Commissioning a new piece of music is an exciting process for both the composer and the commissioning musicians. There are many possibilities and variables in commissioning a piece of music. Below is some information to help you get started, though the best place to start is by contacting me here. It is entirely possible that I have an idea percolating that would be perfect for you or your ensemble.
Commissions are generally for a set amount of time. Within that there is a great deal of flexibility. Do you want to commission a song cycle of three two minute songs, a dozen 30 second miniatures for string quartet, or one substantial six minute piece?
Choosing a text is the crucial decision in any vocal work. It is important that we both agree on the text, but I reserve the right to make the final decisions about the text as I ensure that I hear music in the words before I begin composing.
As I want to create a piece that will be successful for you or your ensemble, I want to know the range of your voice, and the character of your voice(s) within that range. Also any recent repertoire that has suited you or your ensemble well would help me to write a better music to suit you or your ensemble.
Instrumental music is often more abstract than vocal music, and so is commissioning instrumental music. What kind of piece are you looking for? What is your current repertoire? Are you looking for a departure from that or a complement?
Rates and Contract
My rates are based off of the rates set by the Canadian League of Composers. See the CLC’s rates here. The rates are based on the forces and the length of the piece. I have experience applying for grants and am open to working together to find funding for a piece. Using the CLC rates as a starting point, I am willing to negotiate a rate that your organization can afford.
So that both sides are clear as to the piece commissioned, price, and other details, I ask that we have a simple contract between you or your ensemble and myself that outlines the basics of our agreement.
A year to a year and a half is an ideal lead time before the score is to be delivered. This time frame allows time for pre-composition (research, planning, securing permission for copyrighted materials, etc.), composing, preparing the score, and editing. If there is a shortened timeline for composing the piece, I reserve the right to add an additional fee to the commission.