Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Playing my own music

I enjoy playing my own music, but I have a great deal of difficulty performing it because I have to make so many decisions in order to give it a successful performance. They are the same kinds of decisions that I have to make when I play music written by other people, but it is much easier to play music by people who are dead and who I never would have known even if they were still alive. I sometimes worry that someone might take my "interpretation" as something definitive, when I know in my heart of hearts that it is just as subjective as anyone else's interpretation of something I write, or just as subjective as my interpretation of something that someone else wrote.

As a composer I find that there is no "right" tempo for anything I write. I go back and forth (pardon the pun) on bowings and degrees of dynamic contrast. From the experience of preparing my own music for performance I learn (over and over again) that the emotional content of a piece has a less to do with the pitches and rhythms than the musical moment or sequence of musical moments that happens during a performance. I also know that a successful piece is one that is open to all sorts of different interpretations.

No comments: