For a composer to start a new composition, these are some basic elements the composer considers:
Valarie Morris can work with you to design a new composition for your group or art opening, for theatre, opera, or dance, for a wedding, a birthday, or an anniversary, to commemorate other special events and occasions, and for any other reason. Because you want to commission a new work of music and add your own distinctive composition to the world's repertoire is a perfect reason!
Bringing your vision to life is an exciting collaborative adventure, all part of the creative process. Do you want to give the composer latitude in suggesting ideas for the composition based on your current thoughts, or do you have most of the details figured out? Valarie Morris can work with you in the way that's best for you and your commissioning experience.
Working with musicians to showcase their talents is another top priority for Valarie. "I love to work closely with musicians when I create a new composition. It's a wonderful way for me to learn more about their instruments and the possibilities. And for me, listening to rehearsals and performances is the icing on the cake!"
Benefits for You
When you commission a new composition, you can share the creative experience of composing music with the composer and performers as the composition develops. The performance offers a range of enjoyments where you also receive recognition for your generosity in bringing the new work to life. A special acknowledgement in the published score recognizes your important role. If you want to dedicate the composition to anyone or group, the score also shows your dedication.
Opening Night, commissioned by Roberta Mandel
"I've been following Valarie Morris's compositions for many years and love the string quartet she wrote for me. On top of her musical talents, Valarie brings a highly developed social conscience to her work." Roberta Mandel
The 8-Minute Genetically Modified Opera, commissioned by William Ballowe and Elizabeth Mitchell, for a vocalist with theatrical tendencies, horn, and piano
Music for The Gloaming, O My Darling, Director Susan Chast's UC Berkeley Summer Playhouse production, for flute, bassoon, piano, violin, and percussion
"Unique and powerful music came out of collaborative art. As the actors and I shaped the drama, Valarie shaped the music with beautiful results." Susan Chast, director of The Gloaming, O My Darling, a play by Megan Terry
Memories from the Continents, Santa Fe Flute Choir, a collaborative work with an important story from each continent
Voices of Shekhinah: Four Illuminations, San Diego Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra with funding in part by a grant from the American Music Center
"Voices of Shekhinah: Four Illuminations, a major work, combined historical precision with a weighty and informative text together with music of appeal and relevance. The process of commissioning the new work was precise, punctual, and worked out very smoothly. I still hear from people who vividly remember the performances." David Amos, conductor, Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra
Many factors come into play when negotiating the cost to commission a new composition. The length of the piece, the number of performers, the due date, and the level of difficulty are a few when you join the process of composing music.
Other Parts of the Process
Perhaps you want the composer to prepare and give a talk to audiences, create the final copies of the score and parts, handle all the publishing details, or participate in rehearsals. Or perhaps you want to cover the cost to professionally record the work as a keepsake for you and that the composer may use for her own promotion. These are other factors that can come into play.
Several years ago, Meet the Composer, Inc. published a comprehensive guide that covers just about everything for just about any type of project in Commissioning Music: A Basic Guide. As you can imagine, the cost can vary widely, depending on the situation, from hundreds of dollars to thousands.
To clarify the details of each commissioning project, Valarie Morris works with you and carefully prepares an agreement for the project to best express the understandings and expectations. Payments are often scheduled in two or three increments based on the size of the project and agreed upon milestones.
If you have an idea for a new composition or if you have any questions about commissioning a new work, contact Valarie Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 505 995-0505.