A Composer Writes - Postscript
Composer Michael Zev Gordon has completed a new piece - Bohortha (Seven Pieces for Orchestra) which will be premiered on 3 October at the Barbican Hall by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Neeme Järvi.Throughout the process, he downloaded his thoughts and feelings in his regular blog postings here. Michael will return to the Radio 3 Blog in the autumn when his new work goes into rehearsal. Here. he reflects on the process of blogging itself.
One more thing has given me cause to think while writing Bohortha for the BBC Symphony Orchestra - and that’s if writing my blog on it actually had its own effect on the piece, or rather on the composing of the piece. I had to come up with something reasonably articulate in the blog! And as I’ve tried to indicate, composition is as much about clarification and selection as free-flow expression. So by regularly putting into words what doesn’t always easily go into words, there was one more layer of focusing, which may well have had its input into my compositional choices - and even my powers of concentration.
I did, it’s true, write most of the blogs immediately following composition, not while I was actually doing it! That would have got just too much in the way. But something flowed on from the blogs. And I think dividing the process into considered small parts - that blogging made me do - affected the composition too. Despite my moment of blockage, I think it probably speeded things up.
Does that mean I’d do it again? In so public a sphere, perhaps not – or not soon. But it will encourage me greatly to fill more notebooks with something beyond hurried notes to myself. It will push me on towards a more balanced approach between intuition and reason. Balance will always be the goal.
- Find out more about Michael Zev Gordon here.
- Read his twelfth post: Endings
- Read his eleventh post: Bohortha
- Read his tenth post: Of Pain and Angels
- Read his ninth post: Staying Light
- Read his eighth post: In the wilderness
- Read his seventh post: Still centre
- Read his sixth post: Venice once again
- Read his fifth post: Found Objects
- Read his fourth post: Lost Worlds
- Read his third post: Time Travel.
- Read his second post: The composer's dilemma, what to call the piece?
- Read his first post: Composing as it happens.