Performer Blogs@Sequenza21.com

Jay C. Batzner is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida where he teaches theory, composition, and technology courses as well as coordinates the composition program. He holds degrees in composition and/or theory from the University of Missouri Kansas City, the University of Louisville, and the University of Kansas.

Jay's music is primarily focused around instrumental chamber works as well as electroacoustic composition. His music has been recorded on the Capstone, Vox Novus, and Beauport Classical labels and is published by Unsafe Bull Music.

Jay is a sci-fi geek, an amateur banjoist, a home brewer, and juggler.





7/22/2006
Six Weeks

So it has been over a month since I blogged here. My apologies. Had I been doing anything of interest, I would have let you all in on it.

Other than moving to Orlando and starting my job at the University of Central Florida I haven't been up to much. Life is starting to smooth out a bit and I'm even flirting with a daily routine. I still need to buy hurricane panels for the house. That will be done this next week.

So, now that I am in Florida, I'm afraid I will no longer be the Voice in the Midwest Wilderness. If Disney starts to do cool contemporary things I will let you all know.

One of the events that happened during my hiatus was the reviewing, judging, and programming of works for the EMM Festival. The judging process was fun. It always is. We listen to a bucket of music and vote on our favorites. I volunteered to program the concerts and I think they are ready to go. One of the benefits of programming said concerts is that I get to inject a work of my own. So I did. Now all I have to do is write it.

The stress of moving and such has really curbed the creative side of my brain. All I need to do now is jump start myself enough to write some miniatures for piano and tape. I already have some tape snippets. I have a couple of piano things floating in my brain but nothing on paper. Luckily I will be the performer of the work so I can re-write things as much as I want.

I've never written a "real" work for performer and tape. In my undergrad I had a half-assed, half-hearted attempt at a piece for voice and tape. It was terrible. I ended up just using the tape part on my recital. This, on the other hand, is going to be a "real" piece. In other words, I want it to have some legs. I'd like to play it a couple of times. For people who want to hear it.

My rationale for choosing miniatures is highly pragmatic and also cuts against one of the problems I see in electronic music. Tape pieces are 8-12 minutes long. Everyone seems to compose works that unfold slowly. I am guilty of it as well. So I gave myself 6 minutes of time. I don't know how many miniatures I'll have (until I have to provide program notes), I only know that I won't exceed 6 minutes. If I come up with a compelling 15 seconds that stands on its own I will consider it a finished product.

Yes, I've been listening to Webern lately. The Karajan recording. I really dig it.

Anyhow, I have little structural ideas I want to test out. I have a harmonic map that can unify the whole (if I think it needs to be). I am waiting on my new laptop and some software but otherwise I'm ready to go. Once my laptop is here there will be nothing to stand in my way!

Until I can think of something else.