artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-08-23 07:56 am

Cecilia's List: database structure stuff

Things I want to track about music:

Title/First line of text
Composer: Last name, first name, initials, birth year, death year, nationality, website, e-mail, role, link to contact composer, link to composer's website, notes
Arranger: all the info from Composer.
Language
Lyricist
Translator
Date of composition/publication
Publisher (if applicable)
Voicing
Instrumentation
Genre (e.g. hymn, chant, anthem, canticle, responses, voluntary...)
Metre (for hymns)
Tune name (for hymns)
Duration (in time)
Duration (in verses, for hymns)
Difficulty
Hymnals the work is published in
Anthologies the work is published in
Url to order a deadtree copy
url to buy a download
url to a free download, if any legal
url to contact composer
Liturgical context: seasons, saints, services, themes, where in the service it might fit,
Scriptural references (this is fairly complicated because a piece might be relevant to one verse or to a range of them and it might skip some within that range, but at least someone has numbered the chapters and verses already, thank you Dominicans; I almost want to do this with a link to bible.oremus.org because that is a sensible site)
Lectionary Date (there are three years worth of these)
Related works (e.g. a Magnificat may be linked to a Nunc Dimittis)

Some of these are one-to-one relationships, some of them are one-to-many. I don't really get how to do the one-to-many thing, yet.

I think I need the following tables:
Works
People
Hymnals
Urls
Liturgical context
Scriptural context
Lectionary Date
Relationships between works

But, I am not quite sure what I am doing...
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-06-19 02:14 pm
Entry tags:

Worklog

Spent some time this weekend thinking about relational databases; I think I've figured out what structure I need, with some help from that [personal profile] hairyears, but I'm not really much closer to figuring out what software to use to achieve this. More on that in another post.

I'm thinking about whether to have a regular-ish Twitter chat for #CeciliasList, and so far most who have filled out the poll seem to like the idea. Maybe one or two Mondays a month? Not sure about timing, that's probably another poll. I do need to keep this manageable alongside a PhD. Similarly, I'd love to have some kind of launch concert -- on 22nd November, of course -- but I don't really see how I can organise one between now and then, unless I do it as some kind of scratch choir thing (but they work better for well-known works and a lot of these ones won't be).

I put some competition deadlines into my calendar.

I finally have both postcards and scores for sending out this month's Patreon rewards.

I took last week very gently, and this week is looking like very hot weather. The next composing deadline isn't until the end of July (I decided to scrap Leith Hill), so I'm hoping to spend the next couple of weeks basically finishing things off and tying up loose ends, of which I have a few floating about.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-06-16 02:05 pm

Database stuff

OK, for Cecilia's List I will need a database.

That is: the volume of information will get really stupid realyl fast if I try to do it without a database of some sort.

For now, I am happy enough with a database where I ask it for a report (which will include some html formatting) and then copy and paste that into a Wordpress page or blog post. Really! This is because this introduces a layer of human proofreading, and I like human proofreading.

It is over a decade since I did any kind of work with databases at all, and that was... rudimentary, to say the least. So I don't really know what I'm doing.
more on what I need/want, and not knowing how to get it )

Er, are any of you good at databases? I think Zair may be able to help me, but I'd like to get a better understanding of what I actually want before I throw myself at another helpful friend.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-06-01 07:38 pm

worklog: there is a spirit

I have decided to try and finish 'There is a Spirit' by 4th June for this call for scores.

Today I have mostly been on a train (I am still on a train), but I did at least do some prep work. The idea I have for the text I want to set (not going into detail, that would be telling!) requires rather a lot of said prep work; but I'm now at a point where I need to either make a decision about some syllables, or find out more information in order to make said decision. I've opted for asking the Twitter hivemind about it, and if I haven't heard back something useful by tomorrow I'll just... make the decision according to instinct.

I've lost a patron from Patreon but it was a relative so I don't feel like I can complain. Ho hum.

Yesterday was meant to be a day off, but then I realised that I needed to put Round Me Falls the Night online, so I did that instead.

Meanwhile, I'm going to be on this train for a while yet, and there are some fragments I can do without having made the syllables decision, so I think I'll put my mind to those.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-05-31 05:19 pm

Round Me Falls the Night

My newest choral piece, a setting of "Round Me Falls the Night" by William Romanis, is online. I'm afraid the recording is still robotic clarinets, but it should hopefully give you some idea of the sound of the piece.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-05-27 06:10 pm

I aten't ded

...just not posting much.

This week I have been mostly writing a Magnificat, which I've sent off for a competition entry; and messing about with a draft of a piece from a few months ago. Think I nearly have the layout sorted now; it's in 12 parts, and the piano reduction was a bit monstrous to piece together.

Last week I was putting the final touches on a setting of a poem by one of my patrons, commissioned by his wife for an important birthday. He seems pleased with it, and I'll go and see them both for a picnic tomorrow.

Today I was with London Gallery Quire for the first of two recording days for our new CD. It was enjoyable, the Quire is an amateur group and the CD is not going to be perfect. I felt we could have done a bit more, but also that there is wisdom in quitting while you are singing well and feeling good; I think definitely stopped at a good time.

Monday I'm on my way back to Aberdeen, with a supervision on Tuesday. I have not actually done the "short fast madrigal" my supervisor suggested I write. I have also not yet composed something to put on Patreon this month, and there isn't much of the month left to do it in, though I have an idea of what I'll do.

Extant commissions:
St Andrew's Cathedral
Wordless Lullabye

Forthcoming competitions:
Busan (probably can't be arsed) 31/5
Vox 04/06 (could use Sara Teasdale one for this, I think, if I can't write something in time, which I probably can't.)
Melodia (application, I don't have to write something unless commissioned) 15/6
Wilmslow (if I can get near an organ to try some things out? Not desperately fussed about this one to be honest) 31/7
Hendrix 01/8 (finding a text is going to be the hard bit)
Claremont 01/9
Laudem 15/9 (They've specified a text but their instructions aren't clear; I need to ask about it)
Polyphonos (application I think?) 15/9

Calls for Scores:
Pacific Edge 01/8
Juice Vocal Ensemble 16/10

PhD-related:
short fast madrigal
there is a spirit
start thinking about Mass setting stuff
finish 'O Nata Lux'

Stuff on the general composing to-do list/back-burner:
Pigeons (I didn't get the Boston commission)
Gemma's poetry
Turn under plow
When on life's path (Adrian)
I always tried to write about the light
Dear Sir (maybe for Uncommon Music festival if they have it again)
Docbrush Ubi Caritas
Recognition
SOMETHING for Choirs Against Racism. It's a matter of finding the right (public domain) text.
Down by the Whitening Birches
Wisdom hymn tune
The Just's Umbrella (subject to permission from author)
Nunc to match the Mag I submitted last night? But I may need to let the Mag sit for a while and do some revision.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-05-05 01:31 pm

Arranging and making some money?

I'm feeling skint again (quelle change) and I was thinking aloud about this over at the [community profile] crowdfunding community. I got some good advice, and have some ideas to be getting on with.

Specifically, though, I'm wondering how people would feel about something like this? It's a bit like [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl events, which seem to work quite well.

I arrange a work -- say, "She's like the swallow", for descant and treble (that's soprano and alto) recorders, since I'm actually working on that at the moment.

When I finish it, I'll post and say so, and you can buy the sheet music from my Lulu shop, but not for another full calendar year (or other arbitrary date). But if crowdfunding for it reaches, say, £100 (or some other amount, I'm going to base it on the length of the pieces though) by the end of the week, I will not only unlock the physical sales, but also put the sheet music online next month for anyone to use. If you donate, your name will go in the .pdf, and for £15 (or some other amount, again this will depend a bit on the length, especially as anything more than two sides of A4 needs me to send it away for printing) you will get a printed copy, signed by me (whether or not the total goal is reached).

The plan would be to wait until I have 5 or 6 different arrangements -- maybe a couple for recorders, some vocal ones, some brass ones -- and then have a sort of sale, so I can batch the admin. There will be robotic instruments playing a selection from each piece. Any that don't reach their total amount can be held back to go into a later sale; I can also say "if the total for this sale reaches £500 (or some other amount), there will be a bonus arrangement" and then people can vote on which one that should be.

I'm not sure of the right timescale. Monthly has some advantages, but I'm not sure I actually have time and spoons to produce enough arrangements and do all the associated admin on a monthly basis while I'm also composing and doing a PhD. Quarterly might be better to start out with. I also need to work out whether to host it here at Dreamwidth or at my Wordpress blog, which I tend to keep for more polished updates. I'm leaning toward there, because for people who aren't from the livejournalliverse, WP looks more "professional"; but here would let me do things like polls in a way that I'm not sure how to on WP. I'll have to think about this further, and explore the technical options.

The idea is that this would be a supplement to, not a replacement for, my composing income.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? Would you prefer it with prompts, so you can request more arrangements of Canadian folk songs for recorder duo, or of Swedish music for Sancta Lucia arranged for upper voices, or of Easter hymns for brass quintet? Is this the sort of thing you would contribute to? Is it the sort of thing you would signal boost?
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-05-01 11:19 pm

Worklog

A while since I've potsted one of these...

-sent in Boston competition application
-sent in IGNITE competition application
-worked on two separate commissions
-sat on a train for over 7 hours

Still feeling behind and overwhelmed, but a bit more sorted than I was this time last week; and I think I'm getting some momentum back. (So, if I owe you an e-mail, you'll probably get it this week.)
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-04-29 12:48 pm

Strong and stable leadership

Tune: Royal Oak, or All Things Bright.
Thanks to @SNoozeInBrief on Twitter for the first line of the Refrain...

Refrain:
Strong and stable leadership
Of spite and greed and gall;
Right-wing tabloid readership;
The Tories hate us all.


1) Each child in every family
Each library and school;
The Tories steal their funds, and
Delight in being cruel.
Strong and stable leadership...

2) The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate;
The Tories strip their assets
To sell them to their mates.
Strong and stable leadership...

3) The doctors and the nurses
on whom we all rely:
Theresa will expel them
And won't care if you die.
Strong and stable leadership...

Feel free to add verses, if and only if you're happy for me to record them (or not, as I see fit.)
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-04-05 10:24 pm

Sleep Songs: Wordless Lullabies for the Sleepless

Would you like to be sung to sleep? Or, if sleep really is unattainable, how about some soothing, calming music, music without words, to listen to while you are awake?

Megan Ihnen is commissioning over 25 composers, including yours truly, to compose wordless lulllabies for the sleepless, which she will then record. I'm very pleased to be involved. I saw her quote-tweet Shaya Lyon, who said, "On my list of fantasy commissioning projects: wordless lullabies for the sleepless, sung by @mezzoihnen". Megan wanted to know if composers were interested; I thought it was such a good idea that I jotted down a rough draft pretty much immediately.

But we need your help to make it happen. Wordless Lullabies for the Sleepless is a project that takes time, commitment, and resources. Megan is insistent that every composer should be paid, for which I'm very grateful. And of course, each lullaby will take planning, rehearsal, recording, and editing.

So there's a Kickstarter for the project. It ends on Monday 10th April. Please join us. And sleep well.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-03-29 05:53 pm

worklogs

Saturday: organ recital at lunchtime, chat with Ali Willis in the afternoon. It was work, honest! Do not be deceived by the fact that we had icecreams and were sitting on the beach!

Sunday: Church in the morning (Mothering Sunday, often a difficult one for me and this year no exception), then sang in Lenten reflective concert sort of thing in the afternoon, including the Magnificat from Paul Mealor's Selwyn Service -- under-rehearsed. Most of the music quite beautiful though. In the evening, a wind band/concert band concert at the Beach Ballroom, which seems like quite a good venue for such things.

Monday: sort-of a day off but there was Composers' Forum in the late afternoon/early evening, which was interesting. I don't often get to go. This was four of the Carlaw/Ogston Prize winners presenting about their pieces. Walked back with AW afterward and we had another chat over dinner, which I found very helpful and clarifying; more on that in another post.

Tuesday: not an amazingly productive day. Too much feeling overwhelmed by deadlines, not enough actually doing anything about them. Realised I can't use West Gallery piece I've been sitting on for ages until I have permission to use the text (I have implicit permission but need explicit). Thought about using 'Fall, Leaves, Fall' since I even have a demo recording of that one but I really want to leave it until I've found a choir to premiere it; must poke Dissenters Choir about it. They schedule things really far in advance so that would be maybe 2018. Wondering if I can find anyone to do it sooner than that, and write something else for Dissenters Choir. Set up Hootsuite to do some auto-promotion. Replied to e-mail about forthcoming Kickstarter project, due to launch Real Soon Now. Transcribed West Gallery piece I've been sitting on for ages, but part of the reason I was sitting on it is that my setting of the third verse is weak and needs to be scrapped and re-written. Panicked about deadlines some more. (OK, tha'ts more productive than it felt.)

Today: Some more futzing about with deadlines. Realised I could submit "O sweet and blessed country" for ORTUS and *also* use it for my Patreon piece this month; I mean, it would be better to get a choir to premiere it first, but given that I'm not writing especially fast and I need to get something up by Friday... yeah. I could use 'O Nata Lux' but I made some changes after Friday's workshop and I want time to let them settle, also there's a choir in Ireland interested in performing them and I'd like to give them a premiere. And there's 'Round Me Falls The Night' but that's still away at a competition which I haven't heard back from (and won't until 1st June), which means I can't put it online yet. And 'Winter Stars' is also in a competition and the winners won't be announced until "mid-June, with an official announcement by the end of that month." So, that's a thing. Did an initial draft of an SATB setting of Plowman's Song by Raymond Knister, a Canadian poet. I have in mind to do a setting of The Quiet Snow too. Maybe with another couple of short seasonal poems they could make a set?

Anyway, that's all fine, but I still want to write something for MASNOU and it needs to be at least three minutes long and I ned to finish it by Friday.

--

I think what's happening, here, is that I'm getting my work performed more, or at least exploring avenues for performance more, and I'm entering more competitions... and between that and sortof preferring (at least for the SATB stuff) to get at least a demo recording before putting new things online, actually releasing music is happening much later now, rather than just when I write stuff. I'm sitting on at least three pieces, four really if I wanted to get 'O Nata Lux' out quickly. Which is fine, but I want to get paid every month. Hmm. The answer, as always, is "write more music".

I'm still enamoured of the idea of finishing one composition or arrangement every week, but I have not really started arranging, and I think it's fair to say that I can't compose one item a week unless a lot of them are hymn tunes.

I also, at some stage, need to look at the next lot of competition deadlines, and make some decisions about which ones to enter; I've seen some interesting ones going past so need to check the usual places. Maybe I'll do that this evening; I want to try for a draft of the MASNOU piece first though, and to do that, I have to settle on a text.

EDIT: I also really need to get a first draft of the Cathedral commission done! arghhhhh etc.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-03-24 02:05 pm

worklog

This morning: Juice vocal ensemble workshopped my setting of O nata lux. It went well; I have a few minor changes to make based on the feedback: slightly faster tempo indication, two bars made slightly shorter, see if I can get the pitches sorted out better on the last page. Maybe an open 5th at the end.

Then I had a meeting with 2 of the other composers on the Beethoven project with me. That went...reasonably, but we need more information to proceed.

One of them has an upper-voices choir and asked if they could perform O nata lux, so that's pretty neat.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-03-23 10:29 pm
Entry tags:

worklog: supervision, tutorial, concert, pub

Wot it syas in the title, basically. But the supervision was okay, even if I felt a bit under-prepared; and the tutorial was excellent: a good balance of encouraging and stretching, with some recommendations for my composing and for my listening. I've written up the supervision and the tutorial for my reference.

The concert was also good: Juice vocal ensemble doing their stuff excellently despite malfunctioning lights and heating (actually rather appropriate for the spookiness of the programme they were singing). I particularly enjoyed Philip Cooke's premiere... perhaps because in a programme that used what I would think of as non-standard techniques in almost every piece, something a little more normal was welcome.

In the interval a cathedral organist was talking to my someone else and asked about an unaccompanied Nunc dimittis suitable for Compline, which the someone else hadn't written; so I piped up and said he could have mine if he likes. I sent the e-mail when people were leaving the concert, then went along to the pub. I hope I didn't appear too keen, but... it's a risk, I guess.

On the way home from the pub I was caught up to by another PhD student who studies remotely, and who is staying in the same place as me. Lovely stuff, and good not to walk on my own. And we'll breakfast together with a third person, who I also met (earlier in the day) and who is staying here... good. I mean, I'm also perfectly happy to breakfast alone, but part of the point of being here is networking, and I may be better at this over breakfast than in a noisy crowded pub anyway.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-03-22 10:50 am

worklog

Monday: A four-hour-long meeting that basically ate the entire rest of my day. Oof. It was good, it was just... long and tiring.

Tuesday: My Evening Canticles were sung at the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, Parliament, by ULCC Choir (in which I sing tenor, unless I'm singing alto). This was very nifty. I couldn't hang about afterward but I am told that the chaplain (one Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who I believe [personal profile] liv encountered recently) was pleased, and that one person in the congregation asked if they could have Evensong every day. That latter strikes me as a bit odd as Westminster Abbey does, in fact, have Evensong most days. And it was good to see Nicholas O'Neill again, and I met a former member of the choir who is interested in hearing more of my work.

I then went and caught a train to Aberdeen. I think I like the concept of the Caledonian Sleeper more than the reality; and that is mostly because, well, I don't get a lot of sleep on it. I have been contemplating alternate names, like the Caledonian Lie-er Awake All Night, or the Caledonian Tosser; obviously these would be unsuitable for promotional purposes. But I think I am gradually settling on the Caledonian Dozer, as that was what happened last night; I dozed for a few hours, then gave up on trying to lie down and read a book for a while, and then dozed a bit again before the 6.30am breakfast call.

Tomorrow I have a supervision, a tutorial with Michael Zaugg, and there is a concert by Juice vocal ensemble in the evening. So I am attempting to take today gently; I'll mooch around town a bit longer, then when I'm allowed to check-in to where I'm staying I'll do that, hang up clothes so the wrinkles come out (they'll have been stuffed in a bag for 24h by then), have a nap, and then figure out whether there is a concert I'm suppposed to attend tonight as well.

Internet here is rather bitty, so I may end up posting this later.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-03-18 01:36 pm
Entry tags:

worklog

Thursday was a day off, and mostly stayed that way.

Friday... not as productive as I'd have liked, and I had a social engagement in the afternoon. But I had an idea for a sort of folk-y setting of yet another of [personal profile] marnanel's poems, which I'll get in touch about in due course. I think it's folk-y enough to not really work as a choral piece; I still want to explore what to do with some of these pieces. When my body is behaving, I think "folk-y album on Bandcamp" is the way to go,

I've realised that for the Malta competition I'll need to make an international bank transfer for the fees, and do it in time to be able to send them the proof of the transfer happening. That would be fine, except that I'll be in Aberdeen and my address is in London, and the bank isn't going to send me the bit of paper to the right place before the deadline of 31st March.

I'm not sure what I can do about this. It's possible that I could get on the phone and wrangle the bank into giving me either a) soemthing in print to the address I need or b) something I can print out myself, but given there is another deadline the same day, and also one the next day, and neither of them have the same problem regarding payment and I haven't written them yet either... I'm thinking I should drop it unless I actually write three pieces between now and then, and focus my admin energies instead on getting the next West Gallery piece ready for publication online so I can get paid.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-03-15 02:47 pm

Reading Wednesday; worklog

This morning I started over with "The Rest is Noise" by Alex Ross.

I'm taking notes as I go along, and note-taking is not a very strong skill for me, so it took me 45 minutes to get through four pages. The writing itself is enjoyable, which helps a lot; I'm reading this book because the other book I could easily get about the bit of music history I need to learn was rather dense and a bit too much of a slog. I'm hoping that this will be a good warm-up for that book, as well as a good way to hone my note-taking skills.

Other reading this week? Not much, I'm afraid. I've still not started the Lent book that an online group are working through. I was teaching all weekend which didn't lend itself to a lot of reading. I have, as usual, been reading various feeds online, but much of it is incidental rather than directed. So, I don't have much to report.

Worklog:
-reading and note-taking, as detailed above
-checked abdn e-mail, replied to a thing
-wrangling of ULCC dates
-wrangling of Aberdeen dates
-booked next trip to Aberdeen


And then I need to figure out when I might go up in April and May. May is going to be particularly difficult. April has Easter in it. I should figure out when term dates are, and stuff.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-03-14 06:49 pm
Entry tags:

worklog: splat

Got very little done today. Had lunch with my old boss, Fr Jack, and spent some time journalling about an issue that is eating me, and now it is time for Date Night and I am still sitting here not having done any composing or removed any items from my list.

Given that I did not take a day off this weekend, this is... not exactly unexpected. If my clergy friends did this I would be telling them off. But it would have been better had today been a planned day off, rather than an unplanned one.

I think I shall plan to take Thursday off properly, at any rate. Tomorrow is Reading Wednesday and I want to do some actual academic reading, and some more PhD-related admin too, some of which is mildly time-sensitive. And it's also LGQ in the evening so there is music work to do anyway.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-03-13 10:44 pm
Entry tags:

worklog: how on earth is it this late?

A rather bitty day, with an appointment in the middle of it. And I'm still tired from working all weekend.

So, I did some small, bitty tasks:
-sent entry form for Da Capo competition (having sent my submission and arranged for payment last night)
-sent Benslow invoice
-poked MC about Talvilaulu recording
-decided not to enter Fissinger competition (fiddly, has entry fee, meh)
-fixed "Round Me Falls the Night" so if it doesn't win competition I sent it in for, it is ready to publish online -- though it would be better to wait until I have a demo recording of it
-looked at some more competitions
-decided that for the Malta competition I'll probably use a text for All Souls, since the festival starts on that day.

I don't quite know how this took me until 11pm, but never mind; it's done.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-03-13 06:42 pm

Grah

Reviewing various choral composition competition things, and one of them says:

"The winner will receive a monetary prize of €1000 (one thousand Euro), a diploma and a recording of his opus."

Emphasis mine.

Not going to burn my words on this, because it's directly related to my PhD area and it may well be due to prejudice on the part of the translators rather than the organisers, but this sort of thing does rather get up my nose.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
2017-03-13 12:24 am

Worklog: West Gallery course at Benslow Music Centre

That was... a lot of work.

Friday I printed some music, packed my bags, and took the train to Hitchen, to arrive at Benslow Music Centre in time for supper.

The schedule was:
18.30 supper
20.00-21.00 Session

Saturday
Breakfast
9.15-10.45 Session
break
11.15-12.45 Session
break and lunch
14.30-16.00 Session/Free time (we had free time)
break
16.30-18.00 Session
supper
20.00-21.00 Session

Sunday
Breakfast
9.15-10.45 Session
break
11.15-12.45 Session
break and lunch
14.30-16.00 Session (we had ours slihgtly early, from 14.00-15.30, in order to get away a bit earlier)

The West Gallery course was rather low in numbers, I think probably the minimum to make it viable really: I had six people, two playing the violin, one playing the ophicleide or singing bass, and three only singing (SAA). So we did a lot of three-part stuff, and I ended up singing tenor nearly all the time. The Ophicleide was great, but way way too loud for those numbers and administration, so he gave up partway through Saturday and switched to singing. He also had to leave early, so for the Sunday afternoon service we switched to me playing bass on the piano and singing what I could while also directing... it sortof worked.

At these things there are a few obvious dangers. One is that people feel they haven't had enough to do, they are there to sing/play but you keep talking at them and they get frustrated. Another is that you only give them easy music and they get bored. A third danger is working them a bit too hard, so that they're exhausted.

I think I erred slightly on the side of exhaustion; with more planning on my part, we would have done a bit less singing in some of the Saturday morning sessions, then a bit more Saturday evening (the last session of the day was almost entirely readings).

The thing that I wasn't keen on was the bit where I couldn't get to church on Sunday morning (or indeed Sunday evening, by the time I got back to London); I'd really prefer not to do that.

All in all it was a good experience and I am already thinking about workshops I could run, perhaps in such a way as to not interfere with Sundays.

Meanwhile -- got the Da Capo entry done, ended up having to ask my mother (who is in Canada) to send them a cheque as I have neither access to a Canadian chequebook of my own, nor the ability to purchase, in the UK, a postal money order that will be accepted in Canada.

Next up: looks like the Uncommon Music call for scores has been extended to 15th March. I don't know if I can finish my piece for it by then but it's worth a go. But after that I really have to work on MALTA, MASNAU and ORTUS competitions/calls, all due at the end of March/start of April.