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.





2/13/2006
Orphans

I'm thinking of salvaging some of my orphaned pieces. I wrote a LOT of music in my undergrad and first masters degree. A lot. During my junior and senior year I averaged about 3 or 4 pieces a semester. I heard almost everything I wrote and learned a ton. I didn't keep the majority of that stuff, though. Very often I'd get the piece played, learn something valuable from it, and then put the music in a drawer and never speak of it again.

As I was setting up my publishing persona (Unsafe Bull Music), I kept 4 works from 1994-2000. Two of them are from my undergrad and I still like them. Two are from my comp masters, including my thesis, and I like neither. Keeping my thesis around is just...I don't know...vanity. I figure I did all that work and even though I never want to get the piece performed I think I should admit that I wrote it. Maybe I'll change my mind. The other piece is this abomination of a piano quartet. There are some real mistaked in that piece but also some sublime moments. Maybe I'll revise the piece. Maybe I'll shop it around, warts and all, and try to get a GOOD recording of it. I have a recording, but not a great one. I'm convinved that a good performance will make the piece successful.

One of the last times I moved, I dumped a carton of old scores. The Finale files are long gone, too. Sometimes, though, I get tunes from some of my old pieces stuck in my head. Today I'm thinking that I need to resurrect some of those old pieces. Fortunately, my wife doesn't always let me throw away EVERYTHING. So, this morning, I found three old works. One of the three I'm not sure I want to salvage. The other two, though, have some real music in them. The scores need to be cleaned up. I need to get permission to use some text.

I am reclaiming some of my past. And not a moment too soon.