10 September 2010
ASQ National Composers' Forum: composer blog - Thomas Green, part 2
A weekend such as was hosted by the Australian String Quartet and Carl Vine is utterly invaluable to a composer. It has reaffirmed my view that a composer's most important skill area is not, in fact, making melodies, harmonies, or any other dealing with abstracted musical material - important though these things surely are. Rather, it is knowledge of the physical specifics of the instruments, and understanding orchestration and other associated practicalities for a given group.
It's a bit like when my mother tells me that one's health (and
the exercise and good eating this entails) warrants time in one's
schedule absolutely regardless of how busy one claims to be. She
points out that all will come to naught if I lose my health.
Similarly, a conception of a piece of music will come to naught
(or at least it will be of frail constitution) if I do not learn
about the group of instruments I am writing for. And it was in
this way especially that the weekend was invaluable.
This was made plain upon noticing what an extraordinary diversity of sounds were represented by the different compositions supplied by the five participants. Naturally, the music is in the crafting of melodies and harmonies, but what we had in common was a yearning to better understand the idiosyncrasies of string writing. And this was uniquely facilitated by the Australian String Quartet, which must surely be one of the best chamber ensembles in our country (at the very least, their long list of accolades points to this).
Another notable event was
the workshop and rehearsal of Carl Vine's Third String Quartet.
To sit mere feet from these wonderful players as they adroitly
performed what I believe to be one of the best string quartets
ever written by an Australian, for a semicircle of us numbering
no more than ten, is beyond value.
From my perspective, the Composers' Forum was a great success. Above all, I was delighted to hear my music performed so well. Thus it proved possible to be well-satisfied with a composition during a process of workshop, rehearsal and performance, yet at the same time discover innumerable areas of improvement, with plenty of potential for revision. So we can see that the process of learning for a composer is never-ending.
Image: Forum participants (from left): Julian Day, Melody Eötvös, Alison Beare (ASQ GM), Rachel Johnston (cello), Mark Holdsworth, Anne Horton (violin II), Ross Carey (NZ), Adam Starr, Sophie Rowell (violin I), Carl Vine, Thomas Green, Sally Boud (viola)
Thomas Green - website
Thomas Green - ASQ National Composers' Forum, composer blog, part 1
Melody Eötvös - ASQ National Composers' Forum, composer blog, part 1
Melody Eötvös - ASQ National Composers' Forum, composer blog, part 2
Adam Starr - ASQ National Composers' Forum, composer blog part 2
Adam Starr - ASQ National Composers' Forum, composer blog, part 1
Mark Holdsworth - ASQ National Composers' Forum, composer blog, part 1
Ross Carey - ASQ National Composers' Forum, composer blog
© Australian Music Centre (2010) — Permission must be obtained from the AMC if you wish to reproduce this article either online or in print.
Be the first to share add your thoughts and opinions in response to this article.
You must login to post a comment.