Collaborate with a living composer
To collaborate with a living composer, different roles work together in a dynamic way, informing each other in the process of creating something greater than the sum of its parts.
In addition, each role can be described as follows:
This term can refer to the conductor or choir, the institution with which the choir is affiliated, or a group representing the institution. The commissioner’s responsibility is to have a vision for the work, understanding the spirit of the project, and providing or facilitating the acquisition of the resources for making the project happen.
Most often, an individual or group of individuals acts as the representative for the institution that is affiliated with the choir. This may be the conductor of the choir, the president of the choir, or a group or individuals affiliated with the choir.
Anyone can commission a piece of music. There is no special criteria needed to begin the process. Every commission is written to be completely unique to the needs of the commissioner. Large universities might ask to write music for their special events. A small church choir in a tiny rural town might commission a work as a dedication to its director. Even individuals might personally commissioned music to honor a loved one or special occasion.
If you have a vision for a musical collaboration, you have everything you need to begin the process.
The composer’s main responsibility is to discover the essence of the commissioner’s vision, immerse themselves in researching the text, and translate that into musical ideas. The process involves a wide variety of steps, from interaction with the commissioner, to research, text setting, sketching, orchestration, engraving, editing and proofing, to the final delivery of the score and parts.
The conductor’s role is to provide musical leadership and turn the composer’s notation into a living, breathing, musical work. The conductor provides a layer of meaning and, in many ways, has the broadest perspective of what the collaboration means to the institution, the choir, and the community in which the collaboration takes place.
The conductor’s years of musical training and expertise are used to convert the musical ideas into an experience for the choir and the community.
The performer is responsible for having and instrument that will perform the written music, and musical training that allows him or her to express the intention of the work. The performer should be able to add personal expression of what the work means to him or her, and the community in which the piece is being performed.
The audience is the group of people in the community who are responsible for making space in their lives to attend the performance. They are able to interact with the live performance of the work by being able to relate the music to their own ilves. After experiencing the performance, they find that they have been changed for the better and have learned something about themselves and the world around them.
It is only when each of these roles fulfills their responsibility that a new musical work can be created. The new musical work is the sum of all of the people who come together for the purpose of sponsoring, writing, rehearsing, and performing the new work. This in turn inspires the community, the commissioner, the composer, conductor, choir and larger community.