I’ve been accepted into CoMA’s Midwinter Composers Masterclass!!!! This is both deeply awesome and rather scary. Not having really received any feedback from other composers in about 15 years, it’s a wee bit daunting. As is having to write a string quintet from scratch by the middle of December, but I really feel like this is a big step towards whatever’s next on the agenda for my music. Scared but elated. The Masterclass is organised by CoMA, who are an organisation who promote contemporary (classical) music for amateur musicians, and the composer in charge of us composer-participants is Tansy Davies… who is the same age as me, which could be a little weird, although I’m hoping not. I really liked what I heard of her music on her website and, reading about her approach, she seems to use architecture as a launching-point in a similar way to how I’ve been using modern art, so it could be interesting. There’ll also be a composer ensemble, made up of whatever we selected composers can play. Not sure if/when we’re advised of what that is – the notes sent through recommend flexible instrumentation – who knows, maybe Deconstruct:Point, line, plane could get another outing? SO EXCITED!

Anyway, that was at the end of the day. Haven’t achieved a vast amount otherwise, but I was feeling I needed to get back to composing, but I’ve been finding the prospect a little daunting with so many people in the house, even if it is a large space and we’re not all on top of each other like we used to be in the old place – it’s just not the same as being on your own. Anyway, so I figured I needed to start doing something about it so I pulled out the music for Egg the Tenth, which I wrote earlier this year (it was the original interlude for the Whitman songs, but didn’t really mesh well there, so I put it to one side to be an egg, but never got around to putting the detail in the score) and dropped in appropriate accidentals, hunted out fonts and did a little layout on it, so it’s basically ready to go now. I also did a MIDI export because I was planning on reworking it in ProTools to sound a bit more like a proper performance than Finale can do… and then discovered that I don’t remember how to wire my tracks in ProTools to get it to use proper sounds, at which point I lost heart and had a nap.

And there was a baking experiment too. When I was seeing my nutritionist, she encouraged me to get hold of this natural sugar substitute called xylitol so I could avoid using sugar when I baked (if you’re new here, I have an insulin resistance – it’s not diabetes [yet] but basically the insulin my body produces forgets what it’s supposed to do with sugar it encounters – unless I exercise regularly, but having been crippled for coming up on a year now, this hasn’t really been happening, hence decision to experiment…). I was in the organic shop today picking up some bits and pieces, and thought that maybe I should give it a go, so I decided to make a crumble with the tasty-but-dry remaining nectarine and some lingering apples – I figured that at least if it was only in the crumble topping, then that could be abandoned if it was too awful. Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say ‘awful’. I guess the flavour was kinda OK, but the texture was All Wrong. The crumble didn’t crisp and it certainly didn’t go chewy. But it wasn’t particularly sweet either (that could have been my fault). So basically it ended up like one of those worthy but tedious baked bars they fill with jam. But without the jam. Sort of bland and like eating a high-fibre pillow. There’s a bit left from the rather small packet, so I might have a go at using it up in a cake (possibly cut with some real sugar) and see if that fares any better.

And finally I started work on getting IE6 sorted out with the website layout while I watched Alice in Wonderland – turned out the problem with the fonts wasn’t anything to do with either fonts or code, it was to do with IE6 not applying styles to the new HTML 5 elements which were referenced in the cascade. So that’s sorted out now, which is a bit yay 🙂

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