Old Friends And New

My first few months in LA were lonely. I moved out here to take the job I currently have as a music archivist, but none of my friends were moving with me, and since I work in a room by myself with a bunch of old sheet music, I don’t exactly have a cohort of coworkers to bond with. I tried out for a spot in a youth orchestra towards the end of that first summer, but I didn’t win the audition, so playing bassoon — which in college was a great way to branch out and meet new people — became, like composing, something I would have to do by myself, in the solitude of my apartment. There were weeks where the only times I used my voice were singing along with the car stereo on my ten-minute commute and saying “hi” and “thanks” to cashiers in grocery stores.

Read More

Taking Stock

I’m still getting over the intensity of the audition on Tuesday (and the (very mild — don’t worry, Mom!) downtick in physical health that inevitably followed on Wednesday), so I’m going to do a lighter post this week. Instead of my usual essay-ish format, I’m going to post about what i hope to accomplish in the next little chunk of time.

  • Assuming I didn’t make it into AYS, I’m going to start working up one of the Bach cello suites (probably the third one) to post movement by movement on YouTube. I may decide on a specific and explicit schedule, or I may just see how it goes. I still want to make music with other people, but this will be a good way to keep my hand in the bassooning game.
  • Related to this: If I do hear back in the negative, I’m going to ping some of my contacts for thoughts about how to keep an ear out for gigs in the area. I’m fine with something super casual/chill, I just want to be making music with other people again. (If any of my followers have tips on this, they’d be more than welcome!)
  • This weekend I’m going to procure a desperately-needed second bookshelf, a butter dish, and hopefully a nightstand of some sort. Then, when the piano arrives, my apartment will finally be out of the “gradually setting up shop” phase! (I know it’s taken me more than two months to get there, quiet, you.)
  • On the composition front: I’m pressing on with arranging some of the music fromWindow Full of Moths (specifically the opening number, “Beside You”, “Hey” + “Stop Dreaming”, and the final sequence) for wind ensemble. I ran out of giant staff paper (more is coming with the piano!), so I’m starting to enter parts until I get more. I feel like I’m making good progress on it, and that it’s going to be a fun thing for people to play. 
  • Once that’s done, priorities are: Revise the clarinet sonata, revise Window and get the parts and score into reasonably presentable shape, and then arrange the clarinet sonata for wind ensemble as well. In the meantime, I’m also going to keep my eye on the ACF opportunities page, and send scores in to those that seem like things I want to/can do. The world will not come knocking; I have to take the initiative.
  • I’m going to hold off on looking for opportunities to volunteer until I know for certain how the AYS audition turned out. Too many variables on that front at the moment.
  • I want to get back into the habit of reading. Since I have the job, I don’t think I can quite get away with the hour and a half with a book thing I did every morning last summer, but the “half hour before bed” should be pretty doable.  I’m still clearing out a lot of links that I saved during term, but now that I don’t have how-to GoogleDocs to write, I’m making pretty good progress.
  • I feel like I still need to build up my apartment as more of a “home base”. I don’t really mean this in any physical sense; I just still don’t quite feel like it’s 100% home. I think this will mostly involve giving myself permission to just veg out in front of a Netflix show or two, to teach myself that it’s OK to not be in constant motion doing all the things all the time. I’m still definitely weaning myself from the Yale lifestyle, and that’s something that’s just going to take time.

So yeah. These are things I’d like to do. Some of them are super vague, some of them are super concrete, but all of them feel pretty plausible to me. Sometimes it’s nice to take a larger view of where I am and what I’m doing. It doesn’t all have to be the breathless rush of the moment.

Regular posting resumes next week!