Thoughts on musical experiences, my own works, and who knows what else.
It has been a long time since I’ve checked in to write a reflection (or even look at my website!). The final weeks of the university semester involved marking approximately 140 assignments, finishing up tutoring, and preparing for a micro-festival at work. In between all that, my research and my music got put on hold for at least a good month. Yikes!
I made a conscious decision to put my personal music aside during this time, and focus on completing my immediate obligations well. I decided that I wasn’t going to beat myself up about it, or even THINK about what I was putting off, until after I’d met all my deadlines. And honestly, it worked quite well! It’s okay to take a break from your overall goals, even with a faraway deadline starting to loom. I’ve come through the other side, gained some peripheral experience and a newfound drive and inspiration to complete my projects.
Part of that came from attending the Australasian Computer Music Conference at Monash University last week, organised by Lindsay Vickery. This was combined with the TENOR Conference, organised by Cat Hope. Seeing academics present in both fields was an unexpected treat for me, usually so mired in my non-notational sounds; being reminded of the various ways in which we record music and prompt others to interpret made me think about how I communicate my music. Is there space for my practice to grow? I love thinking about sound in terms of texture – maybe I should start producing interpretive scores to go along with my work?
Anyway. I also presented on my thesis topic – embracing Small Diffusion and composing for the Non-Ideal Listening Situation. I’ve incorporated some new concepts into my research lately, and it was lovely to hear peoples’ genuine interest and feedback on my work for the last two years, and even comment on and grow the ideas I’d put forward. Stay tuned for more in-depth explanations soon!
So after arriving back in Sydney, one week before semester starts, I have some goals which I want to share publicly (if only to make me answer to them when demotivation hits):
It’s quite daunting, trying to pick up everything from where you left off. It’s much easier picking up one thing at a time, than trying to get everything off the ground at once (unless you’re deadlifting, I guess). My first step is to get back into a mindset where I know what I’ve achieved, what I must do, and creating simple steps to get there. That’s why I started with this reflection; to take stock of where I am, and put my future goals within the framework of my past/present.