Feb. 9th, 2017 11:16 am
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
(from yesterday)

Went to John Lewis in Stratford, got myself a pot of peppermint tea, and sat and did some composing. Draft 2 of 'Winter Stars' by Sara Teasdale is done; the next step will be putting it into the computer. My concentration wasn't great for some of the day so I am expecting to do some re-writing in the computer drafts.

I do like John Lewis as a place to work. There is plenty of space, meaning I can find somewhere to sit even when it's very crowded, though I prefer the booth seats as the chairs mostly have seats that tilt backward: not comfortable or ergonomic for working. Much of the area is carpeted and there seems to be some thought given to noise reduction; and there's no background music, of course. There is free wifi, though I tend not to use it for my work. I can't remember if you have to sign up for anything to get it, I don't recall giving them my e-mail address at any point but this may have changed.

The tea and coffee now all comes from self-serve machines and there is some self-service for cakes etc too, which I think they've done to try to speed things up at busy times; it could be difficult if you're trying to juggle a pram or wheelchair and a tray as the coffee island doesn't have a tray ledge, but there are also full-service hot drink stations. There are also sandwiches and salads and things, and hot food, too, both the kind that you take with you to your seat and the kind they bring to you with a number (mmmm, pizza), but that's not what I was after yesterday as I'd eaten lunch already.

The toilets are just the ones in the main John Lewis shop. They're on the same floor, and as it's the top floor they tend to be not visited very often, quiet, and clean -- but if you're on your own (as I tend to be when working), it can be a bit of a pain to pack up all your stuff, go pee, and then come back -- and possibly find your table has been cleared of the tea you hadn't finished. I would leave a note, just to be sure. Or, you know, go before you go.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
It's been a bit of a week and I have struggled to update here!

ULCC sang my Nunc dimittis (YouTube) at St Mary's Eversholt St. It went well, and was well-received. If you want to hear it again in a better version than YouTube, it'll be sung in St Mary's Undercroft Chapel, Parliament, on Tuesday 21st March; I'm not exactly sure what time the service will be.

In the evening I went to St Mary's Addington where they were having the licensing of a curate combined with sung Compline. This combination is sufficiently unusual that I thought it would be worth going, and... well, it was, but it was over in about half an hour, including the bishop preaching. We were using the Common Worship modern language version of Compline, which is in modern-ish blobs notation, and I have to say I do prefer the trad language version with chant notation: plainchant is much easier to read in that version.

Did my tax return. This was an entire day before The Last Minute, which isn't bad going really. Besides that? Not a lot of other work-work, though I did do some various bits of healthwork and housework, and a smidgen of composing.

Medical appointment in the morning (I'm fine).

In the afternoon I had a meeting with Francis about LGQ CD stuff. We met in Sunflower, a little place on Leytonstone High Road that sells crepes, icecream, milkshakes, and various other tasty bits and pieces -- savoury as well as sweet. There's no background music, there's free wifi (ask for the password at the counter), and they've never had a problem with me turning up and working for a few hours.

Choosing repertoire for a CD is a bit like choosing hymns, only with more flexibility. That flexibility can be good or bad; there are over 500 pieces in the LGQ repertoire, and we needed to choose twenty of them. I'ts just as well that we had a short list of pieces that had been suggested by various members of the Quire, and that the CD itself has a seasonal theme so we needed pieces to fit that.

Then, in the evening, I went to Southampton, so sing some music by my friend Gemma who I've known for years. The occasion was a song circle in support of a pilgrimage, and the songs were all to do with Brighid, the Celtic saint/warrior goddess, as it was Imbolc Eve. It was slightly challenging to me to learn the songs without any musical notation, though I have always had a fairly good memory and managed well enough; for some of them I and others improvised some harmonies. And in another lifetime, I could do a PhD in sacred choral music in the context of this modern, pagan/pagan-ish movement which is so often expressed in homegrown, small groups, working with the resources they have and with a shared heritage that is not entirely canonical. But I'm in this lifetime, and taking part in such worship doesn't sit easily with my Christian faith; and observing wouldn't necessarily be welcome. As it was, though, I was glad to be there to support my friend, and her songs were both moving and singable. And I was able to record them when we sang them at the end of the session, which hopefully will be useful.

On the train on the way home I worked on a hymn setting, and put a hymn I'd composed earlier onto Patreon to make sure I get paid this month. I still need to put it on CPDL and my website, and provide MIDI robots and so on.

When I got home I submitted two hymns to the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music -- a day late, as the deadline was actually Monday, but as the form was still on the website I decided to go for it. We'll see. I also made a submission to a Canadian composing competition; this one was within the deadline, thanks to time zone differences (it was well after midnight), but it wasn't the piece I've been working on and which I hoped to submit, as I haven't finished that one. Instead I took another piece, which I submitted to a different competition earlier in the year but hadn't published yet, and re-arranged it for SATB. Well, we'll see.


On Wednesday I was rather tired. I did review the LGQ CD choices, and send a copy of my Magnificat without the score reduction off to ULCC for printing, and managed some errands, and then there was LGQ rehearsal.

Today has been quite quiet, and a good thing, too. Tomorrow will be fairly busy, and I really needed the more restful day that I had today.


Jan. 7th, 2016 04:16 pm
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
Time: Friday afternoon, 2017-01-06
Location: Southwark cathedral refectory
Tea: Chamomile
Activity: Fixing the end of 'O sweet and blessed country'

In my haste to get to Mass on time beforehand, I failed to bring a pencil with a rubber o it with me, so there was some crossing out to do. I needed to re-write the end of the piece as it was pretty crap before: I'd written most of it previously, then the ending on what must have been a bad day. I'm not entirely convinced it's much better now, but at least it's different, and better in keeping with the style of the rest of the piece; I'll have to sleep on it, and see whether I like it. I'd like to submit this piece for a workshop I only found out about this afternoon; the deadline is 2016-01-09 (er, Monday) at 5pm PST (ah, the timezones help me out here). The piece itself is a setting of my preferred version of the last verse of the hymn "Jerusalem the golden": the one that has "Exult, O dust and ashes, the Lord shall be your part; his always, his forever, thou shalt be and thou art!" in it. The actual original text is many verses longer than what appears in most hymnals and so different versions crop up all the time; I know that S, who I'm considering dedicating this piece to, also prefers the version I prefer, and dislikes the version in the Beastly Orange Hymnal.

No background music in the cathedral refectory, but during busy ties it can still be on the noisey side. The busy times don't tend to last very long though. The windows give plenty of natural daylight earlier in the day, but afternoons can be rather dim. There is some hot food at lunchtime, and tea/cake/etc available the rest of the time. The loo is down a narrow flight of stairs, there is an accessible toilet elsewhere in the building, near the gift shop. It's quite handy for London Bridge station.

After that I went to a stationer, then wrote most of a "review of the year" post, but I am not up to typing it tonight; I'm barely managing to type up this worklog and it's only short (I'm backdating it). I do have a tablet and a bluetooth keyboard, and it might be worth bringing them along on these café excursions for worklog and blogging purposes, though they'd be more than I really wanted to carry. We'll see.


artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)

September 2017



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