What Can Choral Music Be?

What Can Choral Music Be? began as a podcast in 2019 exploring the creative process as related to the composition of contemporary music — with an emphasis on choral music. Slowly, these short explorations have been transforming into an long-form article series exploring each subject in greater depth and focus.

If you’re new to What Can Choral Music Be?, I recommend you start here for an overview of the article series. You can also check out the introductory episode of the Podcast.

I hope you’ll join me in either medium as we explore æsthetics, semiotics, and the creative process, and together ask the question: What Can Choral Music Be?

The Podcast

The Blog

How may one deploy cliché yet retain artistic agency?
Is there a foolproof method of harnessing cliché?

How do clichés function within a work of art? Why are they so pernicious, and how exactly do they take artistic agency away from the composer?

Avoiding cliché can often be a self-defeating objective. Understanding the Semiotics of cliché, however, can prove extremely powerful.

By creating works that are essentially decorations of other artists’ texts, do we give up too much artistic freedom?

The act of text setting is a ubiquitous part of the choral compositional process, but does it present æsthetic problems?

What “default settings” do we use in our music, and how can we be sure we’re making deliberate artistic choices?

Do “default settings” in the creative process affect the structure of the final work? Are product and process the same thing?

You wanna know the secret to writing good choral music?
Stop writing choral music.

The True Future of Choral Music starts here.

Lectures, Presentations, & Discussions

Full-length guest-lecture at Ithaca College ACDA on choral music and the creative process. 26 October 2021.

ComposerChat with Indiana University ACDA & Student Composers’ Association. 17 November 2020.

Q+A with with Indiana University ACDA & Student Composers’ Association after ComposerChat. 17 November 2020.