Arrangement, CMS and striking things off the to-do list

Always a good feeling, that. I still didn’t get everything done I wanted to do, but I sure made a hefty start, most noticeably spending most of the day test-driving Drupal modules in preparation for a quote I need to send out tomorrow for a rather complex site for a non-profit organisation. I’m really rather impressed with Drupal, I must say. Today I’ve played with user permissions, an email-list module, search, adding images to user profiles, installing a security upgrade, implemented rich text editing (rather than plain-vanilla HTML) and a bunch of other stuff – and I haven’t once had to touch any code to do it. Obviously theme-creation is a completely different kettle of fish and I haven’t even looked at that yet – saving that for tomorrow. But so far, very impressed with what it can do pretty much straight out of the box.

And in the lulls while I waited for files to upload and delete as I performed the security upgrade? Well, I arranged the first four movements of Pieces of Eight for string quartet, which I’m thinking will be my submission to Sequenza 21’s current call for scores (I’ve abandoned the cello tango I was writing for this as too complex for the time I have – I still want to write it, but it will probably take several goes to get to a point where I’ll be happy with it). I was tossing up between arranging it for string quartet or piano and percussion but the quartet won out in the end – limited time and I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted the percussion to do but I didn’t want it to be just a bong or bang here and there.

I also sent off a bunch of emails that have been lingering and sorted out a survey for the composers from Durham – we’re setting up a Facebook group and wanted to give ourselves some semblance of authority, so we’re voting on a name… results by the end of the weekend, I hope.

Oh! And my next round of Amazon-junkie-goodies arrived! Alex Ross’s new book, Listen to This, and the next book in my pre-opera reading round, Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time. I’ve rethought that idea about keeping the subject of the opera under my hat – in the light of it probably taking me several years to actually produce any part of it, it seems a bit lame, so here’s the announcement: It’s to be (loosely) based on Tey’s novel (yes, I’ve read it before) which focuses on the revisionist history of Richard III (the one that says he wasn’t a deformed tyrant who murdered the princes in the Tower). As an opera plot, I think it’s up there with the best of them: murder, slander, rumour, illegitimacy, deceit, pretenders to the throne – it’s got the lot!

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