Rehearsals for Revenant are in full swing, so I may as well take this opportunity to report that I’ve never liked conducting very much. I’m actually pretty good at it, especially when it’s my music, but I only do it when I’m absolutely sure that it’s the best way to get the best performance.
Conducting is one of the two things that keeps me from composing fluently. (The other is music administration, but that’s another story.) I find that the kind of focus required for conducting is anathema to the creative process. I have no difficulty understanding why so few have been able to do both simultaneously. I just can’t help thinking, in the midst of a complex series of cues, “gee, it would be great to put a quintuplet in the flutes here,” which totally blows my concentration for the task at hand.
So, as happy as I am to have the premiere coming, and happy as I am to be able to play a vital role in shaping the performance, a huge part of me can’t wait for Saturday morning, when it will all be over and I can recapture the stillness and free flow of ideas I need to keep writing.
Almost forgot: the Stravinsky Tuesday night was lovely.