From June 30th through July 10, I had a wonderful time participating in the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium (OBFCS). In part this was thanks to the wonderful performers, the Fireworks Ensemble, who premiered my piece, Zephyr, for flute, electric guitar, piano, and amplified contrabass, and in part it was thanks to the wonderful participants, composers from all across the county.
Of course the energy that manifests when so many people with a similar interest gather together is thrilling, but with other interactions with composers (as with most musicians), I often feel there is a tendency toward competition, and the need to prove oneself by pointing out shortcomings in other composers’ pieces. I’m not immune to this myself, and I’m trying harder and harder to control myself (and my raging ego). The environment at the OBFCS, however, was that of cooperation, and that we, as artists, are working together to forward new music. Because of this we were able to listen to all the music presented with a less combative ear, and gain a perspective on where we are as both individuals, and as a group.
I haven’t received the recording yet, and I will post it here when I do. For the meantime, enjoy this blurry photo of me introducing my piece in Beall Hall.