Advent Calendar: 33

Totally befuddled with cold today and feeling most unmusical, but nevertheless I have managed to battle on with both Ansel Adams (now to 3’11” – I had to delete the last bit I wrote though cos it was rubbish) and Fear of Falling (now to 4’09”) in spite of an intense desire to curl up in a ball and feel sorry for myself instead. I’m pretty pleased with Fear, but Ansel Adams, after a still-fabulous start (if I may say so myself) is having a little trouble keeping on going. Might have to do some pulling apart and have stern words with it tomorrow.

Interestingly, while I’m getting better at stretching out my material over longer timespans and I think my harmony’s a bit more interesting than it has been, I’m now detecting a certain rhythmic tedium. I’m not very adventurous with the rhythms I’m using and I think that’s something that needs thinking about, especially as I push forward into the ‘river’ section of the Adams which should have more movement. What can I do to make this more active and interesting and irregular? How then, in the 3rd section, can I work with rhythm to help create the thunderous confusion and mist of the waterfall? Thinking I might dip back into Wallace Berry’s Structural Functions in Music and see what he has to say about rhythm. He’s hard going, but usually worth the effort!

Starting to panic a little over the new term being so near. I’m still not sure how to approach the 4th Plinth piece. Must email my performers tonight so I at least have an answer on improvised vs composed-to-some-measure. Energy’s really flagging with this wretched germ though, which is making everything difficult. Possibly setting up the TV after Christmas wasn’t actually a good idea either – I’m really enjoying devoting my evenings to new Chuck, old Heroes and random movies we’d forgotten we had. Must get out of that habit!

In cheerier news, I had an email from the lecturer who runs the Personal Project seminar, reminding us that our proposals are due in on the 17th, and I’m actually not too panicked about this. I’ve done a chunk of research, and have a bit of an idea how to approach this, and keep coming back to the mushroom pictures rather than other Cy Twombly works (or other artists for that matter) and to the concept of a wind quintet + percussion, so I think I have an outline for this. The only thing I’m really considering is whether it might be better with a wind trio + percussion but I think the quintet will give a lot of tonal possibilities which might be interesting to explore, so I’m not too concerned about that although I need to crack on now and actually write something to wave at my supervisor next week.

And now I am going to give in to my aching head and sneeze my way downstairs to knit in front of the telly. Good night!

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