I’ve been updating my progress on my piano concerto recently. One of my main points in doing this is just to allow other composers (or even non-composers) to see my process of writing a large, complex piece. But there’s one thing I’ve been keeping hidden that I just remembered to share now. This is my second try at a piano concerto. The timestamp on the file says 2002-12-30, so that’s the closest estimate I have for when I was working on this (hmm, now I wish I would have kept track of dates more closely). I can’t find my first try yet, but I’ll post when I do.
I notice a few things about my composing style and skill at that point as compared to now: I seem to have become a little more conservative pianisticly. I really like some of the piano writing in this second try. But I also seem to have increased my thematic attention span by quite a bit (and it’s still not as long as I’d like it to be). This second try seems to have three times as much stuff as the first movement of my most recent concerto, but it’s only half as long. I consider this to be a good thing; bombarding the listener with too many new themes is just irritating. And my orchestral writing has really come together since that time. I’m not really sure what did it. I probably only wrote ten total minutes of orchestral music between the two concertos. I think there are two factors: 1. ten minutes is a lot when you consider orchestral music; 2. I started listening to a wider variety of classical and noticing the orchestration more critically. Something tells me that it’s more the latter than the former.