I would like to pose a question to those musicians who've worked with the virtual orchestra and have a lot of experience with it, but who got their musical training in playing music, composition and orchestration first.
I have been thinking about the use and role of standard music notation (and perhaps not-so-standard) in this young medium. Besides the practical uses, such as having to have a score because the piece is going to be played and/or sung by other musicians, or be published in written form, does anyone have any thoughts about the role of notation in creating the piece? Since we can get immediate feedback with our computer-based musical instruments, does this feedback impact why we notate music? Is notation even necessary in the virtual orchestra world (assuming no singers or soloists)? Or does notation serve a deeper purpose, such as helping the composer to clarify compositional issues, structural and formal elements? After all, by visually representing the music we do bring another part of the brain to the creative process.
For example, I have two movements of a set of variations. I sequenced the piece, and, instead of writing out the music with all its dynamic markings, hairpins, articulations, bowings, and phrasing, I sequence those details into the MIDI file and by choosing the best timbre/articulation for the musical passage. In other words, the details are there, but not in notation form. Another way to say it is that I composed, orchestrated and sequenced at the same time. I am now in the process of preparing the score, but a part of myself says "why?", while another part sees it as an opportunity to learn more about the piece.
What are the experiences of others in this area? Do you find it "better" to compose first, finish the composition and orchestration, and then sequence, mix and pre-master it? I am not sure, there may be distinct advantages to both methods. I have done plenty of both, but am starting to wonder if I want to go back to composing with pencil, paper, piano and metronome, give my full energies and attention to composition, and then produce and record it. It seems that by not dividing my attention (composing/sequencing) I may be able to do each better, but sequentially rather than together.
Again, I am not speaking about the commercial or public demands of why we notate our music, that's a given. It's more of a question about the art itself.