missed connections despite. I finally decided on a title for the piece I'm writing for the Iowa State Symphony performance in the fall. I've been toying with titles for this piece now for a few months, struggling to get the right confluence of words to inspire my creative self into writing the damned piece. This is the title. I'm telling myself it is.
Titles always come first for me — must come first — before I write a single note of a new piece. It's always been that way. Sometimes a title floats into my head for a piece I never planned on writing, and suddenly it generates the need for a whole new piece (for example, I never planned on writing a work for pierrot ensemble + voice (probably ever), but the title "Sororatorio" popped in my head and I knew I had to write that piece.)
As I was saying, the title always determines the piece, even though the music and the title are unrelated. A title is a title. A piece of music is a piece of music. Berlioz wrote a symphony — his publisher titled it Symphonie Fantastique; Penderecki wrote a piece called 8'37" — his publisher retitled it Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima. I could call the piece I'm about to write "Symphony" or "Untitled" or "Petrachor" and the music wouldn't objectively change at all. The title doesn't tell me what to describe in the music, it does subconsciously tells me how to write it. My music is always objective. My titles are always subjective. My titles trick you into what to listen for.
I've considered other titles for this piece. They include: Down and Out in the Days of Low T, Lincoln In Aspic, I am the Gospel and the Gun, and others that I've forgotten because they probably sucked that much. The titles I didn't use are all pretty descriptive of something, and certainly offered different points of departure, but regardless if I had chosen one of them over mcd, I probably would've written the same music anyhow. N.B. I'm still going to use those titles for something else.
missed connections despite is surely a loaded title. I'm curious to see where it takes me.