Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Composer-Performer Debate

Periodically in our world of composition the topic of the composer-performer will come up, which invariably sparks a debate about whether or not the composer should also be an active performer. 

It is quite clear that someone who is an active performer will have a leg up economically (more gigs, etc.) and will undoubtedly use a lot of their knowledge of performance realities to inform their own writing, which can be a huge compositional asset. On the other hand, if you spend 100% of your working time coming up with musical ideas there is a strength in that, as well--a strength that might not be there if you have to devote a significant percentage of your time to practicing. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

More on Education, Debt, and Economics

NewMusicBox published a great article today by Ellen McSweeney about the twenty-something perspective on the financial realities of pursuing a career in music. I highly recommend reading the entire thing.

Of course it has always been difficult to be a musician, but today's economic situation really compounds the problem. McSweeney touches on many of the important facets of the issue, but I also think it's true that the whole economic picture is bigger and more complex than what we find in our field of music.