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Topic: I'm in way over my head

  1. #1

    Cool I'm in way over my head

    Last night I stayed up and reorganized the folders containing all my musical work. And conclusively, I have almost as much unfinished works as I have finished. Just to mention a few:
    • A concerto for Horn
    • A concerto for Trumpet
    • A concerto for Basson
    • A concerto for Strings
    • A concerto grosso
    • A woodwind trio
    • A woodwind quartett
    • A Clarinet quintett
    • And two unfinished symphonies...
    Thusly, I'm in way over my head
    This leading to the question of this post, what are you currently working on?
    Regards Danial Zainali
    Reinvent powdered wigs!

  2. #2

    Re: I'm in way over my head

    * 2 paid contracts for 2 computer games. One is almost done, the other has just started.
    * 1 freeware computer game for a couple of friends
    * PhD in composition
    * admin in a website (no spam here! ) which is a LOT OF work

    I find that the above are more than enough for 2007-2008.

  3. #3

    Re: I'm in way over my head

    know the feeling, and while its nice to know that people want me, its scary!

    - masters in soundtrack production (composition) - new animation everyweek
    - 2 short films, animation and more to come...
    - audiobook soundtrack (6 CDS!)
    - songs for P&W CD

    would love to do some game work tho...

  4. #4

    Re: I'm in way over my head

    I haven't managed to write a note of anything for several months. Between teaching, my responsibilities at Church, and being a dad I don't seem to have any time at all.

    In fact I don't even have the time to rebuild my studio. I got a third machine over the Summer, to be my main sequencer machine, and I have the job ahead of me of reformatting the other two, turning them into VSi machines, learning how to network them, figuring out FXTeleport - but I never have a significant block of time in which to get started.

    What spare time I do get I'm spending on mapping all my boomwhacker samples in Kontakt, since that's a job I can do in little bits. ANd when it's done I want to learn to throat sing, to play Theremin, how to beatbox, and how to circuit bend - as well as hopefully resuming my masters in Ethnomusicology. So I'm afraid it's not looking likely that I'll compose anything, or play anything for a long, long time.

  5. #5

    Re: I'm in way over my head

    Quote Originally Posted by Felixissimo
    ...............This leading to the question of this post, what are you currently working on?
    1. My symphonic poem of The Hague
    2. Getting a better social life
    3. A new project presenting that symph. Poem with photos and a real poem
    4. Caressing my wife (still after 40 years of marriage!)
    5. Rearranging the photos taken of my new born grandson (birth an baptism)
    6. Trying to get more money (less important)
    7. .......

    all things in life are music, aren't they?


  6. #6
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Ellendale, ND

    Re: I'm in way over my head

    With the loss of GPO in Kontakt, I am having to submit samples of my material in MIDI which is a major step backwards.

    I write two or three choral pieces a month, and am currently submitting several scores a month for commercials and indies. Some even sell.

  7. #7

    Re: I'm in way over my head

    • Flesh out sketches for three more movements of the "Cornell Boxes" suite
    • Beginning sketches for "Oneironauts" for very large orchestra
    • Finishing quintet "Layaway Heart"
    • Several orchestration/arrangement projects for Mountain Apple records
    • About a dozen unfinished or unpolished rock songs for an album
    • Mixing and mastering two songs for artist Ted Hovis
    • Organizing and printing scores for submissions

    That's a lot, but it feels good to write it down!
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  8. #8

    Re: I'm in way over my head

    Quote Originally Posted by BenNichols
    know the feeling, and while its nice to know that people want me, its scary!
    It's interesting you said that Ben, because when i started getting a little attention (and it is a little -- mostly prospects rather than paid work so far, but i'm not in this for the money) -- I experienced a lot of anxiety! At first I was just happily writing, not worried about the big bad music world out there, then suddenly, I have to contend with polishing up my scores, copyrights, ASCAP, marketing, targeting scores to particular performing groups, interacting with conductors (at least on a limited basis), and trying to understand scoring percussion, which has me a bit boggled.

    Anyway, what I am working on:

    Voices in the Wilderness - a suite of pieces based on sacred texts and/or mystical poetry scored for SATB chorus and small orchestra (such as a church might have or hire). So far, 2 movements complete, one almost done, and I'm cleaning up the scores. An organist friend who has influence in this city (Colorado Springs) asked me to send him the music and scores, saying he'd be happy to recommend me to an excellent choral conductor in town, so that felt really good. Also cleaning up "Hodie", an orginal Christmas piece with similar instrumentation, for that purpose.

    Intergalactica Suite - I am targeting this for the Etowah Youth Symphony, an excellent youth orchestra in Alabama. I talked with the conductor Mike Gagliardo sometime back because he emailed me to request scores for the Colorado All-State concert which he is conducting. I did not have anything that specifically met the instrumentation requirements, but we had a nice talk, and he said perhaps he could use some of my work for his regular orchestra (Etowah). So I am working toward something he could hopefully use. This is a more long-term project. There are 2 more movments to complete -- I have just a snippet right now. So I am thinking of this for next year.

    Various other pieces -- I hope to clean up a few pieces for the Chamber Orchestra of the springs for next year also, as they have an open call for scores.

    O Come Emmanuel and Carol of the Bells are supposed to be published soon I hope, so I've worked on cleaning up those with the publisher. The contract is signed, and my work is done, so I'm just waiting for him to finish his end and get that out (this was a first for me).

    I had to figure out how to manage all this -- right now, I've divided my "compositions" folder which holds my Finale files into parts like this:

    - works in progress (stuff i'm working on curretnly),
    - final (finished scores -- but not necessarily polished),
    - backburner (stuff worth working but not right now),
    - exercises and experiments (for reference in future but not to become full-
    blown pieces),
    - old versions and backup files (in case something goes wrong!), and
    - sent to publisher (stuff i am working on with a publisher).

    Then I have directories for my wav files, mp3 files, and postscript and pdf files (these are for the scores themselves).

    Then, all of that gets backed up every several hours to a backup disk because we all know that if something can go wrong -- it will, sooner or later (hopefully later!!!)

    So that's my status report!

    Listen at: www.soundclick.com/kepeaceusa
    Scores at: http://stores.lulu.com/ke_peace

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Wilton, NH

    Re: I'm in way over my head

    I have a lot of things going on in life, which as Raymond says, is music.

    Musically I am also trying to juggle quite a few things.

    I just started playing piano again. I get very little time to practice and hate practicing when people are around, but I am seeing some progress. The biggest help is I retired my (supposedly high end) digital piano for a (very old Baldwin spinet) acoustic piano. A week on the acoustic and I could already tell the difference.

    I consider myself a student and spend a lot of time studying. I am currently near the beginning of an in-depth study of Schumann. After another review of Liszt it is on to Wagner then Brahms then… well, that puts me some time in April, May or June next year.

    Of course I need to go back and review the basics – a non-ending study for me. Each time I pick up new things which then actually help my other studies. When I listen to Mozart or Hayden I can pick out the harmonies when I want and the form is simple. I am almost doing that with Schumann, Chopin, etc. and occasionally can with, say, R. Strauss. I want to be able to do it with any music. I also haven’t studied Fugue (though I write simple fugato) and am waiting until I hit 20th century music to study 20th century technique.

    On that note, I do mix a little 20th century music into my listening to remind me where I am heading (and because I enjoy it and need some “fresh air”). I will sometimes fixate on a composer or a piece for a while, slowing down my historic studies a little. The last thing I got fixated on was Shostakovich’s Preludes and Fugues.

    Thinking of Preludes and Fugues, or at least Preludes, I am in the middle of writing a set of preludes. At this pace I have a long time to go yet….

    I recently wrote the first movement of a piano sonata (jokingly called “Careful What You Wish For”) that is as close as I’ve come recently to just writing music and not trying to tie it back into my studies. I will, hopefully, start the second movement very soon.

    I have an art song started. I may toss out what I have and start again…. Anyway, this is something I will hopefully finish soon.

    Over the last couple of months I have written a cycle of poems I want to set to music. I’m not much of a poet, but I had something very specific and mind and couldn’t get poet friends or family to write them for me. I can’t see any of the songs being posted here for a while – most likely sometime next year.

    Back in the prehistoric days, long before I started studying music, a gallery owner commissioned 4 pieces of music from me (4 different times over 3 years). For the last few months he has been bugging me to send him something. He has given me specifics. I keep telling him, “I need to study fugue first!” to which he answers, “I noticed a fugue in both the 3rd and 4th movements of your piano sonata. I think you should write it.” Anyway, this project is on the back burner, but I think about it all the time.

    I have a start on Challenge 15, but haven’t thought about it for a while – it will most likely never get finished…..

    For the most part I write very slowly, however, I will often get in a state where pieces write themselves very quickly – it’s just the hours (days, weeks!) of agonizing before and the clean up after that take a long time. When I say quickly, I’m talking about a week a minute for orchestral music and 2 to 4 minutes of piano music a week. That’s spending ever spare second writing (no reading or posting here, no listening to other music, making my wife mad for inattention, etc.).

    Sorry for the major novel, but you asked…..
    Trent P. McDonald

  10. #10

    Re: I'm in way over my head

    Hi Trent,

    thanks for sharing all that -- I read it with interest. I am impressed by your dedication to studying the music of the masters -- something I don't feel up to technically, but which I know I should do more of anyway, or at least try! Because of my lack of music history and theory background, I pretty much just listen and hope it will sink in my ear....

    It's amazing for me to read how much talent is on this forum, as I peruse what people are doing!

    Best wishes,
    Listen at: www.soundclick.com/kepeaceusa
    Scores at: http://stores.lulu.com/ke_peace

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