Thursday, March 8, 2012

New Projects, New Deadlines

It has been a week since completing my "blues-a-day" thirty day challenge.  With the time freed up from not having a daily deadline to complete, I focused on writing a Chamber Music America grant to fund the composition and presentation of a large scale work for my 10-piece band, the Hartford Jazz Society's New Directions Ensemble.  I proposed writing a musical eulogy entitled "Requiem for an American Art Form".  The work would satirically declare the death of jazz and then aim to dismantle all notions of jazz’s impending mortality through paradoxical wit & jazz itself.  I hope it pans out.

For the next few days I am up in Winnipeg, Canada adjudicating the Optimist Band Festival, and then performing at le Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain.  I plan to try out some of the new pieces from my 30-day challenge.

When I return, I have two significant arranging/composition projects with quickly approaching deadlines. The Westchester Jazz Orchestra has commissioned me to write an arrangement of "Hit the Road Jack" for their upcoming Ray Charles tribute concert on April 14th.  They need the completed chart for rehearsals beginning on April 10th.  On April 18th, the third installment of my collaboration with visual artists, Deborah Dancy and Ted Effremof is slated to be performed at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts in Storrs, CT.  Somehow I will get these pieces written.

I have been considering blogging about my arranging and compositional process as I embark on these projects.  It might provide some insight into the work (not to mention the madness!) leading to the finished product.  If I do proceed, the posts won't be daily, as I don't want to inadvertently create yet another deadline for myself.

This posting has been made while waiting in the Montreal airport for my connecting flight.  It's almost time to board so I will sign off.  "Ever up and onward" is about to take on a whole new literal meaning...

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