Music Well – Dosia McKay, Composer, Painter, Writer

Reflections on Art and Life

At Peace

The score has been spiralbound and the parts have been taped according to the Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association’s guidelines. All that remains is to send the materials to the Knoxville Symphony and await the premiere of my work in October. But, of course, with the uncertainty of the pandemic, there is no guaranty that the concerts will actually take place.

I do not feel at peace with the world, but I do feel at peace with myself, knowing that I have done my part and brought a long-term project to completion. Now it’s out of my hands and out of my control, like so many other things.

I’m old enough to know the world does not revolve around me and I am frequently reminded that it does not owe me anything. With countless concert cancellations, venue closures, and the most secure jobs furloughed or lost altogether, many colleagues are learning how disposable the music culture and the art culture, in general, can be. A composer’s job is a solitary one and full of uncertainty to begin with, but now it has become even more unpredictable and redundant.

Yet the drive to create, to be accountable to myself, to test whether I am in it “for better or for worse”, fighting distractions and discouragement, all these remain giving me hope that I still have something left to say.

So on to the next speculative project, on to pursuing untimely, uncommercial, unpopular ideas. On to experimentation. My work is of great importance because it brings peace into the world, even if it is only my own world.


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