Commissioning Mission Statement
Making a new work celebrates the gift of music in a novel and deep way. It’s building a specially crafted universe detail by detail from the inside out. A sonic space whose creation you are fostering and being a part of. It’s like giving a new piece of visual art, or a miniature garden with each detail carefully cultivated.
You decide how much input you’d like - you can supply the full lyric yourself, or even just list a few of the dedicatee’s interests and I’ll compose the lyric. You’ll get periodic updates so you can see what’s shaping up.
The process of crafting a song is unique every time. I like to start with building the world the song takes place in. If you think about it, even the simplest love song or poem crosses a threshold into an imaginary space. Out of that space will come a moment, a character, an image, a story, and suddenly we’ve answered that question - ‘why are we singing?’ And that unleashes the stuff the song is made out of.
I like to work with a process that’s kind of like sculpture. There are many different layers and they all inform each other. The drama, the moment - is it serious? funny? The lyrics, the poetic form, the cadence of the words, all taking us to the world of the story. The music - the harmony, the melody coming out of the physical motion of the voice and hands on an instrument. What genres will it touch on? The relationship between lyrics and music. The counterpoint. The instruments. The vocal harmonies.
As you go, the song gets more tactile - the colors more vivid. Mixing and mastering blends them, bringing out lines and shapes. What you’re left with is a living ecosystem of balanced forms, of emotion. Then it’s ready to be shared.
A new world - that’s what you’re giving when you commission a new work. You receive physical artifacts that are a map of that world - a score, a compact disc. The gift itself is an audio sculpture that you and who you’re giving it to experience together.