When is “new music” no longer new? I’m not necessarily asking it in a global sense (Puccini isn’t “new” just because he made it to the 20th century). I’m asking in more a “when is your work too old to submit to a festival” sense. I try to submit to several festivals each month and, while I often have pieces that fit the basic call for scores, I’m thinking that some of my works are a little long in the tooth.
So is there a shelf life? Should I still be slinging around music from 2007? I happen to have a bunch of really good pieces from 2008. I like them and they still work for me. Some of my newer material is a little harder to get programmed because I’m changing direction slightly. The things I’m writing now are different because I’m significantly different. My obsessions have changed and it isn’t necessarily in the direction of the festival circuit’s tastes. My music from 2008, though, will usually get picked.
Four years feels like an eternity in my own skin.
So, do I forsake performances of older pieces in vain attempts for performances of newer ones? Should I only submit my most recent work? Do I lay these obsolete models aside and dream of another year of hits? I’m convinced that the stuff I’m doing now is good, I’m not looking for external approval (although my P&T board will be), I’m just wondering: how old is too old? I wouldn’t dream of submitting the clarinet sonatina I wrote in ’97 to a “new music” festival. Is that wrong?