First supervision since *mumble mumble*
I feel as if I haven't done much in the last couple of months. Supervisor thinks I've been pretty prolific. This is reassuring in some ways, but also makes me wonder what would happen if I were able to work more consistently.
I now have a second supervisor! I'll probably see him once per term, once he is back from sabbatical. He likes polyphony and is more of a musicologist than Supervisor 1, so will probably be helpful on the analysis front.
On listening, reading and writing:
I do still need to get into the habit of actually listening to music. And I do still need to do more writing, more analysis. But what I'm doing now -- the worklogs, the reading of various columns and blogs -- is a good start. "The Rest is Noise" is a good thing for me to be reading to get into the material, but the other two books will have what I really, really need to know solidly. The abecedarium, whether for arrangements or as an exercise in composing from scratch, is a really good idea, but keep the pieces short, and remember arrangements can't go in the PhD portfolio.
In a viva I will need to be able to answer:
1) How are you making an original contribution to the repertoire?
2) Where do you place yourself/categorise yourself within the music being written [in your tradition/in the Western academic canon]?
For both of these I'll need to do lots of analysis of my own work. It isn't enough to say that I like harmonic instability, changes of metre, word-painting and cross relations; it isn't enough to say that I give the text primacy; I need to look for patterns in this. Where do I use word-painting and where do I not? What drives the changes of metre?
Things I need to do next year:
-present a few pieces to the Composers' Forum
-present to the Research Forum
-eventually, decide what my Big Piece is going to be. (There has to be a Big Piece, I can't just have 235872987 little ones.) I have lots of ideas.
On various pieces:( cut for length )
This leaves my to-do list looking something like:
-Ash Weds service this evening, probably a chat about commission text
-Sweeney Todd rehearsal sit-in if I am up to it (I really ought to)
-Pack to go back to London
-Train back to London
-Finish O nata lux
by Friday and send it to Juice
-Sort out underlay, midi robots for Art House, put online properly
-postcards for patrons
-business cards (really would be good to have some before Friday, but that seems unlikely)
-start thinking about texts for competitons MASNAU, MALTA and ORTUS
-post-trip laundry and decompression
-Hymnathon at St Michael's
-ULCC at Southwark Cathedral
-Polyphony Down the Pub
-fix Winter Stars and send that entry off
-start writing MANAU, MALTA or ORTUS; or, preferably, all three
-fix Reminiscences (this is the first one to fix because if it's going to be a test piece *this year* people need copies soon).
-fix Round me Falls the Night so I can order a recording and put it in the "waiting to publish" box
-start a list of names for the abecedarium
Plus, you know, all the routine bits, and the non-composing stuff. Oof.