This week I received the news that my former piano teacher, Boyanna Toyich, passed away. When I saw the news ...
As a composer, one of the steps in the creative process that I often find mentally difficult to grapple with is coming up with a title for a new work. Sometimes it can be so annoying that I often wish I could just call something “Untitled”. But it’s never gotten that bad that I’ve had to do that:)! Often short and nondescript titles can be effective but a short title that captures the essence and mood of the piece is even better. Then there’s times when I just go off the rails completely.
Probably the craziest, longest and most unique titles I ever named one of my pieces is “What the Walls Feel as they Stare at Rob Ford Sitting in his Office“. From an artistic perspective, my aim was to grasp what the mood of the piece is although I feel that might have back-fired on me since some might find the title flippant. I also know for a fact that some people instantly poo-pooed this piece just because of the title.
The plan is to include this piece on a new album coming out later this year. Time will tell if it’s title will help or hinder the piece. This and other previous experiences have only reminded me of how important picking the right title can be.
Here are other composition titles that I absolutely adore…
1. Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet – Gavin Bryars
2. Out Of Egypt, Into The Great Laugh Of Mankind, And I Shake The Dirt From My Sandals As I Run – Sufjan Stevens
3. The Abduction from the Seraglio – WA Mozart
4. About As Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help At All – Dan Mangan
5. On The Transmigration Of Souls – John Adams
6. Dark Time in the Revolution – Laurie Anderson