This blog is an attempt to explain my existence as a composer as I begin to travel the perilous journey of becoming a freelance writer. I have been writing for 33 years, but am only now in a position where I am able to jettison the grind of daily teaching in order to focus more on my writing. I have been extremely fortunate in that I have had faith placed in me by some excellent musicians, to the extent that I am Composer-in-Residence with two organisations, and have, in the past year, received my first broadcast and PRS payment for my music. With a couple of tracks on CD as well, and a significant birthday last year, the time was right to take the plunge, so here we go.
I am spending the summer redesigning my website, having purchased both the .com and .co.uk versions recently, and am in the process of uploading my scores so that people can download them for free. In this digital age, when people can send files to each other in a matter of seconds, I take the point of view that free distribution of my scores is worth more in the long run than the drips of money I might earn from selling them. I therefore make them free for copy and distribution, providing that no profit is made by those copying and distributing. I retain all other rights with an iron fist.
My catalogue has been predominantly choral to this point, by the happy accident of various commissions rather than by design, but I hope to remedy that over the coming year and begin to do some more instrumental and orchestral work to supplement those pieces already in my output. As it stands, though, my next few commissions are choral and include an arrangement of Irish folk songs, and new works for performance in Yorkshire and at St. John’s, Smith Square. With a bit of luck I’ll be updating this blog on a regular basis with my thoughts, progress, gripes and other general musings. I’ll try to avoid writing about what I had for breakfast or whether I think Austin Powers is better than James Bond and other nonsense. This blog is about composition, and the joys and frustrations which go with it. With a bit of luck at some point on the journey there will be good news to share.