Saturday, January 20, 2018

Exploratory Concepts in Vergient Composition: 'Phasient Nativism and Plyiant Neuroconstructivism'

Excerpt 19.  41 Seconds for Soprano.

                                                       "Dreams and Anxieties in the Dune-Like Fragments of Her Body" commissioned work in                                                                 progress for Soprano Saxophone and Bassoon.

I am inspired by various theorems and this post from Philosotroll certainly resonated with my thinking. 

I am sharing this with my input.

                    "Dreams and Anxieties in the Dune-Like Fragments of Her Body" commissioned work in
progress for Soprano Saxophone and Bassoon.

                    "Dreams and Anxieties in the Dune-Like Fragments of Her Body" commissioned work in progress for Soprano Saxophone and Bassoon.

Radical concept nativism is the thesis that virtually all notational concepts are innate. Notoriously endorsed by Jerry Fodor, radical concept nativism has had few supporters. However, it has proven difficult to say exactly what's wrong with Fodor's argument. We show that previous responses are inadequate on a number of grounds. 

Chief among these is that they typically do not achieve sufficient distance from Fodor's dialectic, and, as a result, they do not illuminate the central question of how new primitive concepts are acquired. To achieve a fully satisfactory response to Fodor's argument, one has to juxtapose questions about conceptual content with questions about cognitive development. 

To this end, we formulate a general schema for thinking about how concepts are acquired and then present a detailed illustration.

Nativism is a theory advanced by a number of leading evolutionary psychologists, especially Steven Pinker.

Nativism is the view that there are certain intuitive psychological distinctions that develop in individuals or populations, things like aesthetic preferences, and that there are widely held characteristics that are a part of all human beings by virtue of genetics, like language, sound and forethought. 

Purely through the genetically determined features of development, psychological features will emerge.

Neuroconstructivism, by contrast, is a view articulated best by Annette-Karmiloff Smith. The view asserts, basically, that there are a number of psychological features which are actively influenced by the environment. 

We have to have an environment behave in a certain way, Karmiloff-Smith argues, in order to realize what we consider a "neuro-typical" brain and mind. This doesn't reject the significance of genetic considerations, but rather includes a caveat: that we are really bound up in a discussion of complex factors in the development of our psychology.  

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Part Two: On Composers Winning Commissions

This is the second in an ongoing series of articles I am writing about obtaining commissions to write, publish and perform your compositions.

Now, do not continue if you believe the only path to become a successful composer is to starve. If you believe that you are 'selling out' if you accept commissions from very large companies (who on the surface are seemingly counterintuitive to you beliefs), this is not the article for you.

For those of you who think it is impossible to get sponsorships or funding for your composition, performances or publications of you work, let's examine a few interesting options... just opening a door here.

For the last several years I have been providing private composition lessons for the son (8 years old and very intuitive) of the CEO of one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

This same pharmaceutical company has underwritten four of my compositions and three of the performances.  How did I find this opportunity?  Simple research.

Sign up for LinkedIn.

Be a professional about looking for underwriting opportunities.

We all know the brilliant HatHut label.  If it was not for Lufthansa, they may not have ever launched. I say that, but Werner is a fairly resourceful man.  He most likely would have found another sponsor.

Look at the sponsors for the Summer Courses at Darmstadt (Hello, and thank you Merck KGaA) and reach out to the individuals who have titles like External Community Affairs Director, and Community Relations Manager.

Now as I mentioned previously, create a value proposition for them.

Ask yourself "What can you bring to them?"  Imagine you are in their role, you have a certain dollar sum to expend, and you are screening all of the possible individuals, organizations, etc. that come looking for financial support.

Now be creative...

MerckKGaA.  Drug Company.  Global Headquarters: Darmstadt, Germany.

They are a sponsor of the Summer Music Classes.  Who is also headquartered in Darmstadt who is not a sponsor?


Look at the major contemporary music concerts and festivals around the world.  All have sponsors. Ask yourself, why do they sponsor contemporary new music?

As you look at the image at the beginning of this article you are looking at an ad which will run in the Donaeuschingen Music Days Program this October.  It's one of two placed by Laboratorie New Music in the program.

Guess who paid for those ads?

More to come on this subject...

Saturday, January 13, 2018

"Velocity Infuses Beryllium Plated Monsters Whose Rivets and Scales Shimmer". The Score

"Velocity Infuses Beryllium Plated Monsters Whose Rivets and Scales Shimmer"

For Septet.

Bil Smith Composer

2009, 2011, 2015

A Dedication to Renee Baker and Claes Oldenburg

Commissioned by Itochu.