Having a GREAT day today. Tired but happy – got a heap of things done. And worthwhile stuff too. While I’ve been enjoying the business-building stuff I’ve been focused on for the past couple of weeks, it’s been great to have a day that’s been predominantly about creating and promoting my music. Really refreshing.

Well, Monday is blog day on caitlinrowley.com, and as yesterday we had a friend over for lunch and then I totally zonked out because I was so exhausted after the week so I didn’t get my usual Sunday blog-writing moment and had to do it today. I wasn’t ready to write more about the violin piece (more on that in a second) partly because the piece wasn’t really ready, and partly because it’s a post I’m going to want to do a chunk of thinking and probably some analysing for, which is going to take more than just a morning. So I decided it was time to launch a new series of blog posts I’ve been thinking about for a couple of weeks. After reading an article about tools by Havi Brooks I’ve been thinking a bit about the tools I use for composing and I thought that in the context of trying to write more about my process, it might be interesting to also talk about the awesome stuff that constitutes the tools I use – not necessarily (or just) things like my computer, pencils and so on, but also the things that inspire me and the stuff that gets used while I’m working through my thoughts.

So I leapt in. I’ve started with Elaine Gould’s notation reference, Behind Bars, which I’m actually finding quite inspiring and exciting, in spite of the fact that it sounds dull. Every time I look something up in it, I stumble across something else that makes me go “ooh! maybe I could use that” so I spent about an hour just writing about that book this morning. And hey, presto: blog post. And I’ve already had a little positive feedback on it, so hopefully people will get something out of it.

I also continued on with The Great Backup Project – I installed a plugin both here and on caitlinrowley.com to back up both these blogs to our new S3 space, so if they accidentally get wiped, there’ll be a recent backup to restore rather than having to remember to do it by hand. I’ve had Time Machine running perfectly all day now – the only downside is that if I’m not at my desk then I’m not being backed up, but so long as I remember to return the laptop to the desk overnight, it’ll switch itself on and hopefully run a backup first thing. Not perfect, but a darn sight better than the nothing I’ve been relying on for too long. I’ll look into ways I might be able to access the new drive wirelessly sometime soon…

And the violin piece! I finally tweaked myself to a standstill, then gave myself a talking to, PDFed it up and sent it off to a couple of violin-playing friends from Durham. And got an answer within an hour from one of them saying she had “great fun” playing it and yes everything’s perfectly playable and indeed mostly very comfortable under the hand. She suggested a couple of open-string tweaks, which was great because, yes, that was the sound I had in mind, but I’d completely forgotten to put the symbols in, and one cautionary accidental, which is now in place. So I’m down to the final layout, choosing fonts and just the last publicationy bits and pieces – a brief note for the front, design a cover and it should be winging its way to New York by the end of the week. It actually has a title too: Diabolus. I didn’t want to do some reference to 1-minute/60-seconds whatever, and the whole thing is built on the interval of the tritone (the diabolus in musica) and by the end the time signature changes had become pretty dizzying, so I think this name will stick.

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