I've been going through a bit of writers block recently. Like creative writing or art, one cannot merely sit down and make IT happen. I have been sitting down and waiting and waiting.

So I'm writing this orchestra piece for the Atlantic Music Festival and I am scaling this one down. B'rit was HUGE so I'm gearing this thing towards chamber orchestra. When writing something, I try to listen to as much music as possible that has been written for (insert ensemble). The pieces I really looked at intensely were Sean Shepherd's These Particular Circumstances, John Adams' Chamber Symphony, and some fantastically insane Elliot Carter things. For some reason this did not do the trick (even though I love listening to all of these chamber orchestra works). I thought about an up tempo concert opener, re-orchestrating an earlier piece, Ives-like hymns, a work based on spinning gestures.

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Britten: 100

I didn't initially like Britten the first time I heard his music. When I was about 15, I was obsessed with learning as much classical music repertoire as possible. Having grown up in a household where Broadway musicals and the American Songbook were the tunes blasting from an old stereo, I wanted to dive into orchestral music as...an outsider. I listened to Peter Grimes for the first time and as a pre-Glee obsessive musical theatre teenager, I thought the recitative lines where so strange. It sounded almost like morris code with the words "Grimes" and "crime" thrown in every so often to advance the plot. I dismissed the whole thing and went on to another composer. It wasn't really until a conversation I had my senior year of high school that made me rethink Britten.

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