Saturday 30 January 2010

New Car

I bought a new car today.. first time for 10 years! That's something of a milestone...
Playing with Widgets at the moment using the Wookie widget server (which I'm talking about next week... hence the magnetic poetry).

Wednesday 27 January 2010

House possibilities

We may have got the house we wanted today.. still plenty of time for things to go wrong though! Difficult PhD conversations: these things are not easy..Always challenging... that's how it should be. Great housewarming for Li yesterday evening. Izzy enjoyed herself on Guitar Hero. Must do that sort of social event more often!

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Composing slowing me down

Composing is a test of endurance. Maintaining interest in one pattern of thought for an extended period of time (long enough to develop the ideas) is quite a test. My interest wants to radically shift from one day to the next. I can let it do this, but always centre it around the key thing which I'm working on. If I didn't do this online, I would have to be incredibly well-organised with paper! (which I'm not)

Monday 18 January 2010

Composing by accumulation

I've been accumulating ideas over the last week or so, and now I'm really playing with things, blending them into one another. This is likely to be the accompaniment to a song. The transparency of the process is interesting. I can keep track of how I got here. Hopefully I'll finish it off!

Friday 15 January 2010

Slow movement...

Wednesday 13 January 2010

pathways to new house?

Here's another pathway through the material I've been playing with. I'll keep experimenting. House buying seems very similar process: looking quite uncertain at the moment ... a bit like my composition!

Tuesday 12 January 2010

motifs and pathways

I've tried to find a new way through this material by creating some new ideas (which form the backbone of this improvisation). Much more difficult to do than I envisaged. I think the interesting thing is where a motivic idea gets reharmonised. There you have a coercion (motif) being disrupted through new harmony. Together, of course, there's just variety and that is the thing that serves to prolong the essence, but it's all a bit confusing.
House buying seems to be going smoothly. Fingers crossed. Also hoping for a positive result with the european commission today!


I've been playing around with composition recently (very different from improvisation because of the need to commit something and define it more precisely). Thinking about motifs. I started this piece with a big flourish but little in terms of melodic interest. All the composition textbooks talk about motifs and motivic development. I was always sceptical about this.

In my thinking about prolongation and the essence of a piece, the question seems to be that the motif is a coercive device for prolonging an essence. However, as a coercive device, it also creates conditions for disruption and exhortation. Motivic transformation is a subtle blend of coercion and disruption for example. But the motif can also in itself seem to be essential (think of Reti's analytical technique)?

Friday 8 January 2010

Bad Mood

I'm in a bad mood today. This improvisation was done when I was in a better mood and thinking about interesting stuff...

Thursday 7 January 2010

Astrid's Birthday

It's Astrid's birthday today. I bought her a new printer which she liked. Off out to a vegetarian restaurant later, and spent time looking at houses. Snow is causing real problems. Went sledging with Izzy yesterday (she was off school) - so not all gloom. Also got new virtual server set up today with VNC access, etc.. best solution for diabetes project. Returned home to find 900% increase in my gas bill. It was a mistake.
All this diversity of experience is captured a bit in this improvisation. In it I think more about dramatism and its link to the theories I've been thinking about...particularly about the consumption of services (the gas bill episode is a good example). What's the difference between the gold-star product and the base product? Does the difference in labour justify it? Or is it a manipulation? (exhortation/coercion/disruption)?

Sunday 3 January 2010

New Year

I was going to post this into an earlier blog entry. But it is something that belongs to the coming year rather than the previous one. Thinking about Beethoven since our visit to Bonn. I've been interested for some time in updating a 'classical language'. Maybe that will be my first musical project of the year.

Friday 1 January 2010

New Years Day Carnival

Astrid and I went for a trip to London (Izzy wanted to stay at home wrapped up warm for a sore throat) We went to the new years day carnival which was great. Coffee in Foyles. Stumbled across really interesting books. Walter Benjamin's work on arcades, Kenneth Burke's work on rhetoric and dramatism (fascinating link to Nigel Howard) and Mary Midgely.