21 days to go...

shopping-cart-hiHappy NZ Music Month! A week has gone already and that means my music month project is well underway. Here is an overview of the first things I have considered... WHAT AM I GOING TO USE The biggest decision, which could make or break this project is what software I am going to use. There are three options:

  • Manual - things could just be listed on the website with purchase details and if someone wants to buy it they will notify me and we will organise payment and distribution. That's far too much work - not a good option.
  • Shopify - is an appealing option, I can still host it on my site if I wish, can have automatic PDF downloads, automatic payments, manage on my iPhone and more, much more - it's a great service! But, it's so expensive. US$348 a year for the most basic option - I'd prefer to keep that money in my pocket.
  • Shopp - this is a platform that you install on your Wordpress site and you can do everything you can do on Shopify (basically!) and all for just a single license of US$55. There will be a bit more work on the backend, compared to Shopify, but it still makes it the absolute best option for me.

WHAT PIECES AM I GOING TO LIST I've decided on the following list of pieces to start with. Generally my most popular pieces and a nice whole number of ten. A mix of orchestral, choral, chamber and solo pieces:

  • bubble (wind orchestra)
  • blimp (orchestra)
  • Wild Daisies (choir)
  • Dancing Lilies (choir)
  • Dancing Thistles (strings)
  • In Their Light (string quartet)
  • as pen meets paper (viola)
  • This Day (piano)
  • Picture for Emily (piano)
  • A Holiday Thought (piano)

Very soon after, my microscores will follow, but this is a good place to start.

NEXT STEP In the next post I will look at:

  • What to think about as a publisher.
  • Editing the listed pieces.

2011 through the eyes of a blog

And just like that, another year is gone! Here is a look at my posts for the year. thinking web picThe blogging year started in March with my favourite book arriving, "Behind Bars", which I preordered in 2010. It is definitely the most used book on my shelf! I then talked about two approaching projects:

In April I introduced my new work, "blimp", and reviewed two projects - a song I helped a friend create and my work at the BOP music school:

May was a busy month, so in June I talked about what I had been up to - writing 31 microscores and the premiere of "blimp":

In July I posted the video I worked on with Sideways Productions:

In August and September I covered my involvement in the KBB Music Festival and some composition tutorials that I held in Kerikeri:

October was the kick off of the Rugby World Cup here in New Zealand, I talked about my involvement in the opening ceremony and also made a post about what exactly I do when "preparing music" and why you would need someone like me to do it:

December means Christmas and I posted some Christmas carols that I prepared for my students. I also composed a new "holiday" piece for my Christmas post:

Happy New Year everyone, bring on 2012!

"blimp" lands in Auckland

My new work for orchestra, "blimp", finally landed in Auckland on the 1st of May - premiered by the Auckland Symphony Orchestra at the Auckland Town Hall. It is a short work commissioned by the orchestra and their conductor Peter Thomas. It received a second performance on the 8th of May at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna. This was followed by its inclusion in their "Proms" concerts on the 18th and 19th of June. A great first month and a half for a new work! 20110501 blimp premiere 12

"Blimp [noun] a small, non-rigid airship or dirigible, especially one used chiefly for observation."

The idea I tried to portray is that for me I think of blimps as being slightly odd, awkward to get off the ground and driven by men who are a little loopy; but, once in the air, they jauntily go about their purpose.

20110501 blimp premiere 5

I was extremely happy with the performance, the orchestra did a wonderful job and loved playing it. It was also great to get such positive feedback from the audience after all four concerts.

Watch the live performance from 8th May here:

Or listen to a good audio recording here:

20110501 blimp premiere 1

blimp, for orchestra

My new piece for orchestra, blimp, began rehearsals last night. It was commissioned for the Auckland Symphony Orchestra by their conductor, Peter Thomas. It will be premiered at the Auckland Town Hall and Bruce Mason Centre in their May "Up, Up and Away!" concerts. Inspiration was drawn from the concert theme and with a little help from some friends, blimps seemed an ideal title and topic.

Blimp [noun] a small, non-rigid airship or dirigible, especially one used chiefly for observation.

For me, I think of blimps as being slightly odd, awkward to get off the ground and driven by men who are a little loopy; but, once in the air, they jauntily go about their purpose. I love this idea, and the music hopefully portrays this in its short two minute duration.


The concert also features Die Fledermaus Overture, Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2 featuring Hong Yul Yang, Jupiter from "The Planets", two great movie soundtracks - "Up" by Michael Giacchino and "E.T." by John Williams - and much more.

Concert 1: Auckland Town Hall, Sunday 1st May, 2:30pm, FREE.

Concert 2: Bruce Mason Centre (Takapuna), Sunday 8th May, 2:30pm, FREE (but ticketed).

It is of course in May, New Zealand Music Month, so you should be overdosing in musical activities - make this one of them. Look forward to seeing you there!

ASO Up, Up, and Away flyer