Australia Day

I frickin’ HATE Australia Day. It usen’t to bother me – it just seemed a bit pointless. Now it actively offends because the whole thing has become so American. I have no problem with Americans being American about American celebrations. But for a day which is supposed to commemorate the founding of our laid-back nation, the current trend for flag-waving just nauseates me. Not to mention that for a small but significant proportion of the population it’s Invasion Day. The current patriotic overkill just seems to rub that fact in just a little bit more. And maybe squeezes lemon juice in the wound too. So I don’t like it. And I don’t celebrate it. I do my very best to ignore it, which seems pretty much impossible, with the result that I am always in a filthy temper on Australia Day. And today seems to be no exception.

However, I have turned it to my advantage and drafted up a blog post on whether I’m an Australian composer or not (jury’s out on the verdict of that one) which has made me feel a bit better. I also battled my way through some more work on Carrion Comfort and came to the conclusion that I don’t have the foggiest what key it’s in. My harmonic skills are not advanced enough to wade through the chromaticism and come up with a definite answer. It definitely starts in G minor, with moments of G major, but after that, who knows? It may possibly end in C-sharp minor, but I really wouldn’t swear to it on a Bible, so I am taking the wuss’s way out and declaring it to be atonal, which means ditching all key signatures and relying on accidentals. I hope the amateur players won’t be too put off by that. I am converting all sharps to flats, in an effort to make it easier to read. Really wish I didn’t have to do that. F-flat is not the same as E-natural in my book – conceptually it’s a completely different animal, but there you have it. It’ll be easier to read. I do wonder sometimes whether my loose interchanging of sharps and flats when I’m writing a piece isn’t influenced by being a flautist – B-flat or A-sharp, it’s the same fingering regardless, so it’s more about what goes on in the head than what goes on with the fingers. Maybe for string or keyboard instruments it’s not so easy to change mental gears like that. Or maybe I’m just weird.

I’ve also made a bit of progress on the fanfare. It had got a bit stuck, so I’ve tried a different approach and started a new section, using the same material, hugely slowed down and separated out and with a fair bit of whitespace too. I’ll review it tomorrow and see what I think.

I doubt Carrion Comfort will go to the printers tomorrow. Or at least not tomorrow during the day. I’ve achieved too little on it today. So the absolute deadline is for it to be waiting in their inbox at 8am Monday morning, so as to have a hope of being able to pick it up, bind it and send it on Monday afternoon. CAN’T miss that deadline.

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