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.


So this week we all got together and judged entries for Electronic Music Midwest. It is a fun though strenuous day of going through 150+ pieces and making judgment calls. No judging system is perfect, but ours seems to work well for the festival. One thing we keep in mind is variety. We try to include a diverse range of electroacoustic styles (however you want to define that) and try not to let aesthetic bias cloud our judgments. For that reason, we try to use a diverse set of judges who will all hear something different in the pieces.

Going through that many pieces in one day really clouds the mind after a while. It is hard to not get cranky and burned out as the day progresses. I started to make a list of "things I never want to hear again" and planned to go home and compose a piece that was the antithesis of current trends. When I'm feeling a little bolder and have more time, I'll probably make the list public. And I fully admit that I am just as guilty of writing some of the things that I never want to hear. They work when I do them...

Next stage: tabulation of scores and the sifting of the selected entries. Then comes my time: programming. I get to take everything and dish it out into 8 or 9 concerts over a Thursday night - Saturday night period. It is a tremendous amount of fun to program the festival. There are so many possibilities and ways to organize pieces. I've blogged about that before, so I won't do it again.