Inspired by Composers Voice

Composer’s Voice, a concert series directed by Douglas DaSilva, is an engine for creativity. It’s a project of Vox Novus, which also produces the 60×60 hour-long sets of 1-minute pieces. Composer’s Voice presents concerts in New York City and occasionally elsewhere in the world.

For me, the 15-Minutes-of-Fame project, part of Composer’s Voice, is the creative engine. The process is:

  • A performer or ensemble steps forward and offers to perform 15 one minute pieces in a concert set called 15-Minutes-of-Fame. 
  • A call for scores goes out with what ever theme or criteria the performer wants. 
  • Composers who are inspired by that theme or instrumentation submit their one minute pieces.  
  • The performer selects 15 of them and the concert happens. 

Composer’s Voice has a YouTube channel where you can see some of the results. Most of the concerts are in New York City at Jan Hus Church but they happen in other places too, wherever the performers want to put together a concert.

Current calls for scores include one-minute waltzes, soprano with piano –
one performer, Occupy Cello, soprano and piano duet to be performed in
Romania, and wild music for contrabass clarinet. Get the details at Composer’s Voice at voxnovus.com. The one-minute piece idea comes from Vox Novus 60×60 projects and allows a lot of composers to participate.

I love the creative stimulus — I’m invited to write for a great variety of instruments, and I can polish up an idea relatively quickly. I think of these miniatures as creative puzzles that encourage experimenting.  I’ve written six or seven and three have been chosen for performance. The ones that weren’t chosen have become seeds for other pieces. Now I’ve got an ongoing sketch book of ideas that are more developed than the little phrases I scribble on paper at times.

Sunday January 13 1pm, I’ll be in New York to hear my one-minute harp piece “Cloud” played by Jasmin Cowin. (concert info; btw, the admission charge at Jan Hus Church is canned goods.) Even before I hear the premiere, I’m sure “Cloud” is a seed for something bigger.

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