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.

Comfort Level

Is it unusual for composers to be uncomfortable with their own music? This has always been a quirk of mine and I wonder how much it is shared amongst other composers. Last week I gave my students flack for not wanting to show me their orchestration projects "in progress." But I'm still one of those types who is reluctant to show what I've been doing.

In general, I like my music. It just makes me uncomfortable. Take this piano piece that was performed at the conference a few weeks ago. I like the piece. But I feel the need to constantly apologize for its obsessive and non-developmental manner.

One of the other composers in the audience came up to me after the performance and pulled out a Babbitt-ism: "I heard your piece!" as he shook my hand. I almost called him on it. He is free to not like my music. I would have respected him more if he would have just told me that he didn't care for it that much.

Yet I pre-preemptively apologize for my music. I feel as though anytime someone else is listening to my stuff it is just as a personal favor and not because they actually like anything. The miniatures for piano and tape (almost done!) are going to be the same way. They might be poorly constructed and annoying but at least they are short!

So, my question is: do other composers do this, too? Distance themselves from their work because it makes them uncomfortable?