March 02, 2013

Late Composition Competition Syndrome

Still no word from the composition competition which leads us to believe we have another victim in what Elsie calls 'Late Composition Competition Syndrome.' It's a syndrome I've had to suffer the results (or lack of results) for years, usually involving a stalemate between judges, no communication to the composers, and it is caused by an inability to judge and apparently, some form of aesthetic quandary.

Eventually, the results are sent out, but once the syndrome occurs, I am never one of the lucky winners. It's because, as I've said my whole life, "Mediocrity always Triumphs over Incomprehensibility."

Last night when I got up to check for an email, I flirted with the idea of putting, either on the score or in notes at IMSLP, for what contest this piece was written and even the judge's names and the number of entrants.

That way, history would have a record of this kind of incompetent decision-making. Amazingly, some calls for scores such as 60x60 expect all of the entrants to dedicate the piece to the performer. It's all part of the commodification of the composer into being a service-provider - that is unless we try to do something unique and unexpected. But I decided I have enough on my plate to risk enmity.

What is amazing about this contest - which I won't name - is that there were only 35 entrants, and there are to be 2 winners. Toss out half of them for being plain old incompetent, that's 8 real competitors.

Please, if you're running a call for scores, treat the composers with professionalism, take risks, don't just throw out the outliers - pick the outliers. Why are you even in the new music field if you can't stand a little controversy? It's more likely they're the future than that watered-down John Adams clone piece you end up picking. And be on time or at least stay in communication with the composers. Every composer who enters your competition or call deserves to know who was picked. I can't tell you how many times I've written a piece for a call for scores and never even received a 'Thank you for your submission' email. You expect our scores to arrive on time. You expect them to be professionally typeset, etc. Treat us with respect.


Posted by jeff at 01:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack