Welcome to the November 2022 edition of the Artistic Score Engraving newsletter. This month has just flown away, with so many things happening. On the 16th of October, my birthday passed, so the two middle weeks of the month were stressful because of how I had to celebrate with the parts of my family I’m still in contact with. I was also sick in the first week, and didn’t fully recover until last week. That’s thanks to how we not only no longer have restrictions for Covid-19, but to how people seem to have reset their behaviour to a worse level than what it was in 2019. Three years ago… Kids come to school dead-sick, and thanks to my abundant Covid-19 antibodies, I think I caught everything but Covid-19 in this month!
WARNING — MODERATELY POLITICAL SECTION
We attended a presentation of a book written by travel photographer Stefano Tiozzo, from Torino but living in Russia, titled ”Russia’s other side” (orig. “L’altra faccia della Russia”). I was relieved to see the presentation hall so packed of people that they had to organise a video connection in a separated hall. Apparently, we were not the only one sick of this one-sided propaganda we are swimming into every day. At the end, we managed to go greet the writer and to have him sign our copy of the book. I truly got moved when he talked about how people’s character is there, and I couldn’t help make the connection with how I felt the first time I came to Serbia. There’s truly no effective way I can describe this to you, those who have ever travelled to the East of the Danube know what I am talking about.
To avoid a needless shitstorm—but you are welcome to if it makes you feel better—I am not supporting the Russian Federation’s invasion, exactly as I am not supporting the massacre of Russian-speaking Ukrainian perpetrated by the Ukrainian government(s) in the Donbas region since 2014, and every other conflict—big or small—burning our world. I am for peace, and for a peace made through art, music, culture, and education. I am for people’s auto-determination, and I am not supporting our politicians, of any side (if there even is a side…). I am supporting the Ukrainian people and the Russian people, and every free people of the world because they are the only true victims here.
END OF MODERATELY POLITICAL SECTION
What have I been up to
I am deeply grateful to say that some work has come towards me, and thanks the Maker for that, since our yearly balance is looking quite dire, and will probably not recover in any case by the end of the year. It’s not much, but it was a breath of fresh air. It seems some projects are brewing on the horizon, and I will keep looking for more contacts around, even if it is clear by now that this is not how it works. Things happen in the big cities, where you go out and spend time networking in person. In some businesses social networks may help, but, eventually, it is so crowded out there in the digital world that even if I spent all my days trying to emerge, I wouldn’t get much. All I can do is to keep creating good content, trying to get it known and seen, and expand my skills.
I have sent some applications out for the position of Book Designer and Graphic Designer but, so far, that’s been a hole in the water. That seems normal, though, as most job posts just need to be published out in the wild, for democracy, you know, but then they already have some “ideal target” who is known to the recruiters. That’s why one needs to send out about 200 applications before getting back even a single reply, let alone a success.
A good friend from Australia came to visit me in Torino, and it was such a lovely experience! He brought some most-welcomed news in the form of a big project he is involved in, and that may bring me aboard at some point in the future. Let’s say, as long as something is moving, we keep hope’s spark aflame!
NEW Supporter Program
Last month I introduced many new services, namely:
- Cello Lessons, dedicated mainly to those who want to find a healthy approach to practicing, more details here.
- Music Engraving Lessons, to help composers and arrangers get better at what they do (if they cannot or do not want to afford my engraving services), details here.
- Colour-coded analysis, dedicated to composition students or aspiring editors, such as in this example.
- Scrolling scores, to promote a composer’s work through a video where, well, the score scrolls through. Examples are my most recent videos on YouTube.
To help me prepare more high-quality editions, I have set up a supporter program, a “Patreon” if you would like, just not using Patreon as a website starting point, but the main service I use to sell my products, Gumroad. It works in the same way, and I am trying it there to see how it goes, before moving it to Patreon in the future. There, you will be able to subscribe, either monthly or yearly, to support my work. There are four tiers of subscription, named after the pedagogical genealogy of Dotzauer, plus a top tier dedicated to possibly the most influential cello teacher of the XX century, André Navarra. Here they are:
- Jacob Kriegk Tier: get 5% off any item in catalogue1; know you are contributing to the creation of the most beautiful scores in the world. Get one digital score/product up to US$ 10 for free after one year of subscribing, or if you pay 1 year up-front.
- Bernhard Romberg Tier: get 10% off any item. Get your name in the CONTRIBUTORS PAGE of every score that gets published while you are subscribing. Get US$ 25 in digital scores/products for free after one year.
- Johann J. F. Dotzauer Tier: 15% off any item. Name in Contributors Page. US$ 60 in digital scores/products for free after 1 year. Monthly group Zoom call with me & others of Dotzauer Tier (30 min) to discuss what’s coming next and help shape the future of ASE.
- André Navarra Tier: 25% off any item; name in Contributors Page. US$ 200 in digital scores/products for free after 1 year. Monthly 1-to-1 call with me (1 hour) with optional cello or music engraving lesson. This tier will be limited to a maximum of four subscribers to begin with.
I will hone how this program works in the coming months, also based on what the reaction is. So far, upon subscribing, nothing will apparently happen because I want to keep the discount codes personal so that they cannot be freely be given around2. Let me know what you think of it and if you have any suggestion on how this could be structured in a better way, please let me know by either commenting below or by contacting me here.
The next BIG step!
… drumroll please …
I have been wanting to do this for a very long time, but, this time, it is true: ARTISTIC SCORE ENGRAVING EDITIONS WILL BE PRINTED!
We are still at the dawning lights of this new adventure, but I hope that by the end of the year, things will have settled, contracts signed, and distribution started. I truly wanted to have already at least one edition ready for distribution by today, but it was sadly impossible. The reason is that one of the biggest music printer in the EU has suddenly decided to stop offering the Print-on-Demand service, possibly thanks to the rising cost of raw materials and distribution. They will start at 10 copies and ship to a single address, meaning that this will be an option only for big music shops who want a stock of my scores.
How will this work for you? If you want to purchase directly from me and get the score shipped to your doorstep, I will create hidden products connected to the digital scores where you can place an order. Why hidden? Because I would rather not flood my storefront with duplicate products. Once there, you will be able to choose among the possible shipping options. After the successful payment, I will review your order and contact the relevant printer/distributor. To start with, I plan to have USA, UK, EU, and Australia as available destinations.
Once this part is set up, I will start contacting music shops to see if they would be interested in having my scores in their stock. This will go in steps, though, because while my scores can be printed, most of them are not ready for industrial printing and binding yet. I will need to manually adjust each one of them (the newest ones have already been taken care of), profiting from this process to review them and update them to the latest design. This is because uploading a score to a printing service has an upfront cost, and every correction will mean a new upload, and thus, the same cost.
I will write a new post for every edition that becomes available and clear instructions on how to purchase them.
I am thrilled about where this is going, and I hope the road, while bumpy, will lead to a healthy and steady growth.
If you know of a music shop that could be interested in sporting my scores in their catalogue, please direct them towards me, and since I will need multiple distributors per Region to handle unpredictable factors, if you know of a reliable one in your experience, please let me know.
New Editions / Products
At the photo-finish—read, October 31st at 11.55pm—I managed to publish the second edition of the month, bringing the total count for this year to 17! I still have to build all the promotional material but, at least, it is out in the wild. Let’s look at what this month’s two editions were.
Cossmann Op. 1
I wrote a deep dive article about this, where I explain everything about this new edition. It is made up of a couplet of pieces for cello and piano, written by one of the masters of cello technique of the past, Bernhard Cossmann. The two pieces are a Swiss Melody and a Neapolitan Song. You can listen to it in this video I created for it. If you would like to purchase it, here is your link.
Dotzauer Op. 63
The first phase of the Dotzauer Project comes to a close with the publication of the fifth and final book of his pedagogical cello duets collections. To recap, these are: Op. 52, Op. 58, Op. 63, Op. 156, and Op. 159, all made up of twelve duets except for Op. 159, which has twenty-four of them, for a grand total of 72 duets!
Dotzauer wrote many more duets and duet collections, but this is what he defined his 5-book saga in life. As said, I still have to prepare all the promotional material for this latest edition, so please bear with me a few more days.
This collection contains the usual three fugues—you know the drill!—a canon, two themes and variations, and six opera arias arranged for two cellos. The source for these arias, in case this may draw you towards purchasing the collection, are: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito and The Magic Flute; Gioacchino Rossini’s Tancredi and Ciro in Babilonia. This edition comes in an Ordinary and Collectors’ Edition variants: the Ordinary contains the score and parts (also available separately) of the Urtext version, based on the first edition from 1823. The Collectors’ Edition variant adds the parts for the more modern editions of these duets made by Johannes Klingenberg and Alwin Schröder. It was a very time-consuming edition to prepare, but luckily this should be one of the last editions where multiple published sources are available!
With a titanic effort, I have been able to update my MetaGrid Pro profile for Sibelius so that it is now available to Windows users as well! You can check it out here.
What’s next in publishing?
In the coming days, I will have to complete the promotional material for Dotzauer’s Op. 63. Subsequently, for the Dotzauer Project, I plan to take a pause from duets, even if I have five more duets collections already prepared and just to be designed. I need some fresh air, and I want to try something different. Definitely, I need to revise Op. 159 with the Urtext variant, and Op. 58 with the French and Klingenberg variants. At that point, I will create a single book with all the seventy-two duets!
I will do more Piatti as well, as I have received more requests for pieces for cello and orchestra. They are, of course, the longest to prepare, so I will see what to brew in the cauldron!
Before all that, though, I need to dedicate some time to something I am not too fond of, but that is needed for business, which is Christmas Songs. I will publish up to ten arrangements of Christmas Carols for SATB choir, voice and piano, string quartet, and cello quartet. That will take a good two weeks of time, at least.
Meanwhile, I will keep looking for more printers and distributors, and keep you posted about that.
Time was scarce this month, but after how scared I got in those two months without commissions, I have been forcing myself to find at least 3 slots of 30 minutes to dedicate to learning new skills. Let’s see how it went.
Progress in 2D animation through Adobe Animate was done, and I had a lot of fun doing that. I drew an octopus, animated a movie commercial, and applied physics to falling blocks.
I have started to get my feet wet with Adobe XD, which is the leading User-experience (UX) designing software (even if many swear by Figma, now also acquired by Adobe). It’s funny, and I am seeing so many connections through the different software that it’s making the learning process easier, quicker, and more effective!
I have almost completed the macOS programming course on YouTube that I was following. These last few lessons were not great, as too many things were given as known and, thus, not explained, plus one needed to have the sample code ready, which meant you just listened and read. Not great…
After this, I plan to switch to a book on macOS programming. I am glad to see that, while SwiftUI is the marketing king, people trying to use it to its maximum for real-world apps are truly struggling, including Apple! I just hope I will find enough resources for AppKit still available.
It was so refreshing to get back to practicing at least 3 times a week! The best moment was when practicing Duport 7th étude with all Navarra’s suggestions. I was feeling very stiff at first and then, suddenly, as by magic, my bow felt like an extension of my body. How much had I missed that feeling! Yes, I will make videos about this, just … when I can!
Beside creating new editions, I will spend a lot of energy into starting the printing and distributing side, and keep you up to date about everything!
If you have something you would like to see me do, please contact me as one of you has already done, suggesting a new edition they think would be great to do!
The mailing list version of this episode will get the product list with the discounted links. Should you want to join that, feel free to insert your e-mail address here. We are steadily growing, as we were 20 in June, and we are now 49! That means that the next one who joins will be the 50th! What are you waiting for?
Thank you for reading through all this, I sincerely hope that you found something useful in it. Thank you, also, for your continuous support, as that is what keeps me going.
I wish you all the best until the next episode.
- That’s the same discount you would get for subscribing to my Mailing List, here: https://bit.ly/3ujFa4j ↩
- If I will see a discount code used by someone who is not its original recipient, I will just cancel it off, and possibly be obliged to reconsider all this discount program. ↩
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