Saturday, May 19, 2012

Being a composer is SO much more than being a composer

In the 8 months since I decided to collaborate with playwright Eric Jones and write the songs for "Liberators" the Musical, the most important thing I've learned is this: Being a composer is SO much more than being a composer. 

What I mean is that when I took the job of this musical's sole composer, the task of reading and internalizing the drama of a 150-page script, writing almost 30 songs, and managing my school work and other projects was daunting yet inspiring, overwhelming yet thrilling. Little did I know how much more to this task there really was. These past several months my job has grown from merely writing songs to finding performers, rehearsing the songs, revising the songs, rehearsing the songs again, revising the songs again, revising the script and lyrics, even singing some of the songs myself on song demos. Then once the songs were done, my job shifted to being the business man, auditioning actors and performers for the cast, making critical choices on which actors would fit which characters, and even cutting some characters from the script altogether in order to condense the material. 

Collaborating with my playwright has evolved the way I think as an artist, not just as a composer and songwriter, but as an artistic professional in general. I've started to gain a good set of editorial skills and I'm constantly analyzing the script to see how we can better deliver the message of the play, constantly revising songs to better shape my work. I think more like a movie director now, with the big picture in mind, not merely viewing my craft through a microscope's lens but trying to see it through the eyes of an audience member. After all, my goal as an artist is to enrich the lives of as many people as I can, and through this collaborative process, I've become more conscious of how to impact people emotionally, how to bring someone from a state of melancholy to a state of ecstasy, and how to convince someone for a few small hours that these imaginary characters on stage are the most important people in the world. The challenge of moving the human spirit through art is the journey that I want my life to center itself on, and I'm more excited than ever to see if I can make a difference in the hearts of a even just a few people.

So, yes, there is a LOT more to being a composer than just composing, which can be extremely difficult to handle, but I wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. Can't wait for you to share some of this music. Rehearsals must be hectic!

  2. Haha yeah they are. I'll post some music soon enough - thanks for the interest!

  3. Congratulations for being chosen as the sole composer of Liberators! I know how hard it is to write songs for a musical when you’re plate is so full with some other things as well. Sometimes, it’s difficult to find inspiration, but as long as you love what you’re doing, I’m sure you’re going to come up with a masterpiece! I hope to see your play soon. Good luck!