Music copying: old school

After days of masochistic agony I have finally completed a long-avoided revision of my accordion piece, Light-play through curtain holes, which was originally written in 2010 and premiered by Olivia Steimel. This revision happened at last thanks to the upcoming performance of the work in Vienna as part of the ISCM World New Music Days 2013. The performance will take place on November 11 at 7:30 pm at the Berio-Saal, Konzerthaus, Lothringerstraße 20.

The primary reason I put off this revision for so long was the fact that the original score was done by hand. Just thinking about going through this process all over again made my eyes dry up, my back seize up and my wrists stiffen. Wanting to control every aspect of the layout, I even measured out my own staff lines. It took me days to do just five pages and all I could think was, “thank you to whatever deity might be up there that we have computer software for things like this.”

I love the final result of the hands-on approach; it has a certain density and fluidity hard to replicate in notation software. The lines feel juicier somehow and the possibilities for customization are endless. In this case, the piece seems to look more like it’s supposed to sound.

But, I am eternally grateful that I don’t have to do this with every one of my scores, that this is an aesthetic choice rather than a necessity. I can reserve this labour of love for pieces that would actually gain something from such representation (and I would argue that some wouldn’t).