Since finishing Intrada a few months back I haven’t done any serious composing. I do feel somewhat guilty about it, but since nobody is asking me for new music at the moment, it seems an opportune time to try to get caught up on some other business, various projects which have had to be on the back burner for too long, and which really need to get finished at some point.
Chief among which: I am unveiling my new imprint, “Imperfect Consonance.”
Yes, I’m rebranding. My old imprint, “Swan’s Wing Press,” is still operational, but I’m gradually moving everything over to the new site, and the old site will eventually be retired (actually, I’ll probably leave it up for a while, but only so it can redirect people to the new site). There are numerous reasons for the change, which I’ll explain in FAQ form because I feel like it.
Swan’s Wing Press has existed for almost twenty years. Why the change now?
Honestly, I’m just not happy with the name. At the time I started it, it made a certain amount of sense to me, but it became clear that the name was causing problems since it has no obvious connection to me or what I do. I’ve wanted to change it for a long time, but have been reluctant to do so because Swan’s Wing Press, for better or worse, is out there already and has been my primary point of contact with clients and customers.
Another reason I haven’t changed for so long is that I couldn’t come up with anything I liked better. But then, sometime last year, I noticed that I already had a better name for this blog; “Imperfect Consonance” seemed like it would be better as a name for a publishing imprint, so not long after I realized that, the wheels were set in motion.
That created a different problem; could I still use “Imperfect Consonance” as the title of my blog as well? I did for a while, but was worried about it being confusing. Then recently I remembered a discussion I’d had in grad school, where some friends and I were trying to decide what to call our autobiographies when we write them; “Difficult Resolutions,” a reference to Beethoven’s last string quartet, was what I came up with. I have no plans to write an autobiography, ever, but since it’s a shame to let a good title go to waste, I’ll just use it here and try to make sense of it later.
How did you come up with the name Swan’s Wing Press in the first place?
Mainly because I just didn’t think it through very well.
In my late twenties, I decided I wanted to write my first symphony. It was not really an advisable thing to do; I wanted to write a long, complex piece for large orchestra with tenor solo, even though the piece had pretty much zero chance of being performed. It was a foolish undertaking, but I did it anyway, and I don’t really regret it.
The symphony was a 30 minute setting of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem A Flight of Swans (I’d link to it, but I can’t seem to find the poem online, though there are several places to purchase the book). Over the course of a year or so, I finished two drafts of it, but abandoned efforts to come up with a final score. The drafts were enough; I never expected or wanted to get a performance, so any effort spent on a final score was basically wasted time. So I left it behind and turned my attention to more sensible projects.
I was starting up my publishing imprint about the time I was leaving the symphony behind. Calling my company Swan’s Wing Press just seemed like a reasonable thing to do. Like I said, I didn’t think it through.
What will be different about Imperfect Consonance?
Besides the name, not a great deal. For the most part, pieces that were released in Swan’s Wing Press will be exactly the same in Imperfect Consonance, except for being updated to include the new name and logo.
One hopefully useful feature of the new site will be that I am exploring options to make more material available for online preview. For example, the printed music will be able to be viewed online as an animated book (via Flipbuilder). When I have a usable recording of the piece, I’ll make that available to hear, as well.
The major difference will be that I’m trying to move more of the business end of things online. For example, most of the music I will have for sale will be handled through J. W. Pepper’s My Score Store. Clicking the appropriate link at Imperfect Consonance will take you directly to my site at J. W. Pepper, where you can complete the ordering process; they will then handle all the printing, shipping, and payment details. Less work for me, in other words.
I will still handle rentals and shipment of performance material myself.
And there you have it. Imperfect Consonance is up and running, but as of now still has a great deal of work to be done. Much of my older music still needs to be updated. As usual, the job is turning out to be more complex and time consuming than I thought, but it has been something I’ve been wanting to do for years and I’m glad it’s finally a thing.
Hopefully others will agree!