My thoughts and out loud thoughts on composition, performance, and many things musical.

Living as a musician

Many good things happening musically.  I have the 3rd movement to my piece almost done!! **mad applause!** **chaotic uproar!** **fireworks and confetti and other hootenany-esque parading!!** **overuse of celebratory italics!!**

BUT–I am definitely re-thinking the instrumentation.  THAT is a major change, I am aware.  I’m basing the pending decision on the likelihood that I will not find a mandolin or banjo player competent enough to play what I write.  Though, I am not saying my music is of a high caliber, but obviously with instruments like mandolin and banjo most people learn them through rote and jamming.  There is rarely formal training or technical facility involved.  In a dream world, of course, I would be friends with the members of the Punch Brothers, or Bela Fleck.

SO, I am highly considering making the mandolin and banjo parts violin and cello parts.  The upside to this idea is that is it a lot easier to find people competent on those instruments.  The downsides are that I will be lacking in the sizeable chordal sound I am looking for AND will they be able to improvise?  I hope so.  I figure the way that the Punch Brothers have been innovative and unique in their music and instrumentation, so too could I by not directly copying their approach.

ALSO I am getting going on arranging/transcribing Radiohead songs for a brass quintet.  Paranoid Android is seconds from being done.  Though, that is a rather easy song to transcribe.  While Radiohead can be technically mind blowing for a rock band at times, the music and form are still very predictable…such is rock music.  From my previous post The Art of Performance: Traditions and Adaptations for the Classical Musician, I really have been enjoying the idea of getting a brass quintet together and performing different genres of music in different settings.  What really REALLY makes me appreciate adapting to a changing society are things I’ve seen recently from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Here is a lovely example:

I would also be wrong to forget including this great band–Project Trio:

The OTHER musical happening that is…happening…is that I’ve been writing a lot more.  For strings, for wind instruments, and just regular guitar/mandolin pop/rock songs.  I am really considering getting some better recording software and going with Ari Hest’s 52 Project.  He wrote, recorded, and uploaded to his website one new song every week for a year.  That seems SO intriguing to me.  I am more than capable of doing that, and it would be a great catalyst in weeding out elements of my song writing I may not like and improving creativity.  It certainly did for him and he put out a lot of great music.

I am certainly destined to be a performing musician.  Whether it will be an orchestral trumpeter with extra musical hobbies, and a not-so-wealthy coffee shop gigger with trumpet hobbies, or a mixture of that with any type of ensemble, only time will tell.  Step 1 has long been complete: I can be content with very little money. Step 2, I assume, is still: Keep making music. …Also, check!


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