Every December 27 I spend the day in reflection and compile an annual report, a “State of Kyle Vanderburg” if you will. I certainly will. Let’s do this.
THE STATE OF KYLE VANDERBURG FOR THE YEAR OF 2010
It is ridiculous to think that I completed half of my master’s degree this year, but that’s really what I did (well, half of the coursework anyway). Besides my usual composition lessons I also took wonderfully delightful classes like Analysis of Twentieth-Century Music, Development of Tonality, Pedagogy of Music Theory, and Music in the Classical Period. Of course, the degree isn’t only about the coursework, but also about navigating the insane bureaucracy that comes with a graduate degree, and to that end I completed some very important paperwork such as titling my thesis and selecting a committee. I am now capable of saying I will be writing a thesis titled Tempest for Band that I will defend in front of a committee consisting of Marvin Lamb, DMA, Ken Stephenson, Ph.D., and Frank Riddick, Ph.D. I will commence freaking out after the new year.
Of course, the thesis coming up indicates an end to my master’s degree. This year was filled with research into different doctoral programs, and after much deliberation I applied to the following schools: University of Kansas, University of Texas at Austin, University of North Texas, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University, and University of Oklahoma. I will be updating the blog as I learn more.
This year I completed seven works, nearly as many as I completed in my entire undergraduate career. They are, in order of composition: Postscript to Friday (brass quintet), Unknown Precipitation (percussion ensemble), Realms of Endless Day (flute choir), a set of Piano Miniatures (piano), Under the Oklahoma Sky (piano), Salvation (piano trio), and Writer’s Block (flute). Unknown Precipitation was a result of a commission by the Norman High School and the Oklahoma Composer’s Association while Realms of Endless day was commissioned by the OU Flute Ensemble. These compositions show a more deliberate attempt to create a personal style, and I have discovered some underlying themes that I enjoy writing. Unknown Precipitation and Under the Oklahoma Sky explore weather phenomenon and nature, Realms of Endless Day and Under the Oklahoma Sky use American hymn-tunes as melodic material, and Realms of Endless Day and Salvation exhibit a “reverse deconstruction” approach to melodic material.
I had several works premiered and performed this year. Pipe Dreams was performed by the Kansas State University percussion ensemble in Manhattan, Kansas, Postscript to Friday was premiered as part of the Spring OU Composers Recital, Realms of Endless Day was premiered by the OU Flute Ensemble under the direction of Tara Burnett, Unknown Precipitation was premiered by the Norman High School percussion ensemble in Norman, Oklahoma, and Under the Oklahoma Sky was premiered by Jennifer Tripi as part of the Fall OU Composers Recital. In addition, Accessible Contemporary Music in Chicago, Illinois has decided to perform Foi dans l’aleatoire as part of their weekly reading series at a later date.
In 2010, I attended the Self-Employment in the Arts OzArts conference and the Society of Composers International Region VI conference in March, the Society for Ethnomusicology Southern Plains conference in April, the International Double Reed Society conference in June, and a Deep Listening workshop in August.
While I did elect to continue studying composition under Marvin Lamb, I happened to have the opportunity to study with three guest composers this year. I had a lesson with David Maslanka while composing Unknown Precipitation, and I had lessons with Chris Brubeck and Eric V. Hachikian while composing Salvation.
I ultimately came to the decision over the summer that Vandemalioa, my publishing company, was impossible to pronounce, ridiculous to spell, and absolutely unmarketable (I originally chose Vandemalioa because my first choice, Vandermusik, was already taken). After some time contemplating something that would be easier to brand, I happened across the idea of NoteForge, quickly altered my ASCAP arrangements, registered another business in Missouri, and designed a new website. NoteForge quickly took over all of my business arrangements, including the Blink! composer management system, which became the NoteForge Hammer Music Management System. It was originally my intention to develop Hammer as a commercial service, but those plans have been put on hold indefinitely.
In addition to the expected composing that a composer does, part of a composer’s success is branding/name recognition. NoteForge helps present a unified image, but the bulk of my web presence is located at kylevanderburg.net. To build a stronger presence, I installed a custom URL shortening service at kylev.net and recoded Blink!/Hammer to create and use human-readable URLs.
2010 was great, I accomplished quite a bit, and I started refining my compositional style. But looking back on 2010 forces me to look forward to 2011. This year threw me some surprises, and I’m hoping that next year will do the same. I know that I will be in Norman for the first half of the year, finishing the Thesis, but after that? I don’t know. I do know that I will be focusing my artistic and commercial efforts toward writing quality music. I’ll be using my other activities (such as web design and coding) primarily to promote these ventures. And, as always, “It is the mission of Kyle Vanderburg to consistently provide the best of all possible results, services, and projects regardless of venue or avenue; to have a firm understanding of the creative process in its entirety from conception to production and to continually keep as much of that process in-house as possible except when other ventures provide a better service more efficiently than is capable by internal means; to work unceasingly to improve all areas over which I have control; and in the event of success, to love unconditionally, to forgive unconditionally, and to serve unconditionally, for to do otherwise is inadequate. Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me.”
Happy New Year, y’all.
So it looks like I'm going to the CMS South Central regional conference in Arkansas in March. Full email below:
Dear Prof. Vanderburg: [ha!]
Congratulations on your score, “Foi dans l'aleatoire,” being accepted for the upcoming sccms [South Central chapter of the College Music Society] meeting on March 3-5, 2011, at UALR [University of Arkansas-Little Rock]. More information on the meeting (accommodations, directions, schedule etc.) will be sent to you soon. The performance is contingent on you registering for and attending the conference. Please contact me with any questions. Looking forward to seeing you in Little Rock in March. Best–Rolf Groesbeck (sccms program committee, 2011).