Daniel Kellogg's Post about his World Premiere

It is Wednesday night, 9:15PM, and I have just returned to the James St. Inn after hearing the first half of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra rehearsal for this Saturday’s concert. In fact I have just returned from hearing my new piece, La Luz, for the first time. It is an interesting truth for the concert music composer that our music is all theoretical until it is played live for the first time. I worked on this piece over a period of months and spent many hours contemplating every detail of color and dynamic. Yet, my imagination is not equal to the real experience of hearing 80 musicians play my piece.

The experience of a “first hearing” can often be terrifying. Many orchestration choices might fail, or passages that I originally thought quite playable might prove near impossible. There is even the fear that the conductor does not know the piece as well as needed to pull it all together in the precious rehearsal time. Some of my first writings for orchestra encountered these problems during a first rehearsal and the immediate reaction is one of horror. The creative artist (not the most emotionally stable creature) may leave a first rehearsal and see their labored creation teetering on edge of the abyss of failure.

But not tonight….

I was absolutely delighted with the rehearsal tonight and am even a bit pleased with my own music (false modesty here). It was a total pleasure or a near drug induced high to hear this music come to life so effortlessly in the hands of Maestro Reischl and the GBSO. It really worked from the first note to the last and there were many moments that gave me shivers. The colors blended beautifully and the breadth of the piece is just what I wanted. I am not sure that I have ever felt quite so positively after a first rehearsal. So many thanks to the musicians who did a great job. Special thanks to Maestro Reischl for really knowing the piece and having very sensitive ideas so early in the process.

Before I congratulate everyone too much, I should mention that the rehearsal tonight was without the choir. They join the ensemble Friday night. So, as pleased as I am, there is still the question of how well did I write the choral part and how will it blend with the orchestra. We shall see…

Random Thoughts About My Trips to Green Bay

-My last visit was filled with snow (on the ground and in the air) and average temperatures around 8F. I believe that the sky was also consistently grey. I arrived last night around 8PM and drove up from Milwaukee in an ongoing downpour and gusty winds. It was a tense and long drive. Edgy from the trip, I was up late and saw it snow around 1AM. Had I not visited in August where it didn’t snow during my 48 hour trip, I might believe it snows all year in Green Bay. When I am back home in Colorado and people ask me what I like about WI, I do not talk about the weather.

-At home in Colorado we do not have cable TV. It is sort of a self preservation decision so my family and I won’t get sucked into the numbing vortex of so much of the fine programming. That said, I love watching TV. In particular I love the Food Network and HGTV. So, coming to Green Bay (among other work related trips) affords me the opportunity to watch these 2 channels at the hotel. I often get a little excited and flip back and forth between the channels at a manic rate in order to keep up with the programs on both channels at the same time. I watched for a couple of hours last night following my rainy drive and by the time I turned off the TV, I had seen around 6 families buy homes, 6 families sell homes, and picked up a couple of dozen new recipes.

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