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  • Writer's pictureisaacrsmith

The best thesis is a finished thesis

I think for every person who has ever completed a large thesis, dissertation, etc, there comes the point where the perfectionist inside wants the project to be absolutely perfect, but there simply isn't enough time before the deadline to make all of the edits necessary to achieve what we perceive as "perfection." This was certainly the case with my thesis, but now that I am on the other side of this piece and have had a bit of time to distance myself from it, I can look back and take a lot of pride in what I accomplished. "on the subject of loneliness," for soprano and 15 instruments, is the result of countless hours and many late nights over the last 11 months or so. It is about twice as long as anything I had written previously, it was one of the largest ensembles I have written for, and it was my first time experimenting with a lot of new compositional techniques. This is all to say that I feel I have grown exponentially as a composer since beginning this piece. My sense of timing and form developed through having to shape a cohesive work over a 25-minute period. My treatment of vocal writing transformed as I had to balance a soprano soloist with such a large ensemble. My approach to notating rhythm and meter moved toward a very performer-based approach, as I had to think about how such a large ensemble could stay together despite playing sometimes difficult rhythmic figures. I am extremely grateful to have this experience, but I am also very happy that it is over!

Unfortunately, there are no plans in place currently to perform this work, but I will be on the lookout for calls for scores and competitions where I can hopefully submit this piece. After a short period of rest this summer, it is onto the next project for me!

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