My life as a composer in the 21st century, though ultimately fulfilling, is bursting with innumerable failures. I struggle to remain resilient as my pieces are rejected or outmatched by fellow composers’ works often leaving me with a harmful resentment aimed at my peers. Cerulean Embers is an outline of the emotions that a rejection letter or rejection email conjures in me. My original emotional state is mournful. I feel self-pity above anything else. Upon learning that the winning composition was created by someone I know personally, I immediately have a harmfully pessimistic response. “How could that composer have been picked, and I wasn’t even an honorable mention?!” This negativity is harmful on several fronts not the least of which is the devaluing of a fellow composer’s work and successes.
After withstanding several dozen rejections as a composer and being on the winning side of a few composition competitions, I cycle through this process much quicker. As the piece demonstrates, a motivationally driven rise from this self-pity is crucial. The mournfulness and pessimistic opening is soon transformed via a triumphant fanfare that proves to be a critical axis point in the work. The music that follows is a depiction of a newly motivated composer that is brimming with compositional ideas and an uninhibited enthusiasm. As this determined composer lies down to rest for the night (still pondering triumphant musical materials to be written tomorrow morning), he dozes off to the thin sound of woodwinds.