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.

Back from the dead

Karel Husa is coming to town next week for a music festival and, while he is getting up in years, the title of my blog entry doesn't directly relate to him. I remember when I had a lesson with Karel in the late 90s at the University of Louisville. I showed him a short sonatina for clarinet and piano. He liked it, or at least didn't actively dislike it, and I have since tossed the piece into the thresher. No Finale files, no score, just an old cassette of the premiere which is buried under a big pile of magnets.

Ah, my big pile of magnets. Where would I be without you?

Anyhow, I found a score to the piece recently. I like it. It still has some charm and interest even though it is definitely a "young" piece of mine. So I've decided to restore it and add it to the small pantheon of "supported" compositions. I must admit, I have written a lot more music than I claim. LOTS of stuff gets composed, usually performed, and then tossed. I don't revise much. I just take whatever I learned from one piece on to the next.

As far as this piece goes, I'm not entirely sure what to do with it. I've been reentering it into Finale and making it fit with my "house style" for publication. I'll fix some funky notational things but what do I do with the piece itself? How much should I change and edit? Should I just leave it as is, warts and all? I originally intended the piece to be for soprano sax and piano. Should I keep it that way or should I open up the range to make it more of a clarinet piece? Do I still keep the title as Sonatina?

I know that there are no right and wrong answers here. I've just never really dealt with these issues before. Remember my plans to revise Ashamed/Unabashed? I've decided not to. I'll just write a new piece. It will be better that way. Remember my plans to revise Illuminations? I need to change 4 instrumentation choices and I STILL haven't gotten around to doing it. I don't put a lot of energy towards revisiting old things. If any of you revisers/revisitors out there have $0.02 to share, I'll listen.