Before the Readings - April 3, 2013
|Composer Participants, Mentor Composers |
& George Manahan
The readings are particularly exciting because with a piece for orchestra, it's almost impossible to really know what it will sound like until you hear it played live. I have a general idea, of course; a big part of a composer's training, after all, is honing the ability to "hear" pieces in our heads. But I have to confess that a lot of this piece will be as much a revelation to me in performance as to the audience. I deliberately took some risks with Music from elsewhere, trying out ideas for forms and textures that I'd never used before. Too, the sound of the orchestra is such a multifaceted, infinitely-variable thing that I find composing for it a little like crossing the ocean by dead reckoning - I start knowing approximately which way to go but without any certainty that I'll be able to find my way there.
So despite the fact that I lived with the piece, all day, every day for six
months, Monday will be the start of really getting to "know"
it. Maybe it will sound exactly as I've imagined it or maybe my inner ear
will have taken me wildly off-course; most likely, it will be somewhere in
between. In any case, it's a thrilling prospect. After all, the
places we find without a compass are usually more rewarding than the intended
destination was ever going to be.