Ewan Mackay

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4 Things Composers Must Have to Build a Practice

As a composer, I’ve been well aware of the difficulties and hardships of working in the industry and trying to build my own practice for the last 6 years or so. I know there will be any number of composers who would be better equipped, knowledgeable and ‘battle-scarred’ to answer this question than I, but I have gained a huge amount of knowledge through executing creative plans – to varying degrees of success over the years, and I hope these observations could be useful to some younger composers just starting out.

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How Do I Get my Music Performed?

How do I get commissioned as a composer? This was a question I would often ask myself when I was younger – and honestly, at the age of 25, I wonder if some of my contemporaries have some magic secret I don’t know, given the number of pieces they are currently writing for commissions! In this article, I want to give you some ideas that have helped me secure commissions in the past which may be of help to you if you are scratching your head thinking the same thing. We’ll look at applying to composer development schemes and creative opportunities.

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How Do I Deal with Rejection as a Composer?

When you think about what it means to be a composer, most will think of Beethoven and Mozart scribbling away under candlelight light working on their latest masterpiece – rather romantic. Few will think of a very difficult field where only a tiny percentage achieve any sizable success and are what most would regard very comfortable, while the rest have to scrap away, not knowing if they’ll ever get that next opportunity or have that next piece of music heard by anyone other than themself.

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How to Build Collaborative Partnerships as Composer (Image)

How Do I Build Collaborative Partnerships as a Composer?

It was never that hard to find commonality with people we didn’t really know when we were younger. As you grow up we put ourselves in little life boxes. We no longer like the same things we used too, and even our old friends move on, and we find more. It’s actually a similar premise with creative and collaborative relationships. This blog focuses on how to build these relationships as a composer. It might seem daunting if you don’t know how – I know it did for me when I began building creative partnerships. The essence of building creative partnerships is to create work that performers or other creative people enjoy and want to make more of. This focus is at the centre of what I do as a creative artist and it is the focus of this article. If I could give 5 top tips for building collaborative relationships what would they be?

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Where Does My Music Come From?

For many years, my work has been heavily influenced by the landscape of Scotland. Living here on the North-east coast of the country, we are spoiled by beautiful scenery, however, the same can be said for the rest of the country too.

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How to Remain Creative in Isolation (image)

How to Remain Creative in Isolation

Over the last few months, the world has changed, thanks to our deadly viral nemesis. It has also had a marked impact upon the Arts, and it is likely to have a tight and crippling hold for many more months to come. Who knows how long things will take to return to any form of normality. For many performers, they have seen their livelihoods dry up, relying upon various other parts of their income stream to support themselves. For me as a composer – and a younger one at that, I haven’t noticed that much of a change.

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Finding Composition Ideas (Featured Image)

How to Find Compositional Inspiration

If you have ever composed in your life, you will be aware of the near-constant search for ideas. Crafting the piece. Trying to be different in your approach each time to create something fresh. Dealing with self-doubt. When I first began composing, I would often ask my teachers, where does music come from, and how you compose.

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Finding Your Creative Path (Image)

Finding Your Own Creative Path

Finding your own creative path on your journey as a composer and as a creative individual is an interesting topic which I’ve put a lot of thought into recently. In this article, I want to delve into what I personally believe has made myself a better composer over the last few years by sharing some insights from my career over the last few years.

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What it means to be a composer (image)

What it means to be a Composer

This is an age old question; What does it mean to be a composer? I’ll try to answer this question as openly as possible, being aware that every composer you would speak to would give you a different answer formed in their own understanding of music, the world around them and their experiences with the music they create.

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