Make It Work

Make It Work

Here’s the deal: I have a new dream job. I want to be the Tim Gunn of new music. For those of you who don’t share my Project Runway obsession, Tim Gunn is the slightly stilted gentleman in a suit who casually visits the clothing designers during their creative process and offers his opinions and advice—which usually boils down to his signature quip, “Make it work.”

In all seriousness, I think I’d be really good at helping composers in the same fashion. Midway through the compositional process or even during the gestation phase, composers would call me up and invite me over to take a look at what they have so far or just talk through some ideas—maybe we play through a few passages at the piano, whatever it takes to convey the concept or approach they are after—and then I make some suggestions. “The phrase in measure 43 feels like it wants to be longer, you might want to consider extending it,” I might say, or “The figure in this section would benefit with a lot more repetition. That transition is a bit rough, maybe adding another voice would help. Flute would be nice,” etc.

Since composers tend to work alone, they don’t often reap the benefits that a well-informed second opinion can provide. Sure, those composers who are, err-um, fortunate enough to be hitched to a fellow composer have their partners to rely on for test driving ideas—and that fresh take on things can really be helpful. So I say to all of you composers out there: I’m open for business. I’m ready to bolster or blast that riff you’ve been hesitant about. I’ll be there for you when that deadline is looming and everything you scribble just sounds lame to you. I’m here, and you won’t be disappointed with my courteous approach, professional demeanor, and infinite musical wisdom. Satisfaction guaranteed. So what are you waiting for? Call now!

NewMusicBox provides a space for those engaged with new music to communicate their experiences and ideas in their own words. Articles and commentary posted here reflect the viewpoints of their individual authors; their appearance on NewMusicBox does not imply endorsement by New Music USA.

6 thoughts on “Make It Work

  1. philmusic

    “Sure, those composers who are, err-um, fortunate enough to be hitched to a fellow composer have their partners to rely on for test driving ideas—…”

    Then wouldn’t calling you be-like, well, you know, cheating?

    Phil Fried

  2. davidcoll

    is it just me or like have all of the columns of newmusicbox just suddenly gotten completely uninteresting since last month? Is everyone just too busy w/other stuff?

    sorry, its probably just me…


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