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UN.mp3

This was first an improvisation, and then I re engineered the recording.  What does this bring to mind for you when you listen to it?

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Hello Wesley,

I like this! My first impression: to me it doesn't sound like a "composition" (quotes, because improvising is instant-composing) but it feels like an improvisation, as you said. That's probably because the thematic material is linear, for want of a better word. What I mean is that one idea leads into the next, which is great - but for me it misses the coherence of a matured composition.

That is by no means a bad thing, though. For me personally, this way of improvising is my favourite way of playing these days and I very much enjoy listening to musicians playing in this style, preferrably live.

What does this bring to mind? Well, I'd love to hear what Keith Jarrett would do with the material :)

THANKS RENE',

Yes, indeed, my improvisations are rarely if ever thought through to the end.  I work very much in the linear manner.  One idea presents itself as I am playing and I go to it.  This most often leads to a form that is more xyz than aba.  I prefer the freedom of it when performing.  I do from time to time strive to approach a more complete thought before the composition is (innacted)?  But mostly, I have no idea whatsoever when I begin a piece, I just plop my hands into a position that looks interesting to me and lay them on the keyboard and see which way it will go.  I suppose I hope to be able to complete a symphony using this manner some day soon.  Your compliment is very welcome, and I hope we may correspond more often as the Holidays approach.  I will soon look up your page on the composers forum to hear your work, that I may have a better grasp of who I am (talking) too.  Again, my thanks,  That you liked it means very much to me.     My Brutish Cadenza, peace, love, and notes,   Wesley L. Curry II

About two weeks ago I had a meeting with a man who was once President of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.  He has also been President of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  He is on the Board of the Chicago Civic Opera House,and is consulted weekly by Orchestra's around the globe when it comes to hiring conductors and chairs.  

In that meeting we discussed music I had presented to him several months before.  MY GOAL, get the man to hire me to compose something.  (His name by the way is Henry Fogel) Very important, very intelligent, very IN.  about as IN as anyone in the classical performance world can be.

He had listened to some of my compositions and had passed them on to five other pianists for there listening and perhaps commissioning me to compose something for them.  

All this was a VERY BIG STEP in my career as a composer, and, by the by, my very first step.  (When I want to meet someone, I make it happen.  It is really very simple, be diligent, and sure you want to do it.  Any one can be reached, its usually just a matter of how long you can wait to see them)

So as my FIRST BABY STEPS in my born career, I was very excited, hopeful, and not at all worried that I would not get a commission. If He said YES.  I would go home and compose something.  If He said NO, I would go home and compose something, only not getting paid for it.

He said No.  And left his door open to me for future compositions and to presenting them to him.  If I feel I have written something worth his attention, He will listen to it.

He told me that Saint Saens considered himself a Second Tier composer, and that I sounded both like him, and a lounge pianist.  He asked if I had ever studied composition, to which I said NO, I am an outsider, writing only from experience, heart, and love for piano music.

He is savvy, and I believe the Lounge Pianist comment was meant to relay that he felt my compositions LAZY.  And the Saint Saens comment, was meant to gently let me down.

He did tell me he was looking for something COMPLEX and FULL OF LAYERS.

So, after the meeting, I walked from his office to the El, it was sunny, brisk, and I was not feeling too bad about myself.  Heck, it was my first try at getting a job, and I simply chose to start at the top.  And that Henry told me his door was open to future meetings is a pretty big thing no matter how you look at it.

I went home, determined to write something COMPLEX & FULL OF LAYERS.

And   UN   came out.

Of course, I am very prodigious, I have written over 200 pieces in this year alone. And of course I want people to enjoy it.  No, writing something down does not stifle my creativity, it does however require much time to do, and I find it changes the end result more often than not.  And thank you for telling me I am on the right track, I have very very very few, ( about 10 or 11) other people that have actually heard ANY of my compositions, so it is a most welcome and fortifying thing to hear from someone.  I hope we will stay in touch,and thank you for your comments, they sound intelligently resourced, heartfully employed, and naturally written.

My Brutish Cadenza, Wesley L. Curry II

Very inspiring words, Wesley, thank you for that.

Indeed, the worst thing that can happen is that someone says "no," and then you are left with what you had when you started out.

And it doesn't apply to work or music alone. Let me talk to that beautiful girl over there ;)

Wesley Lawrence Curry II said:

[ ... ]

All this was a VERY BIG STEP in my career as a composer, and, by the by, my very first step.  (When I want to meet someone, I make it happen.  It is really very simple, be diligent, and sure you want to do it.  Any one can be reached, its usually just a matter of how long you can wait to see them)

So as my FIRST BABY STEPS in my born career, I was very excited, hopeful, and not at all worried that I would not get a commission. If He said YES.  I would go home and compose something.  If He said NO, I would go home and compose something, only not getting paid for it.

[ ... ]

That sounds about right. I first met him 20 years ago in similar circumstances.  I was homeless, passionate, and full of ideas.  After a concert at symphony hall I managed to get backstage, and 'dropped' some sketches from the performance at his feet, literally, and when I bent down to pick them up it was right in his path to the Impressario Bay, and he stopped and we said hello, I giving my sketches of Barenboim to him asking for an audience to present a symphony I was working on.  Homeless meant literally sneaking around the practice rooms at Northwestern University, living in one of them when the building closed at night, and trying to blend in, which I got away with for about 3 months, and was eventually arrested.  The music sketches I had produced in that time were confiscated and disappeared.  Having them never returned to me I stood up in symphony hall one evening after a Pinchas Zuckermann concert where (Henry) Fogel was master of ceremonies leading a question and answer period.  Trying to get some attention, (after all it is show business) I spoke about what I was trying to write, and accused Northwestern of stealing my work.  A flutter went through the audience, and I got some attention, which later transpired into a personal meeting with Mr. Fogel in his Presidents office to discuss the composition.  He finished the meeting with (Truly) a promise that should I finish the symphony he would put it in Daniel Barrenboims hands for appraisal.  So for all of you go getters out there trying to find a commission for your work, Its a true story, and not exactly an academic approach.

I would like to hear more stories like that, Mr. Emirig

Have a good day, we just got our first flurries here in Chicago, but no accumulation.  Be well.



Kristofer Emerig said:


Yes, I too am well acquainted with the man. As I sat on the lawn at Ravinia park one evening, he, obviously noting my distinguished appearance, gingerly leaned over and dropped a quarter in my glass. Grateful, I said "thank you gentle Sir, I shall buy another half of Wild Irish Rose and write you the greatest symphony ever known".

Of course, I was lying, and never wrote the symphony promised, not even two notes of it, but I did procure more liquor, and later, with careful yet drunken aim, managed to somehow bounce that notorious coin off the forhead of one Mr. Perlman, who had come into town to perform some upstart piece that night - I think it was a violin concerto by Mendel's son, or something like that. Please forward my sincerest apologies to Mr. Perlman.


Wesley Lawrence Curry II said:

 

In that meeting we discussed music I had presented to him several months before.  MY GOAL, get the man to hire me to compose something.  (His name by the way is Henry Fogel) Very important, very intelligent, very IN.  about as IN as anyone in the classical performance world can be.

 

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