25 November 2010

Thanks for

A friend — indeed, the writer of one of the texts to be set — wrote (among other neighborly remarks) to inquire of the Cantata. I replied:

The Cantata . . . I haven’t finished Tempus fungus yet. Fact is (and I was talking about this with Alan in our brief phone chat) I’ve found that mentally I am enjoying the sabbatical. I haven’t really deliberately downed tools, compositionally, since once “finding my discipline,” you might say . . . so, for maybe 12 years or so. It’s true that it’s largely the external variable of the increased work schedule which ‘drove’ me to it, but I’m finding I am simply enjoying the rest.

Not only that, but . . . normally in the past, when the external schedule has interfered with composition, I’ve always had some idea of I can take work back up at such-and-so a date. This time, a bit unusually . . . I’m just looking back with content at the pieces I’ve written these past 2-3 years. Alan said something about a Gestalt cycle, where after accomplishment, you (ideally) have a period of enjoying the accomplishment. Generally in the past, I have sort of elided that with getting to work on the next thing.

I know I’ll write again, I have these pieces which I want to write, and which I’ve designed . . . but I’m really enjoying this novel experience of just relaxing, compositionally, and not knowing (or caring much) when I actually get back to work. Strangely, I don’t mind not having a push-pin in the calendar when I “know” I’ll get back to work.

I have not “broken the sabbatical” yet — but the other night I did dream of some three distinct movements for flute choir. There are musical ideas ready to flow, when I find that I wish to re-open the tap.

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