The best way for concert music to survive and thrive is through the creation and promotion of new pieces. This is historically how the world of classical music has operated, and only recently has it changed its paradigm to one of constant recycling of older works. One way in which I have strived to help reverse this trend is by creating my own music through composition and improvisation. Another is by serving as a catalyst to enable the music of other composers to come to life. This is what the commissioning process does. Sometimes, people seek me out to write music for me. Other times, a group of musicians get together to solicit composers to write new music for their instruments. One such formal group is the World-wide Concurrent Premieres and Commissioning Fund, Inc., headed by Kenneth Radnofsky. Piggy-backing off of his idea, I decided to organize a consortium of my own for new saxophone music. If you are unfamiliar with the group-commissioning process, this is how it works:
How group commissioning works
The basic idea is that instead of one person getting all the credit (and shouldering all the financial burden) for commissioning a new work, it is spread out among multiple musicians. These musicians become co-commissioners, and their first performances of the new work become concurrent world premieres. Each musician puts a portion of the composer's fee, plus copying and mailing expenses, into the proverbial pot. In exchange for this, they get ownership of the score and parts, their name on the piece as a co-commissioner (good resumé-building material for graduate students or not-yet-tenured professors), and exclusive recording and performing rights for an agreed-upon time. The composer in turn gets a fair wage for his labor, a large number of worldwide performances in a short amount of time, and retains all publishing rights after the initial period of exclusivity has ended. It's a win-win situation. The performers get the satisfaction of commissioning a piece without having to take out a second mortgage, and the composer gets much more publicity and exposure for the piece than he otherwise would through the traditional commissioning process.
Becoming a co-commissioner
If this is something which interests and intrigues you, I am currently putting together a database of performers and composers to bring to fruition many current and future projects. I will soon have a web form for submitting contact information. In the meantime, please contact me using the contact information at the bottom of this page.
There are currently five open commissioning opportunities:
My first project, a saxophone concerto by Lewis Spratlan, has recently been recorded by the following groups:
It has also been performed several times since its release in 2007:
If you are interested in buying this piece and would like to know more about the composer, a link to his website and sample tracks of his music are posted here.