Works in Progress

Debra Lynn's Compositional Journey


Thoughts on the Creative Process

My Sabbatical Corona-Bonus

11 June, 2021 Summer-Fall of 2020 was the third sabbatical during my tenure at Manchester University. I had no idea when I applied for that sabbatical, it would end up occurring during the Coronavirus pandemic. What a surreal experience that... Continue Reading →

New Adventure: Orchestrating for Guitar

23 September, 2020 Since August, I've been working on an orchestration project that is quite extensive and exciting. The source is a song cycle by Trinidadian composer Dominique Le Gendre  entitled "Songs of the Islands." I was introduced to the... Continue Reading →

Spaces: Creating an Atmosphere through Music

25 July 2020 Musicians have a rather unique relationship with sound. We are always keenly aware, I think. There's not really any such thing as "background noise." It all comes through loud and clear. I have a Synesthetic response to... Continue Reading →

Confessions of a Synesthete

Update: 22 November, 2021 -- I have a podcast that is devoted to the subject of synesthesia and includes a conversation with Lisa Hickman (a fellow synesthete). You can find it at this link: "Comparing Notes on Synesthesia." 7 July... Continue Reading →

Editing Music

9 June 2020 Most music publishers no longer provide editing services. Composers are now expected to create print-ready documents. This is no surprise since music notation software is easy to find -- and for the most part, these programs are... Continue Reading →

Challenging Myself

20 April 2020 All creatives have what I call "isms." These are idiosyncracies that naturally evolve or become apparent as one builds up a body of work. Each time we encounter a blank canvas, sheet of staff paper, or whatever... Continue Reading →

Composing in French

15 March 2020 Today, I began composing my first setting of a French poem: "Demain, des l'aube" by Victor Hugo. I've set lyrics in English and Latin before, but this is quite different. As a singer, I've had classes in... Continue Reading →

An Epiphany for Epiphany

Saving Jesus -- for cello and piano 28 December 2019 People sometimes ask me "How do you compose? What's your process?" I wish there were a simple answer to these questions, but unfortunately the process varies widely depending on the... Continue Reading →

Prepping a Composition Recital

20 February 2019 I'm currently preparing a composition recital for April 14th, 2019 and it's actually the first recital of this nature that I've put together. I've done voice and conducting recitals before, but never a recital featuring solely my... Continue Reading →

Fly on the Wall (via Skype)

3 November 2018 I had the pleasure of Skyping into a rehearsal for one of my compositions a few days ago. The musicians were four Indiana State University students who are preparing my saxophone quartet "Mechanical" for an upcoming performance.... Continue Reading →

Birdsong Research

21 September 2018 I've begun work on a newly commissioned piece for  the Canyon County High School Honor Choir of Nampa, Idaho. The lyric I've selected is this poem by Witter Bynner: The Robin Except within poetic pale    ... Continue Reading →

Not Composing

18 August 2018 I was recently scolded (in a well-meaning way) for complaining about not having time to compose. This person invited me to turn my frustration into thankfulness for the time I've spent with family and loved ones (which... Continue Reading →

Letters as Lyrics

14 August 2017 One of the things I love about vocal and choral music in general is text.  My favorite composers are those who understand how to set words to music in a way that brings out the most beautiful... Continue Reading →

Recording Sessions 8-10 Complete!

21 July 2017 This past week, Robert Lynn recorded the 2nd and 3rd movements of "Proxemics," my fiendishly difficult piece for unaccompanied cello.  Lila Hammer and Pamela Haynes also recorded all of "Manchester Sonata" for clarinet and piano. All of... Continue Reading →

Writing for Piano

July 4, 2017 I am painstakingly piecing together piano reductions of my orchestra scores for "A Family Portrait."  My goal is to have all of this done by August 1st.  Although the piano reductions are not intended for performance, they... Continue Reading →

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