The Life of your pieces

I while ago in my composition studio class we discussed how long is life of a piece of music. We discussed the life of a piece of music; from when first final double bar line is placed to the first, second, and maybe final performances or publication. We also discussed what composers do to ensure that their pieces live on. So I ask you... What is the average life of your pieces? What steps do you take to ensure an read through, first, second, and/or third performance? Do you even intend for your pieces read through by performers or heard by an audience or the mainly for your listening pleasure only? Are you satisfied with the sample sounds you get from your computer or do you try for the real thing? Or Are your pieces written in such a way that they can only be heard within the confines of your computer? Discuss: The Life of a Piece of Music.

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  • when I write orchestrally, or for big band, I always write with the intention that I will get the budget to record with live musicians, or that someday I will have the opportunity to have it performed live. There are some more experimental musics that I enjoy that would rule out being able to perform live, but mostly, when I have my orchestral or my big band hat on, the sequence is always a 'mock-up'. Now with that being said, I realize that these days there is rarely opportunity to have music performed live, especially in media music, so I spend tremendous amounts of energy on research and application of making a mockup sound as real as possible. I have learned a lot about it since I got into being serious with samples when a client bought me the VSL full pro gigastudio edition in 2003, and comparing music I wrote then to today is tremendously different in terms of realism. And even the very very best mockups that dont use the mainstream concept of how they are intended to be used to sound 'real' will sound 'unreal' to a trained instrumentalist of that sound. For instance you can present me with the very best saxophone modeling, and unless you are using it in the very mainstream intended use, or using a 'lick or loop' sample instead of chromatic notes and articulations, I can always hear the difference.

    So I would never write a symphony with no intention of it being played by a live orchestra, to me that is ridiculous, though some may disagree. But there are plenty of music styles that I would intend the computer/sample versions are the final versions. And any works I do, knowing how media music works, I always put the effort on the performance and the mix to give it the best i can to sound live
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