What I’ve been up to

The year 2016 was quite a year for me, with a number of challenges and changes.

The biggest change of all was going on a sabbatical (unpaid) from my post as Director of Music (or organist, or whatever you want to call it) at St Andrew’s Leytonstone, and starting a PhD in contemporary sacred choral composition at the University of Aberdeen.

I won’t do a long review of the year here; but as is common in the darkest days of winter, I spent some time thinking about how I want to order my life: habits I’d like to form, skills I’d like to learn, that sort of thing. And one of the things I decided was that I’d like to document my work better — all of it — starting with keeping a worklog/scratchpad over at Dreamwidth, and hopefully writing more often here, too.

This week I’ve been doing some composing, and trying to catch up on a considerable admin backlog from having had a stinking cold. I’m working on a piece for a Canadian competition, which I’m enjoying, but I’m not entirely convinced I’ll meet the deadline. I’ve also set another of Ally Barrett’s hymns and want to get the harmonisation done by next week.

The coming week should be good, if busy. My Nunc dimittis is being sung at St Mary’s Eversholt St on Sunday morning for their Candlemas service. Preparations continue for the London Gallery Quire CD, and I’m looking forward to singing some new songs by my friend Gemma at a Song Circle on Tuesday night in Southampton. I’m planning to use the travel time to re-start reading The Rest is Noise, by Alex Ross, this time taking some notes.