Hello to all! I just joined the forum yesterday and wanted to introduce myself. My name is Greg, I'm 47, and I've been composing since college. Although I majored/minored in history and philosophy, I did take a number of advanced music courses in college with a beloved professor who took an interest in my passion for classical music. Other than that, I'm largely self-taught. I've spent a lot of time studying scores and listening to the masterworks. I never mastered an instrument, though I can play a little piano. My main interest has always been composition.
Because life took me in certain directions, I never did anything formally with my musical interests, and I must admit I do have some regrets about that. But I have to say I've been lucky to have a job doing meaningful work in the community that has also allowed me a lot of time and flexibility over the years to compose.
I've written 3 symphonies, 2 piano concertos, a harpsichord concerto, variations and fugue for orchestra, and a lot of other miscellaneous single-movement pieces. I love composing for the orchestra! I know, I know -- that lowers the chance of my stuff ever getting performed. But I can't help it, I just love it. I've been a little slow to get these into score format, but do have my 2 piano concertos and 3rd symphony scored and audio files (Finale electronic "performances") of them that I can share. It's hard to describe my style; I do try to write accessible music -- tonal, with transparent structures. I'm not interested in originality for originality's sake, though I do strive not to "sound like" other composers. The word of the day when I was in college in the 90s was "derivative" -- the last thing you wanted to be was derivative. And they really drilled that into my head because it's always at the forefront of my thoughts when I'm composing. Sometimes I fear I've lifted some melody from another composer subconsciously. But I suppose almost all composers (and artists of any kind) struggle with that. At the end of the day, I do this mainly for the joy of it. I experience a unique "high" when I compose -- it's unlike any other fulfillment I've ever felt. I don't know if my music is any good, or if it has any value beyond the pleasure I get out of writing it, but I keep doing it because I feel that I have no other choice. It's an insatiable hunger. I'm sure many of you have similar feelings.
I mainly wanted to join the forum so that I could meet others who have a passion for musical composition. Unfortunately, my small circle of friends in the real world does not include anyone who's involved with music to any great extent. I've been content all these years working in isolation, but now I'm really wanting to make connections. I think artists need to connect with their creative peers so they can share ideas, give feedback, and be supportive of one another. I believe it inspires and nourishes the soul to do so. I'm happy to do my part.
Anyhow, enough of my rambling. I'm glad to be here and look forward to some interaction.