February 16, 2015
The new Naxos CD of my orchestral works continues to make progress! We have now edited all six pieces at least once, and the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra and Kiev 2014 have received two and three edits apiece. I am hoping that we will be finished with our edits by the end of February.
As this project moves along I have pondered just how many complications and variables have come into play (bad joke!) but also how well we have been guided through it all by our wonderful Lord. So, especially for my fellow composers, I thought a step-by-step guide to achieving the CD of your dreams, especially if it involves orchestral music, could be most helpful.
Of course, there are a few of these steps; I am guessing about 100 to 500, so the title of this little series is a guess as well. But enough of the preliminaries; let’s get down to those easy directions for creating a CD of your own orchestral compositions.
- Start planning early – about 40 years early. That’s when I wrote Metamorphosis as a sophomore at Duke University. If you are more prolific than me, you could start later, but it has taken me 40 years to gather 79 minutes of orchestral music.
- Marry well. You will want to share this experience with your sweetheart. Who knows? She could become your web designer and take the photos on her smartphone you simply won’t have time to take yourself. And, goodness knows, a trip across ten time zones will be a true bonding experience and full of unforgettable memories for you both.
- Choose and/or be chosen by an experienced conductor with several CD’s to his or her credit. With a discography of over 90 recordings, 70 with the National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine alone, Maestro Theodore Kuchar is eminently qualified. It is even better if an unseen force brings the two of you together. I call Him God.
- Make sure the conductor you choose, or who chooses you, has lots of friends who can help out with your CD. Ted made four violinists and an oboist available to me, and James Buswell, a violinist at New England Conservatory, and Rong-Huey Liu, oboist in the Fresno Philharmonic, both redefine the concepts of musician and performing and recording artist. My three new friends took music-making to a much higher level than I could ever have imagined.
With four easy steps like these, I am sure any of us could get started on this project right away. But, even if you need a miracle or four to accomplish these baby steps, the Lord Who has guided me so well is open to any and all who call on Him.