Re: Playing your own music ... Just a thought

Subject: Re: Playing your own music ... Just a thought
From: Kevin Austin (
Date: Mon Sep 05 2005 - 18:12:05 EDT

And it may depend upon how one teaches composition.

If the method is one of statement / question, the dialog may be
different and less stressful.

What were you trying to do in the piece?

I had the feeling that the piece was about kinetic activity and the
sounds were consequences of the actions. Is this how you set out to
do the piece?

You say in the title "Night on a River Under Golden Teeth". Was the
title meant to convey an idea that the listener (or I) might be able
to follow?

In the middle I heard a rather random stochastic gesture. Was this
"worked out" in some way, or would any 'similar' gesture work just as
well for you?

I noted noise, pumping and distortion artefacts in various places.
Were these intentional or (simply) products of the processes you
employed? If you were to do it again, would you leave them in?

In the middle you have, for me, a most unexpected change in the
nature of the sounds used (the string pad playing quartal harmony
with beats underneath). Should I feel disoriented by this, or would
you like me to feel that this is a 'point of contact' with
contemporary pop music? Or something else?

Similarly, in playing my own work, rather than simply 'taking
questions', I would prefer that the student take a moment to
establish the context of the question (in their own mind and for the
others in the room), so that the question and the answer will both be

To help in this, I have spent up to 30 minutes talking about the
context, objectives, techniques, circumstances, pre-compositional
ideas and sketches (etc) before playing the piece(s). I also try to
make sure that I have scores / timelines / notes for the listeners.
This is also an indication as to the level of detail and concern that
I would like them to bring to their own work in the studio. Not
always possible, but a goal to aim at.



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