Thursday, November 4, 2010

Determining Goals for the Future

Trying to make a career out of some sort of art is very risky business. It's true that a lot of very talented artists get lucky enough to be successful at it in their lifetimes, but often this is not the case. Sometimes you just don't get recognized, despite your best efforts and promotion. Sometimes, untalented "artists" become disproportionately successful, and this can be even more discouraging (see Ke$ha). But I think it's important to remember that if you care about your art form passionately, and you know you have something to offer to the world through it, don't get discouraged. I've been more and more concerned about my future career as a musician and composer, since it is such a risky life to attempt. For a long time now, my plan has been to find commissions as a freelance composer and to try to work my way into the video gaming business, while teaching piano and composition lessons. While these are still future goal for me, I'm seriously reconsidering going to graduate school for a masters degree or something. I'd love to hear any thoughts my readers have regarding this!

I just finished writing "Inner Unity," a two-movement duet for bassoon and saxophone, and I'm super excited to announce that it will be performed and recorded with the help of two of my most talented classmates. The piece was a challenging one for me to compose, since I struggle with keeping purely melodic instrumentals interesting and consistent. Not being able to rely on the thick textures of a piano or a large ensemble is crippling for me, but obviously that was the point of the project; to push my creative boundaries. I'm very happy with how the piece turned out, so I suppose that makes the project a success!

The Symphonia Orchestra is doing great with my piece, "Shards," and with less than three weeks until the performance, I'm glad that it seems to be coming together. I wish I could share some demos with you, but unfortunately that won't be possible until at least next week, if ever! If you want to hear more of what I've written, just check out my Youtube. I've uploaded several new videos in the last week or so, since I kinda went on a video-making binge, and they showcase a lot of my recent work. As always, more videos are on the way as well! With every piece of music I write, and even the ones I learn, I make it my tentative goal to somehow get it performed and recorded.

It's time for some homework! Last week, my composition professor was like, "for your next lesson, put together a list of everything you want to accomplish in your major before you graduate." I'm a sophomore at Concordia in Moorhead, so whether I like it or not, I'm nearing the half-way point for my time undergraduate college. I have peter pan complex. I don't want to grow up! :'( But anyway, I thought I'd tackle this assignment in this post, to give you, my readers, an idea of what I'm planning for my near future.

> Finish my composition for percussion ensemble and have it performed
> Write an anthem for full choir with an african drum ensemble
> Compose something for a fully electronic ensemble in a techno/industrial style
> Complete all five movements of the Black Storm Symphony
> Attempt to create something feasible for a full concert band
> Finish a brass quintet piece, and finish my progressive metal song
> Try composing a soundtrack to a short film
> Somehow, write some music for a video game setting
> Push into different styles and periods of composing, such as Jazz, Impressionist, etc.


  1. A lot of times art is similar to sports. It is best to have a background in something that will assure you employment in the future. If you feel it isn't likely to break through the cracks as a freelance musician, definitely consider getting background in another area of interest. I would consider taking some personality tests. Or even better, determining your personality to discover what careers would be good. Just from the little bit I have been around you I would consider you to be a ISFP or a INFP. Minor differences between both. Bryan says your an extrovert, I strongly disagree with him. check those links, they may give you some other directions to consider.

  2. I am certainly not an extrovert. I took that test last year in a speech class and got INFJ. I am certainly not P or E, although I was very close to the boundaries to S and T. What are you, Jacob?