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Music & Academia (In or Out): Interview with Jon Fielder

Posted on June 2, 2021

In this series, I interview musicians about their experiences in academia. I hope their stories will help readers forge their own paths, in or out of the institution. I recently interviewed Jon Fielder. Jon is a composer of electroacoustic and acoustic music, with strong interests in timbre, texture, spatialization and narrative. His music is inspired by natural landscapes, various topics of science and mathematics, the human voice (spoken, sung or just noise), and literature. Jon’s music has been presented and performedRead More

Preview: Music and Academia (In or Out) interview series

Posted on May 19, 2021

I’ve been able to keep up a good rhythm of blog posts since I started last year, until the last month. My way of working has been to put in some time and generate a number of posts, then schedule them in advance. Between our baby, work, side work, and writing a paper, I’ve had to neglect this blog. But I have something really interesting in the works. So far, I’ve tried to use this blog to provide advice andRead More

ASN in rehearsal with Bent Frequency

About summer festivals and workshops

Posted on April 21, 2021

Late spring semester is a stressful yet exciting time for college musicians. People are hearing about acceptances to grad schools and jobs, and people are trying to finish theses and put on recitals. This is also a time when applications for summer festivals are due. Summer music festivals are essential experiences for musicians. Not only do they give you a chance to live and breathe music for a few weeks, but you get tremendous networking out of this. You’ll meetRead More

Auxiliary skills for musicians: concert and album programs

Posted on April 7, 2021

There are numerous considerations in planning concert programs, so I can’t address them all. And if you’re planning a degree recital, you may have some requirements like genre or era (a Baroque piece, a chamber piece) that constrain what you can include. Likewise, orchestras have a pretty constrained format: opener, concerto, intermission, symphony or other “big” piece. If you are producing an album, you likely have more leeway, particularly in regards to logistics and personnel. But here a few generalRead More

Auxiliary skills for musicians: graphics

Posted on March 24, 2021

Disclaimer: I am not a graphic designer and would not presume to teach you the best practices of graphic design. When it is time for your published book or CD, or you want to make a big splash with your new festival, definitely hire a graphic designer. But when you just need to knock out a recital poster or a social media post, here are some things to keep in mind. Software If you have the funds (or a student/staffRead More

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Auxiliary skills for musicians: shooting video

Posted on March 10, 2021

Even before the pandemic, video was becoming a necessity for musicians. You need audition videos for festivals and grad school, and you need to be on YouTube and social media (video or it didn’t happen). If you are able to hire someone to make a video, please do so—they’ll know way more than I can convey here. But if you need, or want to learn, here are a few musician-centric tips for making videos: Play in a well-lit room MostRead More

Photo by Monica Silvestre from Pexels

Auxiliary skills for musicians: public speaking

Posted on February 24, 2021

Most musicians are going to have to speak in public at some point. While the most famous soloists may get away with only playing, it’s become expected to address the audience, at least briefly. There are entire books about public speaking (a top fear shared by 75% of the population), so this post will just scratch the surface. Stage fright I’ve been blessed not to have a bad case of this, so it’s hard to give advice about cooling yourRead More

Auxiliary skills for musicians: stage management

Posted on February 10, 2021

At some point in your music career, you will probably (hopefully?) put on a performance. Whether it is your senior recital or an improv ensemble in a DIY art gallery, there are some basic things to think about regarding “stage management.” (You should know also that “stage management” in theatre is very different and in many ways, more complex. Here I’m talking primarily about classical performance.) Your crew Sometimes you do it all yourself, sometimes you can recruit a fewRead More

Editing in Pro Tools

Auxiliary skills for musicians: editing audio

Posted on January 27, 2021

I’ve been planning to write on this for awhile, but with The Rise of Covid, more musicians have been asking for this kind of information. Musicians are seeing the need to produce decent recordings on their own, often from home. While a discussion of recording equipment will need to be a separate post, here I want to give some very basic tips for editing and tweaking audio. I’m sure we’ve all heard a lot of bad live recordings. You canRead More

lighting cues

Preview: Auxiliary skills blog series

Posted on January 20, 2021

Greetings, friends. I began this blog last summer with the intention of combining some reflections on my creative work with practical advice for emerging composers. Coming up in the next few months, I have a loosely-connected series that should help all (classical) musicians. I’m calling it “Auxiliary skills.” I’ve taught music technology classes for many years, and used these to cover some gaps in music education. As a colleague once remarked, “we are preparing students for a music career inRead More

Welcome and thanks for checking out my work! -adam

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