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Selfish and Lazy

by Jason McChristian on 04/08/15

This is my first blog post. I had considered writing it for a while now but finally realized that I would actually need to spend some time, maybe even stop composing for a bit, to get it done.

With this first blog entry, I would like to get a few details out of the way. My motivation for doing this blog is largely selfish. Since graduating with my Master's Degree in Composition in 2012, I have noticed a dramatic drop in my writing skills. I no longer had to regularly write papers, which would often be 10 to 20 pages. I no longer needed to justify and defend positions face-to-face with students and professors on a wealth of theoretical and practical topics. You could say, since my daily intellectual and writing workouts were "complete", I took the opportunity to become lazy.

  This, of course, doesn't mean I wasn't thinking. Since graduating in 2012, I have created thirty compositions, some of which I consider my greatest works to date. I have received far more commissions than before and my current music is finding more performances. But my writing suffers. I find that I lack confidence when trying to come up with simple program notes. I spend too much time in frustration, struggling to find the words and ideas to describe my musical decisions. This isn't to say that program notes were always easy to write, or even that they should be (using words to "describe" any work of visual or aural art is often inadequate). But, I feel that when I can more clearly communicate to others what goes into my music, I can better evaluate my decisions as I compose.

  Regarding the blog, I imagine that the length of these posts will vary and though I haven't decided how frequently they will come, I imagine once I get going on a few of these, I will develop a manageable rhythm. That is, unless I get lazy. 

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