Further Adventures in Electronic Music, and Thoughts on Being an “Album Artist”
CLUES & SUBLIMATION, AND OTHER NEW WORKS
At this time, I’m giving much thought to what will be my next projects. I’m considering changing my approach to Clues & Sublimation; removing it from the “Electronic Music” series and creating a stand-alone album (the “Electronic Music” albums are collections/compilations, whereas this new approach would be to treat the album as a unified work divided into movements).
If I take this approach, I will release on a separate album some or all of the recently composed electronic works. These newer works include Biology, Mixed Signals, and “…and a time for every matter under heaven…”.
One of my favorite of the recent new electronic works is Vox. My original plan for this was that it would appear on Clues & Sublimation. However, it may appear on the compilation album previously mentioned.
My catalog with Sheetmusicplus.com has officially “migrated” to the ArrangeMe platform, so, after familiarizing myself with the new platform a bit more, I’ll upload some of the scores I put on hold, including Mystery Music II.
I also recently updated my website – and I will likely have to do so again in the near future. When I was redesigning the pages, etc., I ran into some technical problems. In the course of attempting to resolve those problems, I was informed that the “theme” (or, template) I’m using for my site has been retired by WordPress, and is thus no longer supported. So far, there have been no solution to one or two of these problems, so I will likely completely update the site sooner rather than later.
THOUGHTS ON BEING AN “ALBUM ARTIST”
One of the changes I made to the appearance of my website was to use a motif that now appears on all my social media platforms: a collage of my album covers.
In a recent Facebook post, I wrote: “I’m using my album artwork as the motif, since, for all intents and purposes, I’m an album artist at this point in my career.” In this instance, I’m using the term “album artist” not in the way it’s customarily used, but rather to denote the fact that the way in which I present my music at this time – the way in which most people will encounter it – is almost entirely via my albums. This is why so much of my recent work has been electronic music – and, to a degree, piano music. I can make excellent quality recordings of both genres, whereas I do not have at my disposal the software or hardware to make really high-quality recording of my organ music, which was my previous compositional focus. Connoisseurs of (particularly, contemporary) organ music have become accustomed to hearing the works recorded using Hauptwerk software, so anything less will, for many, likely be almost unlisteneable.
Since I don’t have access to this kind of software – and since very little interest has been shown in the organ music I’ve composed during the last nine months or so – I’ve had to abandon the original plan I had for this year, which was to focus on organ and liturgical music.
Given my new compositional focus, I’ve recently been working on building up a new audience/network of like-minded listeners and colleagues; people who are into the kind of music I’m creating these days. However, this has been a bit of a challenge, for a number of reasons, one of which is that, for many concert music composers, it would seem I am not secular enough. For composers of organ/liturgical music, my music is perceived as “worldly.” All are agreed, however, that my music is pretty bizarre.
The composers/musicians who tend to appreciate my music the most are those who, like me, do their own thing; who have no affiliation with a particular group of institution. Composers such as these have always constituted a tiny – but usually outstanding – community within the larger profession. Such composers are free to be completely original (i.e., true to themselves), since they are beholden to no one, and they certain aren’t doing it for the money (e.g., sales on Sheetmusicplus), nor for the instant gratification/validation that social media provides.
Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say, and certainly some of the recent major projects in which I’ve been a part would never have come about had I not been moved in the direction in which I’m now going – a direction which, as I stated previously, was not the one in which I had intended to move.
So, we’ll see what happens. More on all this again soon!
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