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  • Writer's pictureFra//nek

Being a 21st Century Composer...What Does it Take? (1)

Ask any living composer what it means to be a "living" or "active" musician and you are sure to receive answers and unique and subjective as their own musical thoughts and output. In this series, I will be highlighting some of the most crucial skills which I have picked up during my journey thus far.

1. Actively Seek Out Opportunity

The most immediate way to step up your presence is to proactively search for opportunity. Using the mindset that "nothing is guaranteed to come our way unless it is" rings true in the academic and professional worlds. I recommend to check out these sites for competition, institute and professional opportunities:

Don't be fooled, composition competitions are extremely competitive and highly subjective and situational, but from open call opportunities I have benefited from orchestral performances, travel to Germany and Italy, and more.

2. Be Your Publishing House

I really mean this in the literal and general sense. Take your sheet music and audio sales into your own hands through self publishing! Although being published through a renowned publishing house is a sincerely fantastic accolade, at the end of the day music publishing is about business. If you are just getting started, up and coming, or even breaking out show your dedication by representing yourself!

Additionally, be your own media director! Learning basic graphic design, cultivating an online presence and maintaining a clean and accessible package of content are all direct methods to creating a marketable appearance. More on this soon 💥

3. Research, Research, Research

It is far, far easier said than done but devoting some free time towards researching other composers, professional tracks, and other extra-musical passions which you love feed directly into your personal growth.

It could be anything from seeing who won last year's Pulitzer, who's in residence/which opera's and ensembles have residencies for composers, what have other composers strive to achieve personally and professionally, what would happen if Eros and Psyche had a tremendous crisis which strained their relationship only to enable them to connect on a deeper more emotionally intelligent level? (See my opera 'Nous')

This is just the beginning but I cannot stress how important starting is. It doesn't have to be as soon as possible or immediate, but taking the leap to begin this journey holds immense significance. More soon!

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