Occasionally, I get email from strangers, or responses from critics, that basically disapprove of a classically-trained composer working in the new medium of the virtual orchestra. Even when I get positive reviews of my work there are still those who simply don't accept the virtual orchestra as a legitimate artistic medium, a medium from which fine art can and will be produced. I imagine it is similar to when film and photography were new, photography was seen as a threat to painting, and film a threat to live plays.
So, here is my "form letter" to those who continue to be aggravated that technology is changing the way music is made, as of course it always has.
I am tempted to become defensive and angry when someone who has never met me would be bold enough to call into question what I do. I could interpret the question as a threat, as a challenge to my legitimacy, or my expertise or knowledge.
But I will do nothing of the sort.
You seem to have the idea that as a composer who is dedicated to a new musical medium, I would presume to think that one musician could "sound as if" or "sound like" a full symphony orchestra. I have always believed and still believe it true that one musician cannot sound like two or more musicians, and should not attempt such an impossible feat. The psychological, social and spiritual energies that flow between musicians when playing are unique and should be appreciated as such.
Science and technology have put multi-timbral musical instruments in the hands of individual composers, and composers are responding. When creative musicians don't sense the enormous expressive and artistic potential of such instruments I can only conclude it is because of an excessive love of tradition, prejudice or even laziness. As a composer, It is my duty to make art, to make music as effectively as I can, and therefore I am learning well the value and limitations of these new instruments. I am also rejoycing in their vast artistic and sonic potential as well. If you could for a moment empathize with someone who actually gets profound pleasure working the way I do, perhaps you could understand.
We can both probably agree that the symphony orchestra has, by long tradition, been the default standard for multi-timbral musical expression. I am nevertheless quite open to discovering through experimentation if deep, expressive and imaginative musical results can be obtained with digital instruments. Ask me in 25 years what my answer is and I will be happy to tell you what I discovered.
If your motive is to fault me for trying, due to envy or some other emotional/spiritual aberration, nothing I can say will allow you to fully appreciate what I am doing.
But if you are sincere, and you are simply curious as to how and why a musician would devote their career and time to working nearly exclusively with computers in the studio, all I can say is follow your heart when it comes to the most personal and real music you want to make, as that is what I am doing for myself.