DAY 3: Thoughts on Underwood New Music Readings
by Benjamin Taylor
This morning’s session with the mentor composers and George Manahan was an informal time for us composers to get feedback on our pieces. This was an honest, open time where the mentor composers equally praised my work and gave me wonderful critique. I found it fascinating that in many cases, they were able to articulate a problem in my piece that I had previously only felt on a gut level and not been able to put my finger on. I appreciated that they not only pointed out problems, but were also quick to provide possible solutions to help resolve issues the piece was having. I’m coming away from this morning’s session with a much clearer outlook on orchestration, harmony, form, texture, counterpoint and “seizing musical opportunities.” After the session, and a few pictures, we said our goodbyes. I think it is fair to say that it felt like we’d been together for much more than 2 days. It felt more like a few weeks! Making music together and talking about our music together on a deep, intimate level has forged friendships of admiration and respect among all of us who participated. I’m super motivated to go and write great music!