I was thinking more about the aforementioned discussion of composers being denied archival recordings of their own work. Of course it’s detrimental in that it makes it difficult to learn from one’s experiences, but I think it’s equally destructive in another way.
All of my pieces that have been “picked up” are the ones for which I’m able to post good recordings here on this website. That’s how people discover my music, since only a small bit is available commercially, I’m at the outset of my career, and I’m self-published.
One of the hardest things as a composer is coming by these second and third performances; world premières are comparatively common. They can come from anywhere—college students scouting out rep for their school new music ensembles, more established new-music performers, a few orchestras, my god, even Ireland. But they all have one thing in common, which is that somebody went to my website and listened to a few pieces and found something they liked.
After a few of those “second-generation” performances, word gets out more easily—through people who’ve attended those concerts, or read about them, the musicians who’ve played it passing it on to their musician friends, and so on. By then, the piece will have taken on a life of its own. This is one of the most satisfying and unbelievable things—to witness people you’ve never met taking steady interest in your work.