It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year: My Commissions Are Open

Hi again, everyone. Thank you all so, so much for the love and support you’ve given me over the past few days. I’m extraordinarily lucky to be in community with so many who respond to a new name with joy and affirmation. A bunch of you also extended that enthusiasm toward my release of The Dead Scar, and I’m excited to continue sharing the From the Ashes pieces with you in 2022. As we approach the end of 2021, I’m looking forward to what’s ahead, and though this is later than I’d normally announce (because I didn’t want to put out feelers pre-name change), I’m pleased to formally let everyone know I’m now accepting commissions for 2022 and 2023.

I have general information on what to expect available on my Commission Information and Consortium Information pages, but because it’s been awhile, I’d like to give y’all some specifics on projects I know I’d love to work on this year. If your idea doesn’t match what I’ve listed here, that’s totally fine, and I’d still love to talk to you about it! The ideas I’ve listed below are by no means exhaustive. They’re just areas of strong interest that I’d love to adapt into creative output. (If you already have an idea or know you want to work with me, scroll down to the bottom and fill out the form. I’ll send you a scheduling link after I look through your submission!)

Things I’d love to write as commissions:

(again, NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST. pitch me all the projects you want, whether they’re conventional or weird or somewhere in between.)

  • As far as subject matter, I’m willing to do a lot of things right now, but especially works relating to sexual assault, gendered violence, mental health (and struggles therein), ADHD, queer shit, and anything exploring relationships (especially if it’s in a way that challenges amatonormativity).
  • Trumpet players, I’d really love to have some fun this year. I’ve got ideas for a consortium or two cooking in the back of my head (expect news on a definite consortium in early January). But I’m also into your personal projects, too! Looking for something you can play duo with a friend (even one who plays another instrument)? Looking for a trumpet ensemble piece that’s stylistically different than most of what you hear at NTC? Awesome. Let’s talk.
  • Trombonists, my deep and enduring love for your instrument would like to manifest somewhere this year. I’ll keep writing pieces for my partner, but I’d love to find more folks to work with. I’m pretty open to where you’d like to go stylistically, so consider dropping me a line. (I also have a pipe dream of doing a trombone ensemble piece, so if you have a studio and are okay with a little weird, definitely let me know.)
  • I’m still happy to do commissions for pieces that would fit into either Letters from the Aftermath or LETTING GO. It’s been awhile since I did a dedicated Letters piece, so if you’d like to be involved with that, let’s talk.
  • If you’re looking for pieces with theatrical elements or works that would fit into more concept-based programming, I’d love to work with you!
  • I’ll likely be writing more text pieces (like Take What You Want and Sky Harbor) this year. If you’d like to commission one (potentially at a reduced rate, since this is already a strong focus for me), drop me a line.
  • VOCALISTS. I would love to work with more of you. Please bring me your wildest dreams and I will do my utmost to convert them into things you enjoy performing.
  • Because we’ve been recording-only for much of the past two years, I’ve dug deep into my sound catalog and am working with fixed media a lot. If you’d like a solo or chamber piece with a playback component, I’d like to make that happen for you.
  • If you like text instructions, I (quite probably) like you. Let’s talk.
  • I’m a big fan of weird percussion noises. Let’s make some?
  • I’m in the process of finishing up a grade ~1.5 wind ensemble piece currently, and I’d love to do more large ensembles, including flex pieces and string or vocal groups.
  • If you can’t swing a commission on your own, consider teaming up with a friend for joint exclusivity, or talk to me about a consortium. More information on consortia can be found here.
  • I’ve wanted to write a sax quartet for ages. If you want to commission one, let’s start a conversation.

I likely won’t get to do everything on this list this year, but I like throwing ideas out into the world and seeing who’s interested in what. I also love it when performers and ensembles bring me their ideas so we can combine our powers to make something awesome! I’m willing to work with your specific skill sets and preferences—and if you’re asking for something that’s not in my wheelhouse or comfort zone, I’ll let you know (and refer colleagues when I can). If you have ideas you want to talk to me about, I’d love to meet with you!

What to expect in an initial meeting:

  • Talking about your style, likes, dislikes, and goals as a performer or presenter. This can include information about skill sets you have or are developing, range/stamina/various technical concerns, repertoire you love (or hate), styles of notation you’re comfortable with or willing to explore, what you’d like to see in our collaboration together, and anything about my body of work you may find particularly thrilling or off-putting.
  • Reviewing your parameters. Before any commission meeting, I ask all interested parties to fill out the Commission Interest Form attached at the bottom of this post. This gets a lot of the basic information consolidated into one place, so I have a sense of the scope you’re exploring and any specific concerns you might have. In the meeting, we’ll go over your asks, and if any of your thoughts have changed, we’ll update them. I’ll also let you know if any of the parameters you’ve set forth conflict with each other (like “I want a piece for full orchestra due in three weeks for less than $1,000”).
  • Discussing budget. (I ask for this in my commission interest form, which you can find below, so we have a general idea of what’s doable in advance of our meeting and conversation.) I’ll be able to provide you a rough quote for my services once I have an idea of what you’re looking for, and we can consider various alterations to fit your budget should we run into difficulties. I also offer payment plans if spreading things out would be easier for you! If you’re looking for a guaranteed discount, look into Tiers 3 and 4 on my Patreon—I’m offering standardized discounts to those Patrons in 2022.
  • Explaining some of the general terms of my standard contract. I’ll walk you through the big points in my commissioning agreement, and at the end of our meeting, I’ll make any changes we’ve discussed and send you an updated copy to sign and return. I always encourage my commissioners to take a read through the entire document on their own, even if we’ve discussed most of it, and I’ll happily address any further questions that might arise (no matter how long it’s been since our meeting). Once the contract is signed and an initial deposit is submitted, this will begin our commissioning journey! But if you decide against signing on, that’s totally okay—just let me know.
  • Addressing any questions or concerns. If you still have lingering thoughts that need answers, I’ll provide as many as I can. I want you to feel good about the process!

Initial meetings are generally thirty minutes to an hour long, and right now I’m exclusively doing them virtually. Zoom, WebEx, FaceTime, or Discord are all great options! If any of the above sounds like something you’d be interested, go ahead and fill out the form below (or if you have general questions before you want to pursue scheduling, my Contact page is always available). I’m so excited to work with you!

(If you want to look at commissions I’ve done since 2019, including perusal scores, here’s several different ones: uncharted, Pushing Back, Helios, Parades Into the Void, LETTING GO (off the cliff), Here Be Dragons, You Probably Don’t Remember Me)

If you’re considering multiple options, select all that apply. Fixed media counts as an instrument.
This can be things like “I’d like nose flute and fixed media,” “I want to play body percussion while also playing vibra-slap,” “Piano accompaniment, please,” “I’m considering keytar and piano or brass quintet,” or anything else that comes to mind! (Or you can leave it blank; that’s cool too.)
These ranges are approximate. Again, if you’re considering multiple options, select all that apply.
Select all that apply.
Even if you don’t have an exact number, a ballpark here is great to help me understand what you’re working with. You can list your overall budget for the piece (total amount), or a monthly budget. If paying in several smaller installments would work best for you, I’ve got a few options we can consider together.
Select all that apply.
The exclusivity period, usually measured in months, is the length of time in which you alone (or you and any co-commissioners) have rights to perform the new work. The longer the exclusivity period, the more expensive the commission, because during that time I am unable to sell copies of the piece. If you’re considering a long exclusivity period, consider how many performances of the work you’ll be able to give during that time.
If not, “no” or “N/A” is totally fine. “Project” can be interpreted as broadly as you’d like, including specific recitals, seasonal programming, larger initiatives, “I want to confuse my studio class,” etc.
This can include: your pronouns, info about your artistic practice, link to your website/SoundCloud/YouTube, unique or known parameters you’d want me to use, subject matter you’d like to tackle with me, notation styles you do/don’t want to see, extended techniques you’re comfortable with, pieces of mine you’d be interested in emulating stylistically, things you’d like me to avoid, etc.

Thanks for reading! If you learned something from this post and would like to tip me, head on over to my Ko-fi page. For more analysis and commentary like this in your life, check back again soon, and consider subscribing to my mailing list (at the bottom of the page or in the sidebar) for quarterly update emails on my biggest projects. To support the long-term work I do as an artist and advocate, you can find me on Patreon and @honestlyeris on Instagram.