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.





5/30/2007
Not performing

I'm someone who turned to composition because of a problem performing. I was a pianist but early in my college career (almost 6 weeks in) I developed tendonitis. It was my own fault, really. I shouldn't have been a piano major in the first place. I had good training but never took it seriously. I was able to progress well through my lessons without much effort. I knew that college would be different and started to take the instrument more seriously my senior year of high school.

It is amazing the stuff they never tell you. Like practice grand pianos have lead weights in the keys. I went from practicing about an hour a day on a light-action spinet at home to practicing 6-8 hours a day on a weighted grand. It tore my fingers up. I also had posture problems which nobody noticed (I never saw myself while playing). So, in an attempt to make up for 12 years of slackerhood, I tried to become superperformer and irreparably damaged my arms.

I was in hard splints for a month and started playing again. Since I never addressed the posture problems or the lack of ability issue, I ended up in splints again about 2 months later. So there I was, unable to perform but still wanting to study music. I found the nearest computer lab, taught myself Music Prose (this was in 1992) and started composing. I was much happier.

I miss performing. There is an energy rush that I would get whenever I was doing it. I've done some performing since and I really do love to do it. My abilities, however, will never let me do it to much of a level. I'm okay with that, I guess. I can redirect the energy into teaching, composing, etc. I get the same charge out of listening to my music that I once got from performing. I hope it never goes away.

This is one of the fundmental reasons that I'm podcasting. It bridges the gap of performing and composing (since the pieces are all electroacoustic, there is no performer but me). I have an outlet for my real personality. I don't use it much in real life, but for some reason when I'm "performing" in some way it comes out. I miss that, too.

Anyhow, in case you missed it, here is The Collected's latest podcast episode: Aspic Glaze by Brent Miller. The Unsafe Bull will be up in a few days.