Having to decline

March 5, 2008

For the past three months, I have had a slim social life. I have had to miss many concerts, dinners, and parties. As I’ve told my friends, “all I do is be Chair and compose.” (Oh yes, and keep this blog active).

The composition of this piece has interrupted nearly every aspect of my life, from the aforementioned social events, to my close relationships. I hope that I still will have friends after I finish the piece.

Carter Burwell and I were talking about this problem last summer. He said that when he scores a film, he just crosses everything off of this social calendar for three months, and just prays that he has friends after he reappears.

My old friend Tison Street could not compose and teach at the same time, so he eventually left academia and returned to the life of a freelance violinist and composer and is happy as a clam. I haven’t had that problem, but I can’t do it the way I could 20 years ago. I refuse to stay up all night for anything nowadays. Wreaks too much havoc on my body.

I love to have free time. I’m not a person who has to have my day filled up, or I panic. Scratch my stomach and fart, watch a movie, read a book, go for a walk, or just forget about time and hang out with some friends — these are things I miss from my crazy last half year.

For my young readers who are considering a life as a composer: don’t marry someone who is jealous of the time you have to spend on composing.

For my young readers who are considering a life as a performing musician: don’t marry someone who can not tolerate your busy performing schedule.

I am blessed to have a partner who loves my music, gives me my space and does a good job telling people why Roger had to decline.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

ComposerBastard March 5, 2008 at 8:35 pm

Nice thread, Roger. Thanks for sharing those truthful inner thoughts.

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