I really love it when people contact me and ask about my work. I’m not sure what’s more exciting, when someone I know asks me about my work, or when a complete stranger finds me and thinks to contact me.
Thinking about it, when someone I know contacts me, it means that they’ve decided I’m the person who can do what they need, and given how musical most of my friends are, that’s quite a compliment! I’ll be excited and happy that they thought of me, and thinking of the best way to meet their requests. Personally, I work best with some restrictions, when I’m working towards a purpose I work quickly and efficiently to deliver something of quality for the person I’m working with. I wish I could give myself the same purpose!
But when someone I don’t know contacts me, and asks me if something about my work can be changed or adapted, it’s very exciting! So much of music, and the arts world in general, is word-of-mouth based, and if I can reach someone on the other side of the world and they like my music enough to reach out to me about it, it just blows my mind. I love that music can transcend geographic boundaries in such a unique way.
Most of the emails and messages I’ve gotten have been about my pieces with vocal parts, specifically At Last by Etta James. I wrote an arrangement of this for solo voice with string quartet accompaniment a few years ago, and I periodically get requests asking if I can transpose it for the vocalist who will be performing. I received one of these emails a few days ago asking if I could put it in Eb major, which I’ve done. The person asking was from Amsterdam, and it’s for a friend’s wedding! It blows my mind that I’m going to be a part of a stranger’s wedding from half a world away, even if it’s only a small part. You can check out the arrangement I’ve made for that wedding here: