Friday, 18 January 2013

Coming down

Today has been a little bit “back to reality” after the joy that was the Fourth Plinth event on Thursday night. In spite of a slight scheduling panic which saw a couple of pieces unfortunately truncated and the beginning of my Lines of Sight a little overwhelmed, the whole night, I think, was a raging success. All the pieces worked really well, the space is fantastic, and David’s & my programme was not only admired but also turned out to be comprehensible. WIN!

Top all that off with drinks at the ICA bar afterwards with the whole class, getting rather drunk on red wine and all of us singing along at the tops of our voices to Andreas’ accompaniment on the piano accordion (everything from “Toreador” to “I Will Survive” and beyond!) and it rather made the prospect of a normal day today seem extremely tame, so I was glad to be heading into college for a meeting in spite of dire snow warnings and general chilliness.

I didn’t get as much done today as I’d hoped – which now makes it, I think, 3 days since I last worked on the Ansel Adams piece – but progress happened – we now have a plan and a poster for Rude Health (did the poster this evening in 3 variants – just waiting for the votes to come in as to which we use), I found a great Elliott Carter quote which I’m going to use in the tape part for my Rude Health piece (and recorded myself saying it several times), did a little viol practice and recorded myself playing an assortment of peculiar sounds on the viol, of which I’m sure my teacher would not approve 😀

Given the weather, it seems I’m to be trapped at home for the duration of the weekend, which is a shame – really would have preferred to go into college because I generally get more done there – but I have my plan: Tape part for the Rude Health piece to be finished tomorrow, graphic score on Sunday, more work done on Ansel Adams at some point because I need to have the piece finished and first draft orchestration done by the end of next weekend, according to my plan. Time is getting scarily tight on this one!

Tagged with: composition, concert, design, events, friends | Add a comment

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Stuttering progress

I haven’t spent much time with Ansel Adams today – been working on the programme for Fourth Plinth (it’s on Thursday! Come along! It’s free and it’ll be fun!) which has been fun but time-consuming, so I got back to Ansel tonight when I finally got home.

I managed to get the piece to 5’30” yesterday and am really hoping to push on to the 6-minute mark tomorrow. It’s kind of driving me nuts, actually – I can FEEL where it needs to go, but I’m having dreadful trouble identifying the right notes to take it there. It’s been moving on a bit better since I started working in full orchestration – I suspect because I need this section to be much more rhythmically complex overall than the first section, and the layering would have been hell to try to work out in short score – but it’s really limping. I keep going back and improving the orchestration and then I can manage to squeeze out another few seconds, but it staggers forward and is unconvincing and then I delete and it slumps back again. I feel that if I can just get this section to 6 minutes then everything will come good in the last section, and I don’t need to make the last section any more than 2 minutes long to fulfil the duration requirements (although a little longer would be nice and another 3 minutes would be more golden-sectiony than 2)

I’m still having trouble getting my head around the ensemble though. Flutes? fine. Clarinet? fine. Voice? fine. Harp? fine. Strings? fine. Everything else? SO not interested. I really don’t want the piano or the saxes or the acoustic guitar and I’m having a devil of a time trying to dream up things for them to do that are meaningful, won’t disrupt the soundworld I’m trying to create and won’t be mere token notes because I can’t not use those instruments. It’s not the instruments themselves I have anything against, it’s a balance issue – the saxes feel like they’ll be too harsh against the other winds, the acoustic guitar I’m concerned will be smothered, the piano’s not a real piano and I have no idea what the sounds are like on it so I don’t know what I’m working with. I’m actually feeling pretty ambivalent about the drumkit, which surprises me. I think I’ll just stick to brushes for that though, so that should reflect the shimmery/clouds of sound look I’m going for in sections 1 and 3 and I think it’ll just stay quiet in the middle section.

So yes, it’s still the middle section that I’m not convinced by, but I feel I just need to limp through it and get to the third section and I’ll be able to make it stronger with the orchestration. Still feel it’s rhythmically limp though, but I’m not seeing how I can improve that at the moment with the instruments I have – each section is too broken to give convincing mud in the rhythm department – if I do a triplet in a sax against, say 2 quavers in the flute or clarinet, they’ll both stick out – it’s not evenly balanced. Maybe I need to capture a saxophonist and see what kind of sounds they actually make, as opposed to the sounds I THINK they’ll make. Should probably listen to some John Harle too or other big-name classical sax players.


In cheerier news, I now have all four pianists lined up for my Rude Health concert. Just need to… um… write the piece and get it to them by the end of the weekend. Um. Also, rehearsals for Lines of Sight have been going really well (you should come!) – to the extent that when I asked my violist and cellist if they’d like another run-through tomorrow, they proclaimed themselves confident enough to not need it, which is definitely a hurrah moment. It was sounding really good in the space in yesterday’s whole-event rehearsal and I’m quite excited to see how it turns out on the night.

OK. To bed! Big day tomorrow finalising the Fourth Plinth programme and sending it for approval, hopefully getting my project supervisor’s approval for the Twombly Project proposal (due on Thursday) and powering ahead to a 6-minute landmark in Ansel Adams. Still need to find a title for that too!

Tagged with: composition, concert, design, drawing, exhibition | Add a comment

Monday, 7 January 2013

Back to school

First day back at college today and it’s been very full-on, but in a good way. Lovely to see all my friends and get back into the swing of classes. Deadlines are looming and while it’s been nice just working on composing, it’s actually really nice to be back at college and feel all the activity humming along.

The day started (9.30am!!) with Fourth Plinth, which we are rehearsing and then performing next week (Thursday 17th at ICA, 6.30pm – come along!) so things really need to hum along with this. I did a bunch of work on the train writing up my ideas and thinking about how to approach it, and between that and something Dominic raised in class – that pretty much everyone is doing improv pieces, but really only a couple of people in the group actually consider themselves confident improvisers – I’ve pretty much decided to go with a graphic score, with indications of pitch sets to use for each section. This will give me control over levels of consonance/dissonance (which I’m thinking will be useful for expressing the different phases of the Trafalgar Square area) while also taking some of the pressure off the players to come up with something that works. I’ll probably use lines for melodic material/feel/pace indication but colour blocks to indicate intensity/aggression levels. Nothing complex that they need to memorise & I’ve given in and just accepted that music stands will be required. It’s a shame, but there’s too much content in the concert to expect people to memorise something that (hopefully) will work better with a bit more structure. Did I say? The piece is called Lines of Sight. I’m also working with another student on the programme, which is looking fun and hopefully not too taxing with two of us on it.

The big news of the day was that in the hour between finishing up with Fourth Plinth and trotting off to see Jamie in Marketing about the branding requirements for the Fourth Plinth programmes, I think I finished the short-score for Fear of Falling. I need it to sit for a bit, and I don’t think it’s really perfect, but it IS an ending, and that’s half the battle!

I’ve also done a bit more on the Ansel Adams piece tonight. The lack of rhythmic interest is really bugging me in the second section. I’ve done some reading of Wallace-Berry-the-Impenetrable (Structural Functions in Music) which has proved useful. Berry’s a funny one. His text is so dense as to be near-incomprehensible, but every time I look at this book when I’m having a problem, I come away with something useful – even if I didn’t really get what he was saying. Weird, huh? In today’s case, he’s sent me off to consider a) altering the metre in the second section (probably from 3/4 to 4/4) b) slightly increasing the tempo, not just shrinking the note-values and c) maybe hunting down some evocative poetry about flowing water to transcribe some speech rhythms and then layer those. I think layering of rhythms is going to be key in this section. I mean, in a running river, it’s not just one big block of water, is it? it’s all sorts of little drops encountering different levels of resistance, their paths all slightly different and shaped by whether they’re at the edge, pushing against the banks, in the middle of a clear run of water, or in the middle of a rapid where a clear run might suddenly be interrupted by rocks and the flow diverted. Feeling a lot better about this, although there’s still clearly a ton of work to do.

So the big things this week are to: Complete Lines of Sight and send it to the performers, draft my Twombly project proposal to send to my supervisor (proposal’s due in next Thursday, the same day as the Fourth Plinth performace) and defeat the Ansel Adams 2nd section.

Guess all that means I should head to bed! G’night!

Tagged with: completion, composition, design, friends, learning, music, reading, study | Add a comment

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Contemplating colours

I’m working today, so of course I’ve become totally distracted by housey things. I guess that’s the beauty of working for yourself, eh? In particular, today I am contemplating colours. The whole house needs to be painted, inside and out, and the other day I received the Little Greene paint swatches which are just delicious so I’ve been thinking about what should go where and how to proceed.

Today I’ve read a couple of truly fascinating posts on the blog of Patrick Baty, an authority on architectural paint and colour. The first article, The Heirarchy of Colour in Eighteenth Century Decoration, yielded useful information about which bits to paint what colours – it seems that in the 18th century, the panelling and mouldings on the walls were an interpretation of classical columns (see the diagram in the article) so the wall paint should go all the way up to the top of the cornice – not to the bottom as we were thinking. I would imagine this would also have the effect of making the room seem taller.

The colours Baty shows in this article as “The Common Colours”, interestingly enough, reflect the colours I was thinking of – something like his Pearl Colour on the walls, and Lead Colour on the floors, with white ceilings. I found it interesting to discover that these Common Colours were the cheapest paint colours, and so would have most likely been used in modest homes such as ours. Also interesting to note is that Georgians usually painted the whole house the same colour – no different colours for different rooms, which is comforting for me because that was my original plan, but then I’d been a little concerned that it might feel a little overwhelming. Or boring. But hopefully this means it’ll be OK.

Of course, our house isn’t Eighteenth Century – from what we’ve been able to find out, it was probably built around 1850, officially early Victorian – so it’s Georgian outside, but really more Victorian inside, which kind of poses a conundrum about how to deal with the interiors. The one room (our bedroom) which seems to have original skirting boards and cornices also has picture rails which seem to be genuinely old picture rails, not modern ones that someone’s stuck on afterwards. The thing with this is that – as I understand it – picture rails were a Victorian invention and didn’t exist in the Georgian period. But as it’s there – and from our own experience as tenants, and bearing in mind that we will most likely need to rent the house out at some point, picture rails are fantastic because they allow for easy personalisation of a space without putting holes in the walls. But do we then paint them to match the walls (Georgian approach) or to match the ceiling (Victorian approach, I think)?

Of course, having then read Baty’s article on Lime Plaster and Subsequent Decoration and given the plaster disaster in Djeli’s study:
Coming apart

it would seem that after re-rendering – if we do it properly to allow the house to breathe – we may not be able to paint the walls properly for 2 years. But I guess that gives us LOTS of time to really think about what colours to use!

My first step before anything happens is to take casts of all these mouldings & cornices and so on, so that we have a record of what seems to be original so we can make the other rooms match that.

And then there’s the floors. We still seem to have the original boards, but they are FILTHY and bashed around, especially in the loungeroom where some moron decided to saw out a patch instead of just lifting them. It seems that in the Georgian period, where floors were made of cheaper woods such as pine, they would have been painted, possibly with a trompe l’oeil sort of pattern to make it look like it was actually a stone or marble floor. This is more faff than we’re prepared to go into, given the future carpeting – our original plan was to clean and paint the floorboards in the same colour as we’re planning to do the carpet. This will let us test out the colour and make the rooms feel cleaner and more finished until the carpet goes in – plus it will mean we can still have access to lift the floorboards as we build in various forms of cabling, including the home automation stuff that Djeli wants to play with.

However, we seem to have lucked out with the exterior colours. Our original plan was to make the outside of our house match that of our (joined) neighbour, which seems to be the right thing to do. And by a happy chance, the colour that the neighbour has fits with the recommendations in Baty’s Painting of Georgian Buildings post which says that rendered facades should use stone colours. Unfortunately the ironwork on the front of the house is painted black (should be some sort of grey – black came in much later, apparently) and the window frames are white (should be pale stone or off-white) but at least the overall colour will be correct, and it’s a colour we like, and the overall effect is very handsome, if not terribly historically accurate.

The one thing we haven’t really settled on yet is the colour for the front door. Baty’s table says the front door should use “Bronze Greens, Brunswick Greens, Invisible Greens, Red-Browns, Olive Browns”, which rather kills off both our ideas – Djeli had wanted black, and as I grew up in a house with a red door, I always feel a red-door house feels more like home 🙂 but from this list, I’m thinking a nice green might work. Now to run it past Djeli… and get back to work!

Tagged with: design, home | Add a comment

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The album has a cover

Yup, having settled on “Lucky Dip” as a name, and not having heard back from the owners of the Flickr image I wanted to use, I decided to draw my own, using the photo as a rough model. I drew the blackboard outline, a little bit of shadow on the back legs, the fringed border and the board itself in charcoal on half a sheet of A2 paper (I’ve been caught out by A2 paper before – far too big to fit on the scanner!), then pulled the scanned image (after cleaning up in Photoshop) over to the iPad to add colour and text. The final layout I did in Photoshop, after sending the coloured image back to the computer again.

I may tweak it later but as a first draft, I’m pretty pleased and I’ve put it up as the album image on SoundCloud.

Lucky Dip album cover art

It’s been a very long time since I’ve done any drawing, and longer still since I did any with actual paper rather than just the iPad, so this was a really fun project. The whole album’s feeling really real too now – there’s only one more track to come in, with two possible replacement tracks. Guess I should think about what order I want them all to go in too. At the moment they’re just in the order the recordings came in, but I’m thinking that shuffling them around might be more effective.

Today I received Kim Hickey’s recording of her piece, Flit, for flute. I am just amazed at all the great performances I’ve been getting for these pieces – so little time to prepare them and yet everyone’s done a really good job of capturing their piece and getting it recorded. I haven’t had to put on a stern face & tell anybody to try harder, nothing’s turned up sounding like it was recorded underwater in a bathtub in 1902. A couple of pieces have needed a touch of reverb to really bring out the tone of the instrument, and Kim’s recording needed a tiny bit of hiss reduced, but that’s been it, which has been both wondrous and a great relief because I’m no skilled recording engineer.

But I digress, here’s Kim’s piece:

I also posted an update of Alun’s tango – the original for some reason came through very very soft, so he’s adjusted his recording slightly and sent me a slightly louder one, which really makes a difference. It’s still fairly quiet, but there’s a bunch of tiny details in there which eluded me in the previous version.

Sam also sent me copies of some of his rejected takes for I Want It To Kill People. I found it absolutely fascinating to listen to the various approaches. They’re all good, but somehow the final take he settled on just interacts with the tape part a little more effectively than the other versions of the graphic score. What was particularly interesting was to hear the take on which he improvised, without the graphic score – that’s a really interesting piece. It’s not the piece that I Want It To Kill People became, but something else. It’s more enmeshed in the tape part – he’s taken some of the gritty sounds and used them as inspiration for the guitar part – whereas my vision of the piece was that the guitar was this soft and lovely thing with depths of aggression, Sam’s version is more like watching the soft and lovely guitar be corrupted by the aggressive tape part. Really fascinating. He’s also sent me just the guitar recording from the final version and I really think I will have a go at tweaking the tape part – there’s a blob of notes about a third of the way into the piece that really feel like a stumbling block, so I’m going to see if I can make them less intrusive.

So that’s RPM for today. No, the harp piece hasn’t happened yet. Yes, I’m hoping to get to it tomorrow. Today was full of client work and physiotherapist and – at the end – half of a wonderful concert by Joby Burgess at Wigmore Hall and a lovely chat with @stevegisby and his girlfriend. I managed to get there for the end of it (thank you, Central Line – not!) and got to hear Gabriel Prokofiev’s ‘Fanta’ from Import/Export and Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint, movements II and III played on a MIDI xylophone, which was interesting, although I think I prefer the electric guitar version I have on CD in Sydney. Very much enjoyed the Prokofiev piece though – inventive, fun and very much a serious piece of music, in spite of the amusement factor of being played on glass bottles of Fanta. I did wonder, though, how long it’ll still be able to be played for – what happens when they no longer manufacture glass bottles of drink??? I guess it’s just a piece that embraces its own ephemerality.

I seem to have come out of the day with a Proper Job too. And the best sort of proper job – mobile web dev, working from home, for about a week, for a client who used to be a colleague when I was at LBi and who has now set up her own UX business for financial services companies. Really looking forward to this one.

One day to go. One recording to come in. This time tomorrow night, RPM 2012 will be complete!

Tagged with: completion, composition, design, drawing, editing, experimenting, learning, listening, music, recording, tools | Add a comment

Monday, 27 February 2012

So very close…

And with 2 days to go, we’re rampaging down the home stretch! Today’s inbox saw another three recordings – from Rob, Shana (who’s recorded the pedal harp arrangement of Pieces of Eight I sent her while I was concussed) and Jenni. Rob’s very kindly offered to do some re-recording, which has given me the opportunity to tweak a couple of things in the trombone score, but what’s he’s sent is great so I’m considering that one done, and we’ll just see if he has the time to do the update.

But Shana’s (Pieces of Eight) and Jenni’s (Nest) recordings are up on SoundCloud now, bringing the total tracks on the online album to 6.

Alun has also sent me an updated version of his track, which came out extremely soft this end. I haven’t had a chance to listen to this update yet because the employment monster demanded my attention with a possible short mobile web-dev contract I need to quote for, but will definitely look at it tomorrow.

And, alas, contrary to plans, I haven’t started on Shana’s proper piece for this project – just shattered today after 4 very fun but exhausting days with a friend here from France so I just did what I could and am hoping to get to that tomorrow. Suspect there’s no chance of it being included in my official RPM Challenge album though.

The album also, finally, has a title. At first I was going to call it Miscellany 2012, but that seemed kind of obvious and dull and like I hadn’t made an effort. I made a set for it on SoundCloud, waved it about on Facebook… and then promptly realised that a much more appropriate name (although probably still not that imaginative) would be Lucky Dip, after which I found that while I could change the title of the set I couldn’t change the URL so the address of the album didn’t match it’s title. A small detail but one that bugs me, so I’ve deleted that set, made another one and redistributed the new link. Aargh. Messy. But probably better to deal with the mess immediately rather than potentially let old & broken links float about the internet too much.

So Lucky Dip it is. I figured it was kind of appropriate because it was a lucky dip for me, finding out what instruments I’d be writing for, and of course a lucky dip for the performers with what piece they’d get (if any), and finally the pieces have all turned out so varied that I think it’s also a bit of a lucky dip for the listener too. And then I found this photo on Flickr and that pretty much sealed the deal. I’ve had to write to the photographer to ask for permission to crop it, tweak it and whack my name over the top, but I’m hoping they’ll agree. If not, I may use it for inspiration – maybe do a drawing of their photograph or something??

2 days. 3 pieces to come. So close to the finish line!

Tagged with: composition, dayjob, design, listening, music, photography, recording, tools | Add a comment

Monday, 9 January 2012


I’ve been neglecting this blog a bit over the past few months, I know. And then last week I went and posted my new year goals list here which feels a little like I’ve sullied the purity of this space, but if I’m honest, pretty much nobody reads this blog and while it’s been useful – and continues to be from time to time – I’m not managing to keep up the daily posts.

Mind you, my creative activity has increased vastly since the time when I set up One Creative Thing. So much so that I no longer have the time or energy to blog about all that creative activity, so I guess that’s a good thing!

What I’m leading towards is that I’m thinking that I might change the focus of this blog a bit. Not quite sure where it’ll go – it’ll still be about regular creative activity, but I’ve been wanting to post about general creativity topics for a while now, and frankly it was getting a bit dull just writing endless lists of what I’d been doing – posting my soul on on a regular basis has shown me that it’s more interesting for other people to read about the thoughts that go into a creative activity rather than just knowing about the activity itself. Otherwise, it should just be a blog of lists, bare-bones. Maybe it could be a bit of both. I’m not sure yet.

Today I’m recovering from the first cold of 2012. This one’s hit me hard & I’ve been in bed for a week now. Not a great start to the year, but I’ve done some thinking in that time, and especially following on from doing the 2012 list, I’m thinking of consolidating my sideline blogs. There’s this one, plus Minimania, which was my Vox blog and now languishes at Typepad, plus a couple of neglected Tumblogs too, and it occurred to me that if I broaden the scope of this blog, then maybe I can consolidate the ex-Vox content (which currently is really only updated with the annual goals lists, birthday & Christmas lists for relatives in far-flung places and the occasional personal post) with what’s here and ditch the nasty TypePad experience altogether. Maybe this space can build more on the work in progress posts on, giving a day-to-day account of what I feel is right (or not) with the work as I’m doing it. Given that I’m going to be starting a Masters degree later this year, and that I want to start doing more active listening, more scheduled composition sessions, that could be a good thing.

Will it still be One Creative Thing? I’m not sure. Guess I’ll have to see where these thoughts take me.

(Oh, and today Djeli and I attempted to make “Princesses” – chocolate meringues – out of my new-for-Christmas French baking book. They were a bit of a disaster, but I think I know where we went wrong, so I’ll be having another go soon. Also designed and ordered proper business cards for Raspberry Blue. And read a lot)

Tagged with: baking, blogging, cooking, creativity, dayjob, design, ideas, organisation, reading, self-promotion, thinking, tools | Add a comment

Friday, 11 February 2011

Preparing to leap…

If you’ve been reading this blog over the past few days, then you’ll know that I’m contemplating some pretty big life changes – getting my own business off the ground, putting composition centre-stage in my life, working seriously at getting my music heard and audience-building, that sort of thing.

I’ve had some pretty intense ideas over the past few days – one of them just yesterday, which I think might actually bring in some real cash but I don’t want to announce it yet – going to run it by someone whose opinion I value and who falls neatly within my target market – and while it’s been great to feel the ideas flowing, and even better to find myself still composing in the midst of it, I’ve also been starting to feel a little overwhelmed.

So today I’ve put in a major chunk of work on ditching the overwhelm. I had a good long think about the way I work best and realised that I’ve always been happiest in my work when I’m not just beavering away at one thing all the time – my brain likes to hop about. So then I figured that instead of just trying to think of ways to bring in money, I should sit down and work out what sort of things I actually pretty much always enjoy doing. There was a bit of a list, but most things were pretty synonymous with the following key points:

  • Composition (well, duh!)
  • Publishing and its attendant elements – writing and editing, music copying, layout, picking out fonts
  • Helping people do stuff better (so long as I don’t need to speak to them on the phone)

And after that it all became pretty clear that I should probably focus the bulk of my business-building efforts in the direction of publication – I should write my book on how to build a website that actually works, I should publish music and possibly recordings, I should try to get some copying work and get some clients to pay me to design some stuff (I do have a degree in that after all). Because the third point really can tie in very well with the second point if I do it right. And I think that if I can make a living doing a combination of these three things, then I could be very happy indeed.

Which was a comforting thought, except then the fear set in: How the hell do I start building a publishing company? I mean, I have no plans to be Faber or Penguin, but even once you have content, how do you get heard?? Here I found some of the lessons from the e-book I bought the other day useful – just some bits and pieces about being noticed online. Of course I know a fair bit about using social networks, but I tend to keep quiet rather than shouting and I’ve generally restricted myself to the more general or larger ones – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, Delicious.

So I figured that if I was to conquer the fear and do anything at all about getting this off the ground, the first step was to work out exactly what I was going to try to do, and for each of those goals, to write down as many actions as I could think of that would need to happen in order to reach the primary goal of having something for sale (actually selling something is part 2 – first up one needs to have something to sell and something with which to sell it). This resulted in 3 full A4 pages of to-do list. Um. Yes. Quite.

Seeing everything I need to work on down in black and white (well, black and yellow) actually was a bit of a kick in the derrière, to the extent that this evening I have written 3 emails, created a Twitter account for our company, Raspberry Blue (@azurefruit – yes, a little lateral thinking had to come into play as raspberryblue is taken and even though it hasn’t been posted to in a year, alas, it is not available. Go on, follow us!), created a SoundCloud account to post my music to, and discovered that I actually did open a Bandcamp account a few months ago, so I’ve tweaked the profile details there and basically it’s all ready to start receiving content (really quite excited to see what happens with this particular part of the plan – more on this later).

There’s still an absolute Everest of tasks to do – including building a whole website for Raspberry Blue, creating yet another blog and writing some starter-content for it, writing the book, working on laying out my scores, making semi-proper recordings of my songs, where possible, designing business cards, designing flyers, getting the laser printer fixed… on and on and on – but it feels fantastic to know that I’ve taken some real steps today, and now that those steps have been taken I’m significantly more confident about where my feet need to go tomorrow. It’s the big breath before the leap.

Tagged with: blogging, copying, dayjob, design, editing, fonts, gtd, ideas, learning, mentalhealth, music, organisation, publishing, self-promotion, thinking, tools, web, writing | Add a comment

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A Ballets Russes indulgence

I got back from Durham yesterday and today was feeling a touch of withdrawal symptoms – home seems so empty and grey. It’s lovely to see Djelibeybi again of course, but no parents, no lovely new composer-friends, I just needed a little direction. So Djeli and I took ourselves off to the last day of the Diaghilev exhibition at the V&A. They really put together a great exhibition – as they so often do. We went to an exhibition of Ballets Russes costumes and so on in Canberra a number of years ago, so there was some stuff I’d already seen, but I was pretty impressed that most of the exhibition consisted of things I’d never seen before, including the Managers costumes from Erik Satie & Picasso’s Parade and footage of Nijinska’s choreography for Stravinsky’s Les Noces. An excellent antidote for the post-composition-indulgence blues.

Tagged with: artist date, design, exhibition, mentalhealth, relaxing | Add a comment

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Digital musings

I should be quick tonight as it’s nearly 5am. Whoops. The evening just got away from me, mostly in writing – I’ve been working on two related blog posts on ways ensembles and composers can add value to their work using digital options. The first one, on programme notes I’m hoping will be up tomorrow (um… today, I guess) – just need to review it and make sure I haven’t said anything totally mad.

I bought a pudding basin. And suet. Friday is Christmas pudding day. Yes, I know it’s very late. Nigella seems to think it’ll all be OK.

Worked on the quintet for about 3 minutes. Was hard to work on this earlier today as the lady upstairs decided it was easy-listening day. From about 3 in the afternoon till 8pm. But I didn’t want to go to bed without having put down at least a couple of notes.

Score for Remembrances is… done. Well, sort of. Looking great, flicked through… then realised that every single vocal stave is using the tenor clef instead of treble. So now I have to go back to Finale, change the clefs, re-export all 7 pages, open them in Photoshop, trim them and reimport them back into InDesign. Not Happy.

Heigh ho.

Tagged with: blogging, christmas, composition, cooking, copying, design, music, writing | Add a comment