One of the most rewarding feelings I've had from writing this concerto is finishing up on writing all of the notes. Now you might say, "Well, that's ridiculous. The piece isn't finished yet!" And if you did actually say that (I'm hoping one of you did or this would be really awkward...), you'd be right. There's orchestration that has to be done, I have to go through the process of creating every single part, mix and finalize an audio realization, etc. Fellow composers know this process all too well, and it can take hours or days - EVEN DAYS - before I'm completely satisfied with how everything looks and sounds. On top of this, there's a little bit of extra work that has to be done with the piano reduction I've also created.
The good news is that everything is actually finished and I made my deadline! The score and parts are cleaned up, there's a decent MIDI audio file for Matt Gibson so he has an idea of what the piece sounds like, and all of the files have been sent to him! The bad news is that much of the process I wanted to show here isn't possible because, well, everything's already finished. On top of finishing all three of my summer commissions and preparing for grad school, I've had to crunch some time in cleaning up the files for the concerto. I'll show as much as I can, but this will be a little more text-heavy than picture-heavy, so the TL;DR version is:
The third movement's a sea shanty, the fourth movement's a wild and crazy night in the city, and part extractions are only fun with reliable software, reliable computers, a good playlist, and maybe alcohol.*
*The composer does not endorse young composers under the age of 21 to drink alcohol when doing part extractions. Or other activities. Or anything at all.
As I've continued to compose this new concerto over the summer, part of me has felt incredibly grateful for the fantastic collaboration I've had with Matt Gibson (the bassist who commissioned the piece). A good collaboration is incredibly essential to the writing process, especially when it comes to writing a new concerto. For this experience, my collaboration has only been with the performer (the sole commissioner), but more often than not, composers will also interact with the conductor of the new piece too since they are also vital to this process. Matt has been very open to try out some of the ideas I've had for the piece, and while some of them haven't worked, they've ultimately contributed to the learning process I've discovered in writing a double bass concerto. I've learned much more about this instrument than I previously knew before, and much of that has come from my collaboration with Matt.