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.





6/25/2007
Follow up

Before I forget, go hear the newest The Collected: The Podcast episode.

Okay, here is a brief follow up to the "Defining Moments" musical moment. For the International Young Composers Meeting each of us had to write a piece for the house orchestra, an interesting mix of winds with a rhythm section, and up to 5 voices. I decided to write for all voices because, well, why not. The piece was supposed to be 3 minutes long. I scored it for: alto flute, bass flute, bass clarinet, soprano and bari saxes, trumpet, horn, 2 trombones, tuba, piano, electric guitar, electric bass, 1 percussion (vibraphone and bass drum), SSATB.

I used a wonderful translation of some Sanskrit love poetry:
When he comes
back to my arms
I'll make him feel
what nobody
ever felt.
Everywhere
me
disappearing into him
like water
into the clay
of a new jar.

Something like that, anyhow. Here is the recording I have: Disappearing.mp3

After the concert, the judges all retired to announce a winner. It took quite a while. Supposedly, according to one of the judges, 2 of the 5 were strongly supporting my piece. I know that at least one person was militantly against it because he told me my piece had major structural flaws. According to this judge, my piece starts so beautifully and fluid but ended with lots of sustained notes and doublings. Like water into the clay of a new jar, I thought. Almost as if I knew what I was doing. This is one of the first times I really took a "master composer's" criticism and completely dismissed it because HE missed the point and not because my music was at fault. It was a nice moment. I've done it since then and I enjoyed it there, too.

I like the piece that won and I think they made a good selection. There were lots of good pieces to choose from and I knew I didn't have a chance in hell of getting anything. Other than taking 2nd in a two-composer contest, this is as close to winning as I've ever come. I'm just happy that my piece was problematic and strongly supported by a vocal minority. It felt good to have a judge pull me aside and say "keep fighting the good fight." It didn't make my c.v. any better, but it did give me a great story.