10. November 2007 · Comments Off on Jennifer Higdon · Categories: Links, Other People's Words, Quotes, Videos, Watch

We played a work by Ms. Higdon last year (Concerto for Orchestra, and in 2004 (Fanfare Ritmico) and I even had a bit of correspondence with her following last year’s performance. I really liked playing her works, and I was quite impressed, as well, with her oboe concerto (I have a recording).

Now there’s this great video that I am just loving. So much of what she says can be related to many different things: writing, music, painting … maybe even parenting (well, except I guess we can’t through our kids away, eh?!). Go watch and listen.

A few quotes:

“I don’t think there’s any way to know how to write a home run piece, though. You write something that’s true, that’s heartfelt, and hope the audience will respond.”

“A lot of it maybe happens instinctively.”

“I give myself permission to fail on things.”

“If it doesn’t work I throw the piece away.”

“Every time I start a new piece I think, “I can’t remember how to write.” I think that every time.”

“The doubt is rampant, and the suffering is massive.”

(Hey, Eighth Blackbird is playing and they aren’t all wearing black and yet they still sound good. how can that happen?! I thought black was the answer! … okay … just kidding ….)

Now I’m no Jennifer Higdon. As I’ve frequently said, I’m not in a top orchestra. I consider myself a “B player” (I guess it’s like a B film, eh?) I love what I do, and I know I haven’t the determination, perseverance or talent for the “A folks”. That’s okay. It takes all kinds, you know? But no matter where we play, we all deal with similar stresses and fears. What she says about the fear of failure is so darn true.

I love hearing snippets of her works, too … now I am in the mood to play some more of her music. I’d love it if SSV would do Blue Cathedral.

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