Had breakfast in Shanghai, lunch in Tianjin, and dinner in Beijing. Interesting day, to say the least.
Found this opinion piece at the New York Times, and it’s wonderful reading—not just for musicians, but writers, too. The creation of music and words, I’ve always felt, is one and the same—or so close, it doesn’t matter. It’s called The Score: Advice to Young Composers:
Why would I want to hover between being a greenhorn and seasoned old hand? So I can retain the excitement and the willingness to make mistakes that come with youthful enthusiasm, and temper it with the knowledge, skills, and confidence that come with experience. As the decades pass, there’s nothing I’d like more than to be a young composer trapped inside the body of a grand old lady. So I try to keep these points in mind:
Always consider yourself a young composer. Throughout your life as a composer there will always be more to learn, more to explore, and more to write.
Take your work seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Once you’ve recovered from the grand aesthetic statement you just made, make sure your music is actually playable. And, hopefully, readable.
Folks sometimes ask me where I see myself in five years, ten, fifteen…a lifetime. Well, alive and healthy, hopefully. Surrounded by loved ones. But I would also like to be a young composer inside the body of a grand, adventuring, eccentric, oldish lady. Young at heart, young at heart. You can never go wrong if you stay young at heart.