This is a general outline of the process that would be undertaken in commissioning a new work for you or your ensemble. It is not a ‘hard and fast’ set of rules but a sketch, a broad concept, if you like. It will answer some of your questions and I am pleased to answer others as I can.
The composer is asked to write a particular style, length, and type of ensemble work.
The composer quotes.
The commissioner collapses…
If the commissioner accepts then the composer prepares a contract for mutual protection and the writing begins.
There are various ways the commission and associated matters can be constructed and that will impact on the cost.
- Just the piece and that’s all – Process A
- Composer to premiere the piece with one or two sessions closely timetabled beforehand – Process B.
- Composer to workshop the piece when it is completed (a first reading type scenario) and then come back to do the premiere also – Process C.
- Obviously Process C is a composite of the others.
Usually it is 25% down and the remainder on the delivery of the work. Larger works may require a larger deposit.
Cost A = Commission fee plus the costs of preparing the score and parts for the ensemble to duplicate for rehearsal and performance. That means one of each part on single sheets so they can put it together the way the ensemble deems most appropriate. Some people want a “book”, others want single sheets. This method is the simplest and it allows the commissioner to utilise the parts in a way that best suits their situation.
Cost B = Cost A plus professional fee for the premiere plus expenses
Cost C = Cost A + Cost B + professional fees for the workshop plus expenses
The larger the work the longer it takes to get the piece finished and prepared for the commissioner. Timeframes are also dependent on the time of the year. The longer lead time the better (usually!). If process B and C above are undertaken then longer lead times are an imperative.
Many commissioned works are considered for publication though commissioning a work is no guarantee of publication.
Documents detailing the commissioning projects that the composer has undertaken can be provided such as:
- Biographical information
- Commissions CV
- Publications CV
- Premieres CV
Please contact me to start the conversation about your project
This information has been prepared and presented in good faith. Changes to process and content may be made and final agreements concluded via the formal contracting process