Busted! Self promotion or not?

February 26, 2010

My primary flaw as a composer of late, is that I have lost interest in aggressively promoting my work (other than this blog). As Beethoven allegedly said: “I refuse to bow to Napoleon; he must come to me.” I teach my students that this NEVER happens, so who am I kidding?

I LOVE composing, and am in ecstasy over performances; and then I move on to the next piece.

I have a colleague who is very good about self-promotion: sends out scores, goes to lots of concerts, goes to premieres of his colleagues, goes to every new music concert in town, goes to HIS concerts anytime he has a performance, regardless of where it is, and he’s always giving out CDs of his music to everyone. No wonder his career is going like gangbusters.

I confessed this to RC a few weeks back: he called me on it and said that there was no excuse for not getting off my lazy white ass and sending him scores and CDs ASAP. “No, I’m not going to listen to your music on my computer. I have a 10 year old Dell laptop and no one would ever want to listen to anything on that.” I agreed.

I’ve gone back to the print shop and got copies of my scores. Wow. I haven’t done that in a while. I burned a pile of CDs — one piece per disc. I bought a printer a few years back, dedicated to making pretty CDs. It dried up in neglect. I just used a thick pen and wrote the title and my name on each disc.

Self-promotion is part of a composer’s responsibility whether we like it or not. Some get lucky and get representation. Others gotta do it themselves. Thanks to RC’s butt-kickin’ my momentum for such efforts has been set in motion again. Musicians have to keep finding their next gig for their whole lives. And that’s just how it goes!

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