Dreamily and fitfully at first, as vague initial ideas start to emerge; then more continuously, as they gradually turn into stronger, more potent ideas. Mostly I work out pieces at the keyboard, but walking and cycling are also an important part of the process.
Due to the specific repertoire I perform in recitals (American living composers) and the fact that I didn’t win any major competitions, the biggest challenge I have encountered and continue to encounter is getting my name out there, getting my name and the quality of my performances in front of presenters and orchestra directors.
One thing we love about playing modern and new music is the range of experiences that the music can offer: some pieces demand an emotional response, some are more experimental or Zen, some are purely intellectual, and some are connected to the wider world (including nature, science, history, and politics). We believe we have succeeded if we can communicate some of that experience to the audience.
Be real. Either be totally yourself, or enter so fully into the performance that you become the performance.
Ultimately, the composer merely devises a notated “recipe” for a musical work of art, while the performers are the “chefs” and “servers”.
Primarily that music should inspire. Whether this is through performance or composition does not matter; the principle is the same. Music should never be routine, it must always be special.