September 21, 2005
I spent this afternoon making performance sets of “Damn,” my short piece for clarinet and percussion ensemble. The piece was my first collaboration with choreographer Robert Battle way back in 1998. Until last fall, it had only received a half-dozen performances, all with the Parsons Dance Company. Then, through a strange series of events, the United States Synchronized Swim Team picked up the piece and performed to it at the Olympics in Athens. (They won the Bronze medal.) Since then, I’ve sold several sets, and Robert Spring even commercially recorded the piece this spring.
The only complaint I have about this piece is that I hate making the parts. The score is 8.5×11, and the parts are 11×14, meaning hand-cutting 11×17 pages down to 11×14, and hand taping them. Until today, I’d been making one set at a time as it was ordered, but that became too time consuming, so today I went ahead and made a half-dozen sets, just to cover it for the near (or possibly distant) future.
I hate making parts. Hate it. I hate the tape residue that collects on my fingertips. And it’s boring. And takes forever. But today, for the first time, I made the parts here at my desk at my new place in LA. I used to make parts on the floor of my living room in New York, and the view, if anything, would usually be an episode of Dr. Phil on TiVo. But today, every time I looked up from the mess of papers on my desk, I saw the view of the hills and the reservoir.
This made me realize three things. First, I could get used to this place. Second, I should stop bitching about things like making parts. And third, Newman and Melissa really need to come visit, maybe on a day during which turkey might be served.
(Wha? Where’d that last part come from? Was that too obvious?)