Monday, August 18, 2008

A career path for composers

The TSO Australian Composers' School started today. I have been the co-ordinator of the school for the past two years, but this year my role was limited only to liaising with applicants and helping out with the selection process simply because I have been up to my ears with my piece and doing the Baby Thang.

Anyway, this morning I took Lillian along to the Welcome session, and we stayed to listen to part of Gerard Brophy's lecture which began by talking about a career path for composers. What? Yes, that's right, there really isn't one. I can't very well comment on the entire gist of the lecture because I had a small child on my lap who kept dropping her toy and trying to grab my lips with her hands, but Gerry touched on many topics including dealing with contracts, being necessarily concerned with earning a living to house, feed and clothe one's family, the fact that we are surrounded by music particularly in the iPod and movie-music generation, how some composers have been writing ringtones (I'm not sure if he was serious about this one) to earn some cash...

It's hard. In many ways being an academic is of course an easier option, and one that many composers choose to take simply because of the certainty of earning a salary. Theoretically, composers who work at a university have a fair degree of time in the week/year in which to write music, but in today's academic climate there are so many other things that need doing, you barely get any time to write music as part of your job and if you do, you're either lucky or determined not to be sunk into an administrative black hole. And of course, being an academic is never easy because getting a job in the first place is hard enough.

Anyway, I have to stop now. My baby won't stop crying even though she's supposed to be asleep, the washing is almost finished and I have to go and dig out some old yellow curtain material to make some duck feet for the four-year-old's Book Week costume for tomorrow, which I found out about, oh, 5 hours ago. Gee, being a composer is so romantic and productive.

Edited the nasty bits out on 27 August...

1 comment:

Dani said...

digress away my friend - catharsis rocks : )