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6th March 2015, Fri | 01:14 pm
mood: groggyin mild pain

I've done so many organise-y and e-mail-y things and booked a bunch of trains, phew.  I mean it only took me like a day and a half...  Still!  Kinda all done and now I have the afternoon clear for actually pushing on with this piece.  Which I'm feeling better about, having done nearly half of it (I think?) but we'll see what happens when I actually look at it for the first time in a couple days.  Still very cold-y, blehhh.

Yesterday we had our occasional postgrad composer's informal meetup and sat around talking about things for a couple hours in the end.  Trying to get down what it is I feel about all this!  I feel like... I don't really especially relate to any of their music or ways of thinking about things, but it's interesting to talk.  When we're just talking about it all I feel like I'm okay and at their level -- I still the rest of the time worry that everyone thinks my music is just facile and silly... well, that wouldn't matter, because I'm getting more sure again that I like what I'm doing...  if only (the other worry) I could be sure that I'm not in fact doing nowhere near enough work or directed work or things that aren't appropriate for a PhD etcetera, etcetera.

Talked to my supervisor the day before that and when I said vaguely that I was thinking about piano pieces after this but that I basically don't know how to write long pieces for piano, he said, Well you don't have to -- and you don't tend to write long pieces at all, do you?  Which...  It's the same again, it's a nice liberating thought but not completely.  I definitely do like short things.  Definitely.  That's a large part of what I do.  I do also like (other people's) longer pieces.  But really, only sometimes!  Not actually all that often!  Quite often I'm just, No now I'm bored do something else.  Short attention span.  Sooo...  Well, the other thing was the comparison: it's like some people paint watercolours and some people do big sculptures, and that's how it is.... of course, ideally maybe one is able to do both...

I can't help feeling there is a tiny bit of a slur implied in 'watercolourist'............

Also some of this connects up in my head with "being a female composer".  Not in terms of actually how I compose, at all; that's what no one at the meeting understood when I brought it up.  But you can't not think about reception, even if I think about it less than them, maybe (they said they couldn't imagine writing pieces just "for the drawer" and I do like just writing pieces and it's a valuable finished thing even if it doesn't get performed).  And I know it shouldn't be a thing Nowadays that people think about.  But.  I'm sorry but I think people reading about a female composer writing small and delicate piano pieces vs a male one..... (Well, such as Knussen!  And people I think make a thing of that, Oh look at this big bumbling guy with a big beardy face and pleasant manner writing these tiny frosty gems...  We can't get away from the connection between the writer and the work, and I don't really think I'd want to -- certainly with dead and gone composers I like finding out about their lives and getting to know and like them, it helps!)  Anyway, I'm not sure what I think about that, if anything.

Haha!  I have written down some of my Thoughts.  Good.

The other thing is I'm really liking Poulenc's Sept Chansons, speaking as we were of tiny perfectly formed things.  And I'm thinking about doing more SATB settings ......... maaaaybe of other bits of prose from The Man Who Was Thursday, if I can find other bits that work.

Setting poems!  The options are old out-of-copyright, and much it really SOUNDS old, which is not always what I want (not all!), or as I'm discovering, applying for permissions etcetera and yeah I'm going to avoid famous 20th C poets in future, much as I may love them.  But there might be something in this setting of non-poems, or playing about with texts.  Or even writing something argh.

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