Greetings for the new week, and welcome to my occasional blog – my 27th blog since my new website came into being. If you are new to this blog, as I build my email database or respond to enquiries to join up, welcome.
I’ve been writing a new piece for clarinet and piano, and had the great pleasure of my mate Alan visiting the Mountains a couple of weekends ago to workshop it with me. A lovely experience to actually work on a new piece with the musician that it has been written for. I think I want to be a composer when I grow up. Working with a musician means not just working on the notes, but on articulation, phrasing, dynamics, expression. Such a great pleasure. Thank you, Alan. I look forward to us premiering it some time next year.
When I was a student and wanting to be a composer when I grew up, I was really interested in writing music for film. That didn’t eventuate, but I am always interested in the music that adds to, sub-tracks from, heightens, expands, impacts upon, the images in film. So, I was interested to read the following article by Cara Anderson on music in film, ‘A Cinematic Year in Music’, courtesy of Music Australia, at the following link - click here.
Music and cuts to the ABC is also, sadly, a current news item. Again courtesy of Music Australia, there is an interesting article by Chris Bowen on ‘What do the ABC cuts mean for Australian music?’, which explores the potential limitations to hearing a diverse range of Australian music through cuts to the music programs on Radio National. I am saddened to hear that good and committed people are being made redundant from shows that they founded; that the opportunity to listen to the extraordinary array of musical genres, colours, textures, of music in this country will be reduced. What do you think?
The Music Australia article can be found here.
Since my last blog the world has changed in that a new incumbent to the role of President of the United States of America has been elected, and the great singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen died. I don’t think these two things were related. The world can change in so many other ways, and sometimes the macrocosm of the world’s challenges and problems can be overwhelming. But we can change the microcosm in which we live just by trying to live and be the best person we can be. I know this is not always easy when the full gamut of life’s experiences visit us – illness, grief, sadness, loneliness, frustration, anxiety, worry, concern – elements of the messiness of life – but perhaps we can still bring other elements to the stuff of our lives – the joy of friendship, family, a gardenia blooming, the beautiful night sky, the words of a friend, the music that touches a string, a chord, in our hearts, the smile of a stranger, the joy of the little finch hopping around in our garden.
The stuff of life is messy, so our choice is to embrace life in all its messiness, and stride on, as imperfect as life, and we as human beings, are. In Mr. Cohen’s honor I end this last blog for the year with the chorus of his song ‘Anthem’, a reminder that it is through the cracks of our imperfections that the ’light gets in’, and for me, this allows us to grow into better versions of ourselves.
‘Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.’
Leonard Cohen, ‘Anthem’
And of course, this is not the end of the blog; there is this week’s music to give to you. As I launched my new CD this year, ’Places with high levels of natural beauty,’ it is fitting that I finish this year’s blog with its title track.
Wishing you a very happy festive season, and a joyful New Year. As Mark Twain said:
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Mark Twain
Until next time,
PS Scroll down to the bottom of this web page to play the featured music.