Commissions are the life-blood of a composer. While most composers make money in many different ways — teaching, royalties from existing works, and so on — it is through commissioning that the composer is allowed to exercise the craft of composition with the most freedom.
What can you commission?
One of the most exciting parts about commissioning a new piece of art is that there are essentially no restrictions on what you can ask for. I personally love the challenge of trying to solve each commission, from the very specific (“This is my partner’s favourite poem, and I’d like a three-minute setting for tenor, cello, and piano.”) to the very general (“I’d like up to ten minutes of whatever you’d like to write.”).
What do you get?
Although everything is subject to negotiation, commissioners can generally expect to receive:
- a new musical work for the instrumentation and (approximate) duration desired;
- a PDF of all scores and parts necessary for performance;
- right of first refusal on commercial recordings and broadcasts, for two years from the date of completion;
- if a commercial recording is made, the mechanical royalties for up to 1,000 units.
How much will it cost?
The fee for a commission depends on a wide variety of factors: the size of the ensemble, the exact instrumentation, the duration of the work, the type of work, the time frame, and so on. There is a composer for every commission, and for every budget, and every commission is subject to negotiation—don’t hesitate to drop me an email and discuss the possibilities.
Are there other ways to support me?
Absolutely! For a fraction of the cost of an equivalent commission, you can “re-commission” or “re-dedicate” an existing non-commissioned work, or commission a new arrangement or excerpt of any existing work (commissioned or otherwise). For a very small amount, you can “sponsor” the engraving of the score of a piece which currently lacks a publication-ready score. Many of my works don’t have a good recording, which is something you could fund. And of course, for absolutely no money at all, you can spread the word about me and my music to anyone who will listen.
What’s the next step?
Drop me an email and we’ll begin discussing the possibilities!