Finding Your Voice

To a young composer, arguably the most important thing to do is to find his or her own voice. It’s a search for a goal that still eludes me. But yesterday, as I was reading a book on writing college essays, I discovered an inspiring quote by Pablo Picasso:

“You should constantly try to paint like someone else. But the thing is, you can’t! You would like to. You try. But it turns out to be a botch…. And it’s at the very moment you make a botch of it that you’re yourself.”

Whether it’s painting, writing college essays, or composition, it’s very relevant. Especially because I often try to emulate my favorite composers in my music, but it never turns out quite the same. Now I know that that doesn’t mean I’m lacking in skill; it just means that I’m that much closer to finding my own voice.

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