Not two weeks ago, my composer collective Circles and Lines collaborated with our good friends Cadillac Moon Ensemble (an ensemble of Flute, Violin, Cello, percussion) to put on a concert. In the contemporary classical world, ensembles commission composers to write pieces for them to perform. Cadillac Moon had commissioned pieces from some of the composers in Circles and Lines previously, but now was completing the set (Including commissioning me!). This concert was the culmination of six months of hard work trying to get nine people in the same room at the same time, and ladies and gents, you better believe that was the hardest part about this project.
In December, the two groups won the MetLife Creative connections grant, which paid Circles and Lines and Cadillac Moon for question and answer sessions, workshops, interviews, and broadcasts. We had set up two interviews to be conducted before the big concert, an open rehearsal to be live streamed over the Internet, and a question and answer session to be conducted after the concert. From February, when we started organizing, to May 17th, when the concert happened, we found three days where all our schedules aligned enough to sit down and conduct the two radio interviews and the open rehearsal. In fact, we were so desperate to find a day that worked; we did one of the interviews and the open rehearsal on the same day. Combine the constant stress of finding a way to put 9 particular bodies in the same place with the need to operate complex technical infrastructure built from scratch and last minute orders for software, and you can see how Murphy’s Law can come to dominate some of what we were trying to do. Ultimately we were able to pull through and create a series of events that were both rewarding and fun.
These days, many people unfamiliar with the arts tend to think that being a composer or performer means furiously practicing or composing under the constant inspiration of Euterpe. In reality we are frequently forced to put on hats ranging from chief IT officer to recording engineer to project manager to PR hack. To create an artistic project from scratch, one has to be incredibly versatile in their abilities, flexible in their thinking and above all persistent.
Composer & Violist