Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Program Composition by Free Association

There used to be a standard way of putting recital programs together: One started with the earlier music, almost always of the Classical period, working one's way forward in time and upward in difficulty, ending with some virtuosic number to get everyone excited enough to demand an encore.

I long realized that to me this is counter-intuitive.  Why not start with the music of one's own time and work backwards so as to enlighten the music of the past with the ear of the present, so to speak.  Nobody who every wrote music did it in a vacuum, or out of a textbook; so why listen that way?

Now I will be programming based on my own ear working its way from period to period, starting wherever it will and ending however it ends.

Engage the audience in the process.