2015: Out in the real world

So I’ve done my 10 good things about 2014 list and it’s time to think about what I want 2015 to be. Obviously I’m not studying anymore so the focus, I think, needs to be on a few slightly different things:

  1. Developing my own practice – continuing my research, writing new pieces, performing them or organising performances
  2. Finding actual paid employment
  3. Dealing with my health so that I will be fit when I’m ready to start my PhD, wherever that may be.

MUSIC & ART

I want to keep up with my research and developing the work I’ve been doing that straddles the border of music and art, which will involve much reading, listening, looking and writing about thoughts. – This happened, although not to the extent I’d hoped. Quite unstructured, but it was there.

I want to explore some of the new media I’ve been working with in 2014 and see where I can take that – in particular, video and Max/MSP. Maybe print too. There are certainly more dropping pieces to be made, and possibly more parksong pieces, but I also want to do new stuff too. – Definitely succeeded on this one. More dropping pieces, finished off Manifesto, explored more Max/MSP through the Sound Art classes I took at Morley College.

Art for art’s sake. I’ve been trying to work towards building up a visual language and would like to take this further to create some pieces that are specifically just ‘art’ for display (rather than art which is music) – Progress made, including completing my first visual commission. I still think sonically about the visual stuff, but I think some of those sonic ideas are better expressed visually. Possibly that makes no sense.

Keep writing notated music. At the moment I’m finding myself more interested in the more conceptual ideas – text scores, video pieces, etc. – but I want to make sure I keep writing Real Notes too, and keep thinking about what can be done to combine the two. – Didn’t really succeed on this one, although I kept thinking about it and trying but I haven’t really done anything new for Real Notes in 2015.

Write stuff for Trinity performer-friends – don’t let those relationships evaporate! – Didn’t get as much done in this respect as I’d hoped, but did work with Ash Blasse on a new version of Crossing Dartmoor, which will hopefully lead further.

Perform my own music! – Yup. Performed Cake Piece, NO DOGS, Crossing Dartmoor.

Try to make sure that where I have recordings of pieces, they go up on SoundCloud in a reasonable period of time! – This turned out to not really be applicable for this year’s work, but I did put things up in other places (caitlinrowley.com, YouTube, Crossing Dartmoor website) in a timely fashion at least.

HOME & TRAVEL

Still need to go to Australia. Still not sure when this will happen, but if it doesn’t happen earlier, it’s likely that we’ll go there for Christmas. – Yup, Christmas. Here right now 🙂

British passports. This is the year! – No, no it wasn’t.

Carry on with the house. Meh. Djelibeybi has plans, most of which aren’t really going to involve me, so my own priorities are:

  • Ensure that all boxes from the spare room are gone through and either cleared, stuff put back into use, or correctly labelled so that we can find things when we need them. – I think this is kind of sorted. Still need to go through more stuff, especially as now all our Australian stuff will be arriving in about March/April!
  • Reorganise study – can I make it work a bit better? Do I need more bookshelves? – ALWAYS need more bookshelves, but the whole study was improved by the addition of my lovely 1970 G-Plan sideboard which for now has helped with storage issues for all sorts of things.
  • Book cull – cookbooks and novels in particular. We just have way too many. – Big cull done, both in UK & Aus. It’s really helped too, I think.
  • Keep on with digitising the DVDs and putting them on the Drobo (while in Aus I want to try to rip all our DVDs there too) – Slow work but progressing. Aus DVDs being shipped rather than ripped.
  • Paint kitchen plinths and uprights – Uh… still no
  • Paint front door – Nope
  • Scrape and paint front-of-house bits that weren’t painted with the rest of the house – entryway, wall, gateposts – Nope
  • Try to get some decorative stuff going – things that look nice just because they look nice. Maybe I should buy that sewing machine I’ve been considering this year… – Yup, bought the sewing machine and working on this. Bought a nice fruit bowl too. Ideas are happening.

No particular travel plans this year, but I’d like to do a couple of European trips at some point. – Djeli took me to Rome to the opera for a belated birthday trip which was grand, and while the parents were here we did trips to Dartmoor, the Cotswolds and Jersey with them, all of which were pretty great (Jersey, esp)

HEALTH

The usual, I guess – more water, more exercise, more vegetables, fewer carbs, less dairy, etc. but in particular I want to tackle my emotional eating because that’s more of a problem than what I choose to eat for meals. – I feel I’m making progress on this, but still a lot of work to do.

Need to try to keep up with taking vitamins where needed. The Vitamin C really does help prevent colds, and the magnesium supplements do help with reducing muscle tension and consequent pain. – Good progress, but still patches of forgetting.

Relaxation time needs to be prioritised, but can also be combined with reading and listening for research. Knitting is good for relaxing too, so probably worth ensuring regular projects. – Erm… ha!

WORK & BUSINESS

I’ve come to the conclusion that I really don’t want to go back into web dev at all, but I haven’t been having much luck getting interviews for Real Jobs yet and I think I need to adjust my approach.

  1. I should focus on applying for grants. Crossing Dartmoor is the obvious place to start and just because it’s bigger than Ben Hur and super-daunting as a result doesn’t mean I should procrastinate on it – if anything, the opposite! Need to contact people and follow up and get this happening. – Done! Two grants successfully applied for for Crossing Dartmoor this year!
  2. Get online shop up and running – for art stuff as well as music. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to work. – Didn’t happen but I still think it should.
  3. Do I still want to do firsthurrah? Why have I been dodging this? – Still don’t know the answer to this, still haven’t done anything with it.
  4. Keep an eye on job descriptions and see what I can do to improve my suitability for Real Job roles I might want. Suspect this is going to be largely management experience, but there may be courses I can do or voluntary work which might help with this. – Haven’t really done much on this, have been more focused on the jobs that have been turning up and looking at PhD opportunities which looked like helping with this. I’ve been really enjoying the production work I’ve done – could be a focus for the future?
  5. Buy & learn Sibelius so I can take on copying jobs that might turn up. – Looked into this and had to discard it because Sib isn’t available for my OS but I can’t upgrade that without spending hundreds of pounds on upgrading other programmes, so fiscally out for now.

OTHER STUFF

Hmm. I’ve been so out of touch with the studying that there are a bunch of things I just stopped doing which I enjoy, so I think I should get back to them. These include:

  • Knitting – I did some more on the green gloves, but that’s been about it
  • Playing games (Wii/PC/iPad/board games) – Not a lot of time on this since the beginning of the year. Was hard with parents in residence & when away.
  • Watching movies/TV series – Actually did quite a lot of TV-watching this year. Mostly ripped stuff through Plex, but some just watching for the joy of it, especially after parents left. Most notably devoured the whole of Battlestar Galactica in about 2 weeks, and the whole of Game of Thrones Season 5 on the flight to Australia. Actually enjoyed all this more than I thought I would.
  • Trying new recipes – so many cookbooks and barely a dent made in them. I want to try more vegetable/vegetarian stuff and see if I can find some unmeaty things I actually like. – Some, not a lot. Been struggling to refind my interest in cooking this year, but some successful moments. Bought myself the Hemsley + Hemsley cookbook and have been enjoying some of the things out of that.
  • Reading for fun rather than research or obsessive reading to keep the insanity away – Worked on this more in the second half of the year, after the parents left. Books have included a bunch of Terry Pratchetts – Unseen Academicals, Raising Steam, Snuff – and over the Australia trip a bunch of random stuff, including the last Sister Pelagia novel, The Snow Goose, The Call of the Wild, Julian Barnes’ A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters and a book I found by accident on Amazon called The Year of Living Danishly, which was excellent.
  • Drawing for fun – Started doing more of this and after the parents left I was beginning to work on portraits, trying to do quick drawings based on photographs of strangers in the newspaper. Not good yet, but I think some OK stuff emerging.