Over the past several years, composer John Allemeier's music has appeared on CDs with that of other composers.
Thanks to a Regional Artist Project Grant through the N.C. Arts Council, Allemeier is assembling the first CD solely of his compositions.
A native of northern Illinois, Allemeier lives near Concord with his wife and two children. He teaches upper-level theory classes at UNCCharlotte, and applied for the grant - of which 20 were awarded - through the Cabarrus Arts Council.
The new CD should be ready by next fall from Albany Records.
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"Without the grant, it would have taken me four or five years to do this," said Allemeier, 39.
He has three compositions he knows he wants to include. The first is a piece for a string quartet, commissioned for the University of Iowa School of Music's 100th anniversary. The second is a 15-minute percussion ensemble piece, recorded at UNCC.
When the Charlotte Symphony performed at area campuses, they commissioned a piece for each one. In February, Allemeier will record his commissioned piece, written for a string quintet, the third track on which he's decided.
In addition, he'll include either a piece he's working on for a choreographer at UNCC or two or three shorter pieces.
The CD's title is undecided, he said: "I'm just basking in the glow of getting the grant."
As an undergraduate, Allemeier was a performance major in classical guitar. He loved his theory classes, and having had no composition classes, he applied and was accepted for a master's program in composition at Northwestern University. He earned a doctorate in composition from the University of Iowa.
Allemeier doesn't categorize his music.
"Each of my pieces sounds dramatically different from the other," he said. "There's a lot of variety in my music."
He's not a cutting-edge composer, he said. He thinks of himself as a craftsman. "I want to make really good, solid music."
He doesn't have a set time of day to compose. But he prefers to work in the mornings.
Whenever he composes, he said, "It's always every day. I tell my students that it's like learning an instrument. You have to do it every day or you lose something in between. It has to be ever-present in your mind."
He works on one piece at a time, even if only for a few minutes, so that when he has several hours free he can be extremely productive.
"There's a complete process to composing," he said. "When I'm in my studio working, it's almost a spiritual time. There's seeing the music come to life and coaching the performers. That gives it some sort of soul.
"There's the whole life cycle of a piece that I'm enamored with. I love how I can write a piece of music that can take up to a year to perform. Every step along the way, I find fascinating and engaging.
"I just love it."