Starting on new commission

Today I have started work on a new commission for the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra. The concert will be next month.

It is a short piece under 5 minutes to be accompanied by a slide show or short video created by a local painter. I have seen the paintings and they are abstract and colourful.

This is excellent, because I wanted to focus more on colour with this piece as a contrast to my other pieces for the VMO which have been driven by melody and rhythm.

The start of a new piece or score involves a few things for me.

Long showers where I imagine the orchestra and what I want to hear.

Lots of listening. I believe in standing on the shoulders of giants, and by this I do not mean that my aim is to imitate. No, this is quite against my nature. My goal is to take great ideas that excite me and build on them, extract a concept from them and do something completely different with it. The goal is find new ideas and constantly improve my technique.

Right now, my concept for this piece is to make colour and melody into one. What do I mean by that exactly? … Well, it’s hard to explain in a few words, and frankly, I am not really sure I’ll be able to make it work like I have in my head right now. It’s still vague. But it’s important to have a goal! So we shall see…