I've moved! To New York City!! My Master's program at the Steinhardt School in NYU takes off beginning this fall, and so I've relocated to the big city for the second half of this summer to get ready. While it was tough having to leave Michigan (and quite a lot of my family and friends behind), I'm excited for the coming months ahead.
This new journey I'm taking reminds me a lot of the themes and ideas I'm exploring in this double bass concerto. I think the main reason for that is I've never really lived in the big city all of my life. Sure, Michigan has a strong metropolitan center and surrounding city areas, but having seen more of New York City now (and you definitely know this if you've been here before), it's vastly different when comparing the two states. This strongly relates to the feelings of travelling the American countryside, exploring all of its different landscapes, and seeing the characteristics of each place all come together that the concerto will be talking about.
Last time, I briefly mentioned that the Concerto for Double Bass and Chamber Ensemble I'm writing this summer will be program music, or music telling a story/describing something preexisting/etc., within 4 - 5 movements (read more about those specific details here, if you're just joining in). Part of the challenge of creating program music isn't finding material to write about - there is so much out there in the world that's really fascinating, whether it's an historical event, stories, people, paintings, etc. Creating new program music raises several questions that must be solved during the writing process: What makes the inspiration for the new piece... well, inspiring? What is it about this inspiration that makes it so compelling to write music about? And, are these characteristics enough to justify the creation of a new piece of music expressing what there is to know about this inspiration?