This is the official start of my blog! eighth blackbird was in town this weekend to play at the People's Symphony series downtown. They sounded first rate. I have been officially put on notice to make all final corrections, as they are going to start memorizing "Tied Shifts" imminently.
At some point, you have to send a piece - like a child - out into the world, whether because it's being published, recorded, or memorized. At this point, you have to "let go", and that can be hard. The French poet Paul Valéry wrote "A poem is never finished, only abandoned," and I suppose this holds true for music (and art as well, since Leonardo da Vinci apparently uttered an almost an identical phrase several centuries earlier). One almost always finds at least one small detail, in print, on recording, or in performance that one wishes could be altered retroactively. Alas, it is permanent for eternity, or at least until the next edition (thus: errata lists, which destroy the neatness of publication, but preserve the mystery of unfinished-ness...). To extend the metaphor, children certainly depart from their parents as unfinished works. One could well argue that our entire lives are unfinished works. So putting the "finishing touches" on a piece of music, though often a relief, often feels like a futile ritual for me.
Nonetheless, here I go.