Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Scores scores scores...

One of the most incredible things about opening up a call for scores is that you realize how many composers there really are out there. Unlike singers, performers, actors (some of whom are also composers...) the act of composition happens almost entirely behind closed doors and in solitude. When ACO, or EarShot, sends out the word that they are accepting submissions for a reading the response never fails to surprise. My phone starts ringing constantly with people calling from every state and towns I've never even heard of. There are composers everywhere.
It brings to mind a concert I went to a year or so ago which featured Tania Leon conducting the Chicago Sinfonietta. The idea was for her to lead the group in a survey of women composers. She did one better and focused on living women composers. Between pieces she talked to the audience in her typically casual and inviting way. One thing she said struck me then, and seems even truer now that I'm receiving scores for these orchestra readings: "Composers are everywhere," she said. "They are your mailman, your accountant, and your next door neighbor."
Without being too dreamy-eyed about it, as I look over the stacks and stacks of scores that are sitting on the floor in my office it is both surprising and encouraging to know that there are so many people working with such dilligence and craft on new music for the orchestra. Teaching an old dog new tricks.
-John Glover, Ops Manager

1. some of the scores submitted for the Colorado EarShot Readings in my office.


Clint Needham said...

Great post John!!!

Beth Cowart said...

Congratulations to EarShot, the ACO, and CO Symphony for breaking ground
on their first reading program! As former co-director of the Minnesota
Orchestra Composer Institute, a program I managed since its early days
as a fledgling local reading program that grew beyond our wildest
dreams, I know firsthand the feelings of excitement that the big stack
of score submissions holds and the promise that lies within those many
pages. It’s magical that the solitary endeavor you mention can
eventually yield an experience involving a hundred musicians and
thousands of audience members. Magical, yes, but requiring so much hard
work to get to the point of confidence in one’s abilities to write for
such a complex ensemble. It’s a process that needs nurturing and
cultivating from many sides, both for the composers and the audiences
eager to hear their work.

Kudos to the four selected composers, and best of luck to everyone for
the readings in July and the ripple effects that will probably last a
long time.

Beth Cowart

Anonymous said...

Very insightful point about the number of committed artists working in this country~