I thought we might talk about what musical goals y’all have for the New Year. I know I have some.
Last year, inspired by Jay Batzner, I resolved to send out two scores every month–to competitions, calls, or just musicians with whom I have some sort of connection. I am happy to say I met the goal of 24 scores in November and exceeded it by a few this month. I plan to continue this practice in perpetuity.
This year, I have three new resolutions.
1) Write some pieces that are easy to play. My last three pieces–a string quartet, large-ensemble work, and unaccompanied violin piece–were all really tough to play. I’m proud of all three, and, though I’ve revised the large-ensemble piece (thanks to Tom Myron), their virtuosity is part of their identity. But it’s time to revisit simplicity for a while and try to be a bit more practical. As I keep telling people: I’ve never regretted writing an easy piece.
2) Do more ear training. I perennially desire to get in the habit of waking up early and doing some aural skills work on my computer for about a half-hour or so. Why ear training? Because it allows you to get more out of the music you listen to. My ears improved markedly while teaching aural skills at Brooklyn College, but they really do have a ways to go before I’m satisfied with them. Why not get serious in 2009?
3) Begin establishing my music theory creds. I’ve too long just been a music theory dabbler: pleased with my expertise while not doing much original research outside seminar papers and my dissertation. Time to get some conference papers and spiff up the diss for publication. (I’ll resist for the time being speculating on the relationship between theory and composition. I’ll say right now I don’t see how they can have an essentially negative influence on one another.)
But enough about me. How about you?