What now?

It’s always an odd feeling to finish a piece, especially when it has to go in the mail, because then it really is finished. I had sketched out another ending to “Sir Christémas” on Thursday night because I wasn’t exactly happy/sure about the ending you’ve all heard. At that point, I couldn’t even hear the difference (although they were totally different in structure), so I invited an untrained but opinionated audience (Ginny) to tell me which one she preferred. She liked the original, so into the mail it went.

So no going back, at least in terms of the VocalEssence competition. If When I don’t win, then I can turn around and tinker with it all I want, of course.

What now? It was ironic that on Thursday, an email arrived from the American Composers Forum alerting me to all the competitions out there. There’s one from Salem College in Winston-Salem for harpsichord music, due November 1. You can write either a solo piece or duet, any instrument; I’m thinking trombone. There’s a contest for the Sybarite Chamber Players in NY (gotta like the sound of that group), a string quintet. That’s due November 30. And then there’s the Millenium Chamber Players in Chicago, up to eight players to be drawn from a string quintet, wind quintet, trombone, percussion, and piano. That one is due November 15. Hm. What to do?

I guess I could do all of them, on two week cycles. That would be fun to read about, wouldn’t it? Three major works in a month and a half? (They’re all supposed be at least 10 minutes long.) I could cheat and start to work on them now, of course. There’s always Maila’s request for something for her, David, and Joren, too, and the symphony. Don’t want to wait too long on that one, do I?

It also has occurred to me that I might actually officially orchestrate Blake Tells the Tiger the Tale of the Tailor for the September 18 performance. That might be a good way to play with the new Finale 2008, which now has choral sounds with the Garritan Personal Orchestra! (You will have noticed that I didn’t install this thing in the middle of “Sir Christémas.”)

What’s that, Mike? Oh, you’re back from Africa and want to know what progress I’ve made on Day in the Moonlight? Selfish bastard.

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