Monday, September 18, 2006

Mr. The Custom TRS-80

This weekend, my personal teaching assistant received an email (meant for me) from the composer, blogger, and radio star Dennis Bárothy-Kitsz. Dr. Bárothy-Kitsz, who according to his email is also known as “Mr. The Custom TRS-80,” insisted that I provide a link from Classical Pontifications to his blog.

Despite Dr. Bárothy-Kitsz’s obvious inclination toward juvenile competitiveness, the truth is I’d been meaning to write about him for some time, ever since he began working on the project We Are All Mozart. The idea is that he will compose one piece per day throughout the year 2007 and secure commissions for each of those pieces.

The “free-spirited” (read: non-tenured) downtown composer Eve Beglarian (whose music I tried to make sense of in my very first podcast-mp3) has a similar project called A Book of Days. The difference is that Dr./Ms. Beglarian does not put a time frame on the completion of her Magnum Opus (because she is “free-spirited” I presume). On the other hand, Dr. Bárothy-Kitsz has committed to finishing everything as quickly as possible and no later than the end of the year 2007.

I require all of my students to compose one piece per day during the Hotel Cadillac’s finals period, and many of them are unable to do so because of their poor notation and programming skills, and their need to “wait for inspiration.” I’m certain, however, that Dr. Bárothy-Kitsz has the capacity (and the skills) to generate and/or derive at least 365 more pieces to add to his list of “454 compositions (in 731 distinct movements)... 222 [of which] have been premiered.”

If I may reciprocate with some unsolicited advice of my own, I would suggest that Dr. Bárothy-Kitsz recycle some of those unpremiered works – give them different titles and perhaps engrave some fresh copies. Since they’ve never been performed before, no one would know the difference!

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