Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Minimally Successful

There were two things I wanted to accomplish as a young man:

1) Have my music performed and recorded professionally.

2) Have my creative writings published professionally.

Well, as of today both those things happened -- but I have to say if there's a way to accomplish these goals in the smallest way possible, I managed to do it.

The music
As a classical composer, I've written over forty works, including a symphony, some smaller pieces for string orchestra, two string quartets, several collections of short piano pieces, and some chamber music as well. And some of it has been performed by professional ensembles.

But only one of my compositions has been recorded professionally. It's an early work of mine entitled "Three Etudes," Op. 2. They are three very short (each one is under a minute) little pieces for piano, written primarily as a composition exercise. The etudes were originally recorded by Robert Ian Winstin for the ERM label, and appeared on his release Piano Art. Very nice, but it's out of print.

Pianist Leanne Rees really liked the etudes, or at least the third one. She performed it in concert for a while, and was kind enough to include it on her album Women Composers & the Men In Their Lives released on Fleur de Son.

The writing
As readers of this blog know, I write continually. Professionally, I write articles, reviews, and other technical copy. I enjoy it, but it's not creative writing. Yes, I've written six novels, but they're definitely not ready for prime time.

But I do participate in the #operaplot contest, and have placed in the finals two years running. And that earned me my second goal. Because the contest winners were published as part of the Best Music Writing 2011 by Dacapo Press. Which means that I am now a published author (I got paid, and I'll get a copy of the book, so there).

So there it is.

I've now technically accomplished both my goals with a one-minute piano piece and a 140-character tweet.

Somehow, I don't have the feeling of accomplishment I thought I would....

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