That dirty rotten muse!

Have you ever noticed how creativity comes in bursts?

It does for me. I’ll go months where the music is just flowing freely, and I can’t write fast enough for the ideas in my head.

Then BANG! It stops. And I’m stuck high and dry, with nothing working. Sure I’ll still be composing in the background, but nothing works out, the ideas are rubbish, and the results are nothing I’d want to show to the world.

That’s what happened this year. I’ve been working away behind the scenes, despite my lack of publishing, and nothing has been working out the way I wanted. Mainly because I was trying different styles, different things, different voices, and experimenting with writing longer works that would probably be classified as “major” works rather than “minor” in a concert.

It hasn’t worked. Maybe it is just for me to accept that I’m a small music gal, and what I do best is simple, quick, easy music that is short in duration. That I’ll never write a masterpiece, a symphony, an opera.

Maybe that’s just fine. After all, I’m not in this for the ego, and I’m certainly not in it for the money!

At the same time, it’s kind of sad to think that maybe I’ve found my place in the musical world already, and it is time to accept that I am a “small works” composer. It’s kind of depressing to think I’ll never be important in the music timeline of things, and those brainiac musicologists will never study my works or try to figure out what inspired me or made me tick.

It’s kind of tough accepting that maybe I’m just not important.

But also, you know, it’s kind of refreshing. Because it takes the pressure away. Dammit, I’m not important! But hey, because I’m not important I can be truly free to break the rules, write what I want to write, say what I want to say, and do what I want to do. In my own time. And my own way.

More performances

Of course, despite me sitting on my rear, performances have continued to flow in from countries all around the world. Crescent Moon and The Wheel of the Year continue to get performed – and with Christmas coming on, Mary Sings A Lullaby is getting more performances around the world, plus a few repeats from choirs who have previously performed the work. Other stuff of mine is getting performed, but these are the Big Three, so far.

Over the summer (which is December through February here in New Zealand), I’ll be updating this blog and my performance listings, so if your performance isn’t listed yet, I’ll be adding it then. I haven’t been updating here much – I’ve been pretty busy with Life’s Lemons, as they say, and composition blogs have been at the bottom of a very busy barrel of work. But I’ll get there.

In the meanwhile, I really will get those new works out. Eventually. Soon.

And doesn’t Aslan call all times “soon”? 😉

All quiet on the eastern front…

You won’t hear much from me here at this blog through November, as I’m busy writing a NaNoWriMo novel.

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writers Month, is an international event that has been running every year since 1999. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, starting on November 1st and completing it on or before November 30th.

Unlike most writing, the aim isn’t to be perfect, or to rewrite and plan, but simply to write, and get flow happening. Word Count is everything, quality is less important – although obviously if the novel turns out well that’s a bonus.

I first attempted NaNoWriMo in 2005, and the result was the novel EarthWitch. If you would like a copy, just comment on this post or ask me for an e-version.

This year, my novel is currently titled “Vortex” and, as I write this, I’m currently up to just under 20,000 words on day 11. It is set all around Dunedin and incorporates several key historical events in its storyline, as well as some events that happened to me. If you’d like to read it, click on the novel cover art image below:

So I’m pretty busy, writing away and attempting to meet my daily word target of around 1700 words, which is why I probably won’t get much composing done this month, unless a real writer’s block hits me!

See you in December.

I hate my ears

I hate my ears.

Have you ever noticed that, when you listen to yourself sing, you think you sound something like this:

But if you take the time to record yourself and then listen to what you really sound like, it’s more like:

(No – that’s not me – it’s somebody I found in the vast amorphous world that is Youtube)

It’s a trick of your bone structure, and the resonance chambers in your head, and the nasal passages, and all these other bony technical-ley things that my singing teacher could explain.

Technical or not, it sucks major lawn gnomes.

And it is one of the reasons why I hate singing solos, or in public, or generally anywhere except in a crowd or a BIG choir – or in the shower where people are supposed to sound bad.

I’ve been cheated by my ears too many times.

Just when I thought I was starting to sound listenable, some (often well-intentioned) scumbag would go and surprise me with a recording of myself that would shatter my comfortable illusions and present me with the grim reality of my suckiness.

Usually that ratbag is my husband, who is even kind enough to have recordings of my singing on his shuffle mode on his Ipod, ready to surprise and horrify me with not even a moment’s notice.

Thanks sweetie!

So I hate my ears. Because you think your ears are giving you the real deal, and you’re hearing something equivalent to Gruberova when you sing, but really, the sound you’re producing is more like Tiny Tim’s greatest hit.

Ouch.