As artists, most of us are aware of the delicate balance that exists between being true to one’s art and meeting the desires of our audiences. However, these two philosophies need not be in opposition to each other. I feel that is important for all of us to create ways to unite these goals as the perpetuation of quality music depends upon it.
Being a composer, I often envision myself being in the middle of the traditional composer-performer-audience paradigm, instead of at the beginning. I am always looking for ways of how I can meet the needs of performers to help them communicate with and excite their audiences. As a result, I choose to invest all my profits from the sale and performance of my music and recordings into various programs I have designed to help the performer reach out to their audience with both new music and custom arrangements.
I invite all performers and composers to visit my website at http://cooppress.net to look at the grant programs and free offerings as an example of some of these possibilities. Our programs assist performers with commissioning, recording, custom arrangements, and fundraising for non-profit organizations and schools, and are win-win opportunities for both the performer and the composer. I would love to hear your ideas for anything else you think could be done to bring performers, composers and audiences closer together.
I also encourage other composers to consider partnering with performers to help them reach their audiences and I hope that all performers will examine how working closely with a composer can benefit both their own musical development and that of their audiences. There is nothing more stimulating to an audience than hearing a piece of music for the first time and having the composer present to share insights into the creative process. In my opinion, it should a part of every program presented.
Dr. Sy Brandon
Professor Emeritus of Music
Millersville University of Pennsylvania