This is my second time at the SaM summer school, and looking back, I can safely say that I’ve improved in many ways, not only in a practical sense, but also in terms of attitude.
One of the challenges I’ve found is writing a finished piece to a deadline; my first piece had the makings of a completed composition, but lacked a strong identity, something that I feel I’ve captured in this years composition. It helped that between both summer schools I’ve found a sort of ground I can stand on, and not feel insecure about my material or people’s opinion of it.
On a more practical note (like concert C), I have noticed that composing away from the instruments and Sibelius does lead to both more natural and/or ambitious ideas. I feel it is also important to look at your material as a musician, and not just as a composer.
This years composition, and other pieces I have played and/or composed has also led me to believe that material that has been forced, or made to impress people, never really sounds as stuff that I could hear or feel before I put it on paper.
Can I also just say that this year was so rad and inspiring!