Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I've been meaning to...

Over the last few months, there have been experiences that I've meant to blog about, but it's come to it and I just haven't. Haven't had the energy or given enough of a crap to actually put it in words.

What have I achieved lately?

I'm quite pleased with some of the teaching I've done this term. There are parts I need to tighten up, but I think I did an ok job.

I went on strike, which I think was important, and it was a good experience. It highlighted for me how out my depth I am when contemplating my role as a public sector employee apart from anything else.

I haven't written enough music. I hashed together a few things for my installation, but I don't think I've finished work on them really. I wrote a nice open form piece for the Museum of Modern Art (called CRAGG), which we performed out in the open air with voice, clarinet, flute, percussion and guitar. The notation needs fixing, but I'm planning to revisit the notation (the actually notes themselves are good) and record it with a few more players (I'm thinking at least two of each of those instruments). My duet for bass clarinet and piano (DUO2) didn't quite work - too much happening too fast, but not enough variety to maintain the duration that I was looking for. I think that the version of the piece that was lovingly performed by Sarah Watts and Antony Clare was nice in itself, but it wasn't what I was aiming for. Think I'm going to salvage it (there are, again, a few notational quirks to iron out) as a separate piece and start the DUO piece again from scratch.

On my desk (apart from the obligatory marking) at the moment are a piece called kinderszenen, which is for any forces, but I'm looking to create a version for flute and pre-recorded flutes for Richard Craig at the moment. We haven't yet worked out exactly how we're going to approach the task yet, but it's going to be fun. I'm also looking at finally engaging properly with the piece for clarinet in A that I've been meaning to write for Carl Rosman. No title yet (and I think that lack of an identity for the piece is what's making it so slippery at the moment) but the sound of the piece is beginning to crystallise in my head.

I think I'm doing ok off anti-depressants. There are difficult times, but mostly I feel happier and stronger than I have done in a long time. I have further to go in some areas than others but it's all improvement so far.

I've given a couple of papers at conferences: one on Stockhausen's Aus den sieben Tagen and one on relating a chunk of Cardew's output (1969-76) to Deleuze & Guattari's rhizome principle (is that even the right word). Very very happy with the Cardew paper, but the Stockhausen wasn't bad by any means, just unfocused. I am planning to write them up (and my informal guest paper on Partch I gave at Edinburgh University) and try to get them published.

Big question is why am I writing this? I guess I'm mainly writing it for me. I'm taking stock at half-past midnight in the week before Christmas. I'd like to get back into the habit of writing this blog, but I still haven't quite worked out what I want to write and for whom. I have a few thoughts - that I should just write everything (personal, musical, food-related, dog-related) that occurs to me and use tags to order them; that I should just focus on composition (as I have in the past); that I should just focus on a personal blog as a way to vent. I'm not sure it actually matters in the long run. Perhaps a sort of order will work itself out.


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