No notes for the summer

September 30, 2008

After an intense year being chair of the music department and writing a musical, it seemed like an easy transition: just chair? no problem! All of a sudden, my TO DO list has become formidable. And having this list just sit there is very stressful knowing that I am going to have to do most of it. Yes, I delegate, and delegate wherever possible. But sometimes ya just gotta do it yourself.

I haven’t written any music all summer long. In that I wrote almost every day last year, I think it’s ok to take some time off. Recharge the batteries. I have no guilt: i feel good about it.

Ahead of me is a new orchestration of FLASHPOINT/STONEWALL for men’s chorus, soloists, and replacing four live synthesizers with piano, bass and two orchestral instrument (stay tuned).

Another piece I will be writing this year is a “companion” piece to the Goldberg Variations. This is for a solo piano recital by Lana Chwe, who will be performing the GV on the first half, and my piece on the second half. So I share the program with Bach. I can’t imagine doing another set of variations––it would probably just give everyone hiccups. I’m thinking post-Rachmaninov.

I find that after NOT composing for a while, it’s like going for a long time without sex––you get really, really horny. So, I get really horny for writing music, and BAM! i set the piece in motion. I love it!

Today was the first day back at school. I taught a large “music theory” class–the first of a full year course with freshmen from ethnomusicology, historical musicology, and music majors, and later, individual lessons with graduate students in composition. Intense. My aloha spirit–left over from our fab vacation in Kauai–got me through it. But man, I’m beat.


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