Posts Tagged ‘biology’

Photo CC by Takuya Goro on Flickr

A self-help guide to becoming a composer

In the first part of this article, I talked about some of the problems with studying composition in academia, and I offered some alternative ways that composers might cultivate their craft more effectively (and probably less expensively too). Here, I’m providing a sort of Top 10 list of life lessons for composers. Realizing that you have no reason whatsoever to listen to my advice, I’m trying to couch this in terms of wisdom I have received from others or that I can back up somehow, with attribution when possible. This is by no means comprehensive, but these are definitely issues that I think every composer needs to internalize for themselves in one way or the other. (more…)

The Surrender of Singapore to the Japanese in World War II

Like most composers, I absorbed certain widely accepted musical axioms from my university studies, but they’ve never been entirely satisfying. As a consequence, I constantly search for better explanations, in the process hopefully becoming a better artist. One of the issues I’m increasingly focusing on is how music history is interpreted. Although I have previously argued for an enhanced role for music history in composer education, I also think we need to re-examine how we use (and abuse) that history. In my own practice, letting go of false history-based causative associations, what I see as a kind of compositional historicism, has paid creative dividends. (more…)