Advent Calendar: 16

Laptop’s still not behaving itself so I’ve tried to give it a day of rest in the hopes that it’ll be better tomorrow. Bloody better be! Neither compositions nor client work will finish themselves!

Today, therefore, I have done offline stuff. I painted the other third of the bedroom floor, then did a second coat over half the floor (odd measurements because of needing to shift the bed to paint, allowing access to varying amounts of floor!). I also finished transferring my existing notes for the Twombly project into the notebook and found some useful stuff for that online.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking for the Twombly while I’ve been painting and cursing the computer and so on, thinking about materials and layout issues and what equivalents for white space might be in music – silence? Ostinato? Background noise? Variations on aural spacing/surround sound/placement of musicians? As part of that I’ve started this mindmap to map out the real and perceived materials in Natural History, Part I: Mushrooms as a way of considering what’s actually going on in these images:


The more I read about Twombly, the more fascinated I become with him and with his work, and the more I wonder whether I might be restricting myself by just sticking to the mushroom series. I love them, but I kind of want to explore the possibilities opened up by the paintings too, especially some of the later ones. On the flip side, I don’t have a lot of time for this project, so maybe limiting myself to one set of works is a good idea. And on the flip side of all of these is the question of whether I need to specify a particular work when I pull together my proposal at all. I think it would be a good thing, though – I’ll be needing to start composing as soon as the proposal is done, if not before, so no matter what, I’ll really need a clear idea of what I’m working with by then – plus, I suspect the proposal (worth 10% of the mark, I think) will be stronger if it’s centred around a particular work or group of works and I can present clear concepts that I want to explore. Another benefit is that the mushrooms are there at the Tate Modern. Not on display, but you can ask to see them, so I don’t need to work 100% from reproductions like I’d probably have to if using the large scale paintings. As with everything, more thinking needed!

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