improvise] for 30 seconds in the style of the piece”.

Below is a recording of a performance of one such piece. My “September Elegy” (written in response to the tragic events of 9/11) for natural horn in Eb and piano has 4 sections: Prologue – Chorale – Reflection – Epilogue. All but the Chorale are improvised (within the mood of the piece). The piece is different every time and different for every performer, but it’s still the same piece and always has something new to offer both performer and audience.