After studying musical composition in my youth, composing got placed on the back burner to simmer as I chased other pursuits. Decades later, I wondered what effect many years of performing and listening might have on my ability to compose. When I was a student, I acquired technical skills, but had nothing to say as a composer. My depth of experience was simply too limited. But now?
Somewhere in my middle years, curiosity got the best of me. I dusted off the pencil and began writing once again. My voice had changed. I had more to draw upon, more to say.
The result of my reemergence as a composer surprised me. First prize in an international new music composition competition; premieres in San Francisco, CA, Providence, RI, Kalamazoo, Michigan, Regina, Canada, Bolzano, Modena, and Acqui Terme, Italy; performances of my work in California and Ohio; commissions; residencies with the Classical Mandolin Society of America and the Federation of Australasia Mandolin Ensembles; national and international press.
Heady stuff considering I was just giving composition another go, for fun. Success is gratifying, but I was determined not to let it go to my head…. until one day in the summer of 2013, when I read this sentence in an Italian newspaper:
“This evening’s concert at the
Museum of Contemporary Art
will feature works by composers such as
JS Bach and JJ Kellaris.”
Heady stuff indeed. Nevertheless, I wish to be clear about my perspective on all this:
I’m just a guy who likes to write music.
If you are looking for an artist statement, I believe that may have been it.