Friday, January 07, 2005
What is the job description of a composer? What do they do all day?
The job description of a composer is likely to be whatever a composer says it is, to misquote John Cage. The main challenge is to stay alive, healthy, and in a frame of mind that makes it possible to compose, and then to actually write music, make sure it is copied, rehearsed properly and performed/reviewed/recorded/broadcast/possibly published or somehow made available. And to arrange some provision for the care of your music once you die, since like children, the music continues.
As to what composers do all day, I can only answer for myself. Some days I write music all day and all night. Some days I walk 7 miles and collapse and a read a book until its time to cook dinner. Some days I teach a little or do some other work. Sometimes I send email (or do mailings) all day to let people know about a performance or a broadcast or a recording, or I call performers to arrange performances or recordings.