It's been just about five or six months since I graduated from New York University with my Master's Degree in Music Composition (with a focus in Screen Scoring). Since then, much of my time has gone towards planning. Lots and lots of planning:
-Organizing and planning many different events (some of which are upcoming) in my role as president of the Millennium Composers Initiative, which has expanded to 37 composers from all around the world as of this year [check out the link above to learn more about each of our members, and consider programming some of their music!]
-Planning a big move with my wife and two cats [we intend not to stay in New York City as of this year]
-Picking up, and constantly searching for, additional part-time work that has helped me to continue to grow and develop the skills that I've learned from college
-Somehow attempting to have a social life in the middle of all of this
Some weeks have been very good. Some weeks, not so much. That's not to say all of it has been bad because that's simply untrue. But with all of this planning and organizing, among continuing to learn how to adjust to a professional working life beyond my time as an academic student, it feels like I've had both a large amount of time to compose and yet little to no time at all! This was more apparent at the very beginning of the year, though, as I've begun to find my way back towards a regular routine more often.
The good times that have happened so far this year have been VERY good. Traveling and sightseeing is always nice:
My two lovely cats are still very lovely:
And, earlier this month, I had the wonderful opportunity of being able to work with my high school alma mater's Wind Symphony on their consortium premiere of one of my newer band pieces, The Great River Rapid Chase. This was a great experience all around, and the concert was simply fantastic!
So, again, much of this year has so far consisted of a lot of planning, and especially planning for hopefully the next several years/the immediate future. However, with summer just around the corner, now I can also say that there will be lots more composing to get done too. Lots. And lots. Of composing.
With all of the details finally confirmed, I'm excited to be able to announce all of these new pieces, projects, and other news, some of which have consortiums that you can join today! These announcements include updates to some new works already published on this website as well as brand-new works that will be completed this year.
First up, I'm writing two different concerti this summer. Yes, you read that right - TWO concerti!!
The second concerto is probably one of the most unusual compositional projects I've ever taken on. Four Ethereal Planes will be a four-movement setting for jazz piano and big band that will lean more towards improvisation and will explore various approaches on how the very idea of a concerto could be defined in an altogether different setting.
Finally, there's one other piece on my to-do list that I've technically started (sketches and drafts, essentially), but this one is going to take me much longer to fully complete and ultimately be satisfied with.
One day earlier this year, randomly and without warning, two questions popped into my head - who are these two characters? What's their story? Nothing else came from that initially - just those two questions. But, it did spark further ideas that's ultimately grown into what I think will be a really interesting concept for a new work. The basic premise is that it would combine my love of programmatic concert music and storytelling into a singular art form; it would address and explore an environmental issue within a futuristic fantasy setting of some kind (most likely addressing noise pollution or something similar); and, the piece would use musical concepts that, in a way, represents all of the skills I've learned, developed, and utilized as a composer over the past several years. There's no concrete title for this piece yet, but the instrumentation is set and there will definitely be an electronic fixed-media component.
There will be several different blog series that I'll be writing to document my experiences in creating the two concerti, as well as another blog series for work on the symphony that I expect will have more content. Regular blog posts will continue to be updated on this main blog page when I'm able to write them.
As you've read, there's lots of work to be done this year, and even moving forward into next year. But, as always, I'm extremely thankful and excited for all of these new opportunities. I'm very fortunate to have been given these opportunities to collaborate with some fantastic artists and human beings. And, in the midst of how busy I know things will get, I'm happy with where things are currently and where they could potentially go. It's shaping up to be another incredible summer, and I can't wait to start work on all of these projects soon.