Music Composers Unite!
Its been 7 months or so since I have written a lick of music. I have some good opportunities to receive performances if I could just write something but...nope. Every idea seems like "been there done that" or "well whoop-dee-freakin-doo another 'interesting' combination of notes, how exciting..." Perhaps part of the reason I can't come up with anything is precisely because I have the chance to be performed, the reality is intimidating or something...or maybe I have finally come to realize that I should leave composing to the composers? Oh, boo-freaking-hoo right? Anyways, kick me in the pants would ya? Wait, let me put my pants on first (metaphorically speaking)
Hey, maybe it's a good thing I've stopped composing, that stuff can eat you up. If only I could get rid of that little voice asking what music I have written lately with such innocent optimism...it always pains me to let the little fellow down. All kidding aside though, how important is composing really? Maybe I should take up crotcheting or expand my hobbies in other ways and not worry about it. If inspiration feels like coming over to play, great, but until then...
I feel like I understand the underlying concern: why bother?
My sister told me, in 1981, that "all the music has already been written." So, why would I want to be a composer?
I wrote in periods of my life: sometimes a lot - some years nothing at all. I threw away most of my early work, to inspire me to replace it with better work. Better? Different.
The truth is, that no one needs your, or my music; the world will get by without our notations. This serious question remains: can you live without writing music?
If you can, do so.
If you cannot, then write when you feel like it.
Most composers write an awful lot of adequate-at-best music. That is their right. Paper is cheap; it is fun to do - much like a puzzle.
Having a commission is usually the signal to get busy. But I understand: I wrote for a group last year, and the players did not practice the piece. It was played decently - but it was not fun to hear them sight-reading in public. Sometimes, it is more satisfying to write music for yourself. Most 20th Century music was written this way. The audience was largely not considered. I like to write music I can play myself.
I think composers of earlier ages sometimes thought, "How clever can I be?" Signs of showing off are printed throughout at least the corpus of piano literature. Why not show off what you know you can do well? Write music that the musicians cannot fail to play well, but will still find interesting.
If you often consider the philosophy of composing music: why we do it; what we hope for; how futile it might be, you will end up troubled in the long run. Music can be sophisticated; but music is pleasure. Listen to your own work. Is it pleasurable to hear? Think you could write more stuff like that?
I'm getting longer in the tooth at 44 now, and fighting for sport is getting retired now... finally developed a back that I have to "watch", I cant "do" what I once "did"... losing strength, speed, flexibility... all are fleeing from me fast, LMAO
(I believe this is called getting "old", but, I'm not sure... I just know I feel like I'm turning into a whuss, lol)
the POINT though is, writing music I discovered was a LOT like lifting weights. MAN, some days, I felt slightly "sore" and "tired", like I wasnt going to have a very good free weights workout. I dunno, but... after one or two warm up sets? MAN, i didnt know I was going to do THIS well today, you know?
days I thought I felt like a zillion bux? couldnt perform my regular workout fully, and days I felt sore and tired often enough i would make an ADVANCEMENT in strength or number of reps...
point being, what I THOUGHT i was capable of that day lifting weights? was often the opposite in reality of what got accomplished.
Writing music? a lot of times I felt "inspired" and got excited... ad nothing of "note" (pun intended, lol) came of that session... another day, when i MADE myself "noodle around"??? Often something CAME of it, and it was the lift off of the "plateau" I had been on for a while...
now, I have several "intense" hobbbies, that require a lot of time, work, and learning to enjoy... I kind of cycle them around, kind of like having several friends that dont know each other, i can move around these hobbies. The last year or so, I see the writing on the wall:
music is going down, and I am all hep on getting back to benchrest reloading and target shooting again. *shrugs* might last a month, maybe a couple years, who knows?
so... either do another hobby and come BACK when that other hobby gets "stale".... or...
if music is your ONLY thing, get in there and noodle around, try stuff you never would try... might be your best "workout" ever, you never know till you do it...