Confirmation of performances in Oregon…and another performance in Australia

It’s been quite a good year for performances for me, despite not having written anything for a while.

However, I’m back with my nose to the grindstone, trying out some new composition software (Noteflight), and there will be new works out in short order.

It turns out that Crescent Moon received several performances from the Central Coast Chorale in Oregon, USA. I was contacted by the choir, and received confirmation that the piece was performed on April 22, 23, 24 and May 1, and that the performances went well.

It’s nice to hear back from choirs, and to hear the music is enjoyed 🙂

Quite recently, and closer to home, Southern Consort of Voices here in Dunedin, New Zealand was scheduled to perform the piece Deconstruct a Chrysalis for which I wrote the lyrics and Michael Winikoff the music.

However, it has had to be cut from the program due to a very busy rehearsal schedule. The choir has performed the piece before, and we have hopes it will find time in an upcoming concert program to perform it again. I’ll let you know when that happens 🙂

One performance that is going ahead is a performance of the same piece by the Australian Intervarsity Choral Festival in June this year. The festival will be held in Canberra, ACT, Australia. I’m not sure of the concert date or venue yet, but once I am I will post the details here, so if you’re in the neighbourhood you can attend.

There’s another Composition Competition to be held by RMIT Occasional Choral Society in Melbourne later this year. I’ll be writing a piece for the competition, and yes, it will be performed – I hope! Once again, once I know the details of the performance, in which a variety of new works by emerging composers will be performed by the choir, I will post the details here. So watch this space!

Finally, here’s a lovely performance by the Laramie High School girls in Wyoming, USA singing my short piece, Mary Sings a Lullaby. Thanks for performing my work. Enjoy 🙂

And another performance of the same piece by Victoria Rengel:

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I can only guess it’s “Crescent Moon” :)

Google Alerts is a really useful tool, when you’re a two-bit composer like me, tracking performances of your works across the globe.

In this case, I was notified about the Central Coast Chorale in Oregon, USA, performing one of my works related to the moon recently.

I can only assume it was “Crescent Moon”.

If you’re from the Central Coast Chorale, or know anything about the performance, please contact me. I’d love to hear if it went well – and thanks for performing my work! 🙂

crescentmoon_oregon

Free music…and filling a niche

I have no illusions about my ability as a composer.

I’ll never be a Mozart. Or a Beethoven. Or a Bach – and I don’t even like his stuff!

But what I do well is fill niches. I fill gaps. I’m good at figuring out what people want and need, and then creating the music to fill that need.

I create music that people want and need.

And what people want is free, accessible music.

People also generally want music that is easy to perform. A lot of choirs are cobbled together these days, musical directors don’t know who is going to turn up from day to day or week to week, and they need easy music that people who cannot sight read can just pick up and learn quickly.

I try to create that – fast, easy to learn music that is fun and accessible.

Then there’s the children’s music niche, and that’s one area I’m currently working in. I’m in the process of creating a children’s nativity play, hopefully in time for Christmas this year. It’ll be – you guessed it! – freely available, and easy to perform. Nothing too hard to stage-manage, and fun and easy for audiences to sit back and enjoy.

Oh, and music teachers in primary schools will be able to download as many copies as they need. For free.

So…what’s in it for me?

I’d compose music if I were stuck underwater with a brick on my head. I’d write too. I’m just someone who does those things, and I do them because I love them, not because I’m hoping to get rich doing them.

To be honest, I just dislike the whole way the music industry has gone – which is a let’s rip off the musicians and make as much money as we can model. To me, that’s not music – that’s profiteering.

I don’t like the way music that is over 50 years old is still under copyright, and I don’t like the way that choirs still can’t afford to perform Gershwin – because, yep, copyright.

You want to know why there are a thousand performances of the Mozart Requiem and Handel’s Messiah, but that brilliant composer down the road can’t get her stuff performed?

Yep. Copyright.

It sucketh mightily.

gershwin_copyright

Why copyright sucks…especially for choirs and composers

So much beauty is being stalled, and lost, because of huge companies wanting to throttle the neck of art and keep us all choking on copyright laws that are out of touch with what real artists and performers want and need.

Don’t get me wrong – I have no problem at all with people earning a fair living from their work. But when choirs don’t risk buying new music because the new music is too expensive to buy it’s quite clear to me that the old model of pay per copy and keep on paying for as long as copyright exists which is WAY too long is a broken, destructive model.

I disagree with it, and I won’t use it. I’m voting with my feet.

If you think the old model is broken, vote with your feet too. Support composers that offer free music. Support people who agree with your ethics. Perform the music of people who write because they love to write. Support CPDL and other free music ventures. Give new freely available music a go. And be vocal in support of the Creative Commons.

That’s my 2c for the penny arcade. What do you think?

Now here’s the Hutt Valley Singers & Major Minors Children’s Choir – a lovely community choir – with Sing Christmas. Thanks for posting on Youtube! 🙂