If you have been watching Marie Kondo on Netflix, which I assume you have, then you are familiar with her style of organization for our age of consumerism. Maybe you've chuckled a bit when she knelt down to greet the home or when she insists that one must touch every item to "spark joy" and if no such spark occurs one should thank the item before discarding it. Or maybe you have realized that in an age where plastic is destroying the oceans, taking the time to respect and familiarize yourself with every belonging you own is not such a ludicrous idea.
After listening to several newish orchestral works (premiered in the last 5 or 6 years), none of which I will name here (you can DM for details, if you are really interested - maybe you'll have a completely different experience with the pieces than I did), I believe we composers can benefit from KonMari. I usually refer to this type of writing as "kitchen sink" composition because everything is crammed into the mix, sometimes in a more artful way than others. So much clutter! Have you touched every note and asked if it sparked joy? (My other least favorite style is "orchestra tuning" music where we are forced to sit through 7 minutes of sliding sonorities and timbral changes.)
I have listened to at least five orchestral works this week that use the same formula:
1) provide a hook for the audience.
This can manifest itself in several forms: a "jazzy" introduction or conclusion (a concluding hook is especially desirable so everyone can chuckle at the end in the most erudite manner, be in on the joke, and say things like: why does classical music have to be so serious??), a reference to pop culture in some musical form, perhaps littered throughout the piece (if you can quote, Björk, Radiohead, or the Beatles you win), or to cater to the crowd: quotations from other classical works thrown into the last (shortest and fastest) movement as "whimsy" - not to add significance to the piece.
2) no recurring ideas
God forbid - are you even creative, bro?
3) no one plays anything similar at the same time
If (I stress if) instruments happen to play anything remotely similar at the same time, there must be some metric irregularity. Also, the more notes and varieties of rhythm that can be layered, the better the craftsmanship. Seriously, tuplets, tuplets, and more tuplets. All of these: irrational rhythm or groupings, artificial division or groupings, abnormal divisions, irregular rhythm, gruppetto, extra-metric groupings, or contrametric rhythm (from the Wikipedia article on tuplets!). Odd numbers are best. 11's or 17's? They will definitely be accurately played.
4) every note MUST have some kind of articulation and a dynamic marking.
Players cannot be trusted to interpret. Leave nothing to chance! And if an instrument uses vibrato, you should specify when and how that vibrato is used. At all times. Ex. over ONE quarter note: vib.-->non vib.-->quasi vib.--->molto vib --> ord. vib.
At first, make it seem like you are composing a piece that humorously comments on the more cliché practices of modern composers, then stretch that out for 17 minutes until the audience realizes it has been duped. Just as they begin to despise the piece (and you), add in a non sequitur quotation or "jazzy" section (see no. 1) to gain back their trust. Then, continue what you intended to write. The audience may turn on you again but as long as you end with something tongue and cheek (again see no. 1), no one will mind the 16 minutes of squirming and secretly checking their phones.
Ok, enough burning bridges. Why don't you click on these links and see which sparks joy: