Composers, how much time to you spend listening to recordings of your music? I find my answer to that question fluctuates dramatically.

Sometimes, when I am feeling particularly self-critical, I can’t listen to a minute of my music without cringing. Most of the time, I don’t want to listen to older pieces because I’m too focused on what’s coming next.

But occasionally, for one reason or another, I find myself listening to the same piece or pieces over and over. I’m in that place right now, as I get the proofs for the Naxos recording of my violin music and walk around with 25 years’ worth of compositions in my ear. And I’m surprised at how pleasant it is. Life is full of anxieties, big and small – it’s nice to lose touch with the moment as my mind scans back over the decades, hearing old things from new angles, hearing different places I’ve been, different avenues explored – all preserved so magnificently by such wonderful artists.

I find myself smiling privately at the oddest moments.

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