Postlude to a Premiere
This is more of a public diary entry and notes-to-self than any sort of attempt to give tips or tools. Also, I attempt to sort out my thoughts of how things have changed in Darmstadt since the late 90s. It’s been a few days since I premiered Georges Aperghis’ fascinating and wonderful The Dong with […]
Too Many Flutists
The phrases “there are too many flutists today”, and “conservatories are producing too many flutists for too few jobs” may be true in a certain respect, but they really sadden me. And piss me off, if I really admit. It has been hard to put my finger on exactly why, but when a friend posted […]
Lately I have been more interested in creating and producing sounds than words. It has been difficult to distill my experiences of the last season in to words, so I have not been blogging. Over this blastedly hot summer “vacation”, I decided to take only Anthony Braxton’s Composition no. 133 with me to practice. Having […]
Composing for Flute, advice and warnings
Here is a running list of salient points from my separate blog entries together in one place. This is a work in progress, so any tips are welcome. For more advice on composing for flute, you can view all entries in the categories: Composing for Flute, or pet peeves. Range of the Flute and the Characteristics of […]
Which extended techniques are harmful to flutes?
During composer workshops, I am sometimes pleased to hear the question: “What are some techniques we should definitely not use because they may harm your instrument?” So I will keep a running list here. Slamming your hands onto the keywork. A snap of the finger for a key click is one thing (and not all […]
Tempo, Where’s the Hurry?
In my last entry, I made some sarcastic remarks about the tempo in Berio’s Sequenza for flute being too fast. Now with genuine curiosity, I would like to probe composers’ psyche in the hopes that it will reveal why given tempi are often too fast. I will try not to make this a rant. Given […]
Composing Articulation for Winds – Tell Me What To Say
This is an imaginary passage I have composed that has annoying and confusing articulation marks. If you are not a wind player, the fact that this is annoying may puzzle you. It’s like this: as a wind player, from the very beginning you receive strict instructions on the use of the tongue. If there is […]
In composition workshops, the question sometimes arises: in an ensemble or orchestral situation, how does one write dynamics for individual instruments? For example, if you want a balanced forte among winds and brass, does one write forte for the winds (assuming they are not playing in the altissimo register) but mezzo forte for the brass? […]