News, Thoughts, Soapboxes, and/or Essays

2020 and my New Year’s irresolutions.

I don’t care much for New Year’s Resolutions.

It’s too easy for me to state some lofty goals and then, due to the hodgepodge of my schedule, to take on a different project in, say, three weeks. I find it to be too…specific for an entire year.

What I like instead is yearly themes. Things I want to spend time doing—or at least considering—over the course of the year. This year’s theme is Content Creation/Curation.

Content creation may seem odd for a composer—everything I create musically gets organized and cataloged and distributed. But a lot of my other projects, less so. For example, some of the things and projects I worked on in 2019:

• A 25-minute album of my Jamie Parsley song cycle

• ~30 hours of video resources for my composition courses (this number will double or triple in 2020)

• A 100+ page course pack for Music Entrepreneurship

• An hourlong presentation on the creative process

• And I released the code for my cloud music project.

A lot of this year’s theme is figuring out just WHAT to do with all that (where should it live, what license should it have, what should be accessible). In terms of content creation, a lot of the writing/presentation process was carved out of available time. For example, I spent a good chunk of June not writing a tuba sonata because I was preparing the Cloud Music presentation. Much of July was lost preparing for the Aspen Composers Conference. Writing this year was built on the idea of transformative change instead of iterative (e.g., write everything from scratch instead of writing incrementally.)

This is also making its way into my teaching—I’ve already begun writing a list of my policies and expectations for my students in a kind of über-syllabus. (I tried a new late-work policy last fall—that’s a whole other post.)

In short, I want to make more stuff and tell you about it.