A new blog?

I’m wondering whether or not this wouldn’t be a good option. I’ve had this blog for a very long time, and this shift that I’m undergoing seems like more of a break in path than a shift in path to me. There are aspects to it that I’d like to investigate with a real sense of newness, but as someone who came of age as the Internet did — along with all of the attendant questions revolving around social media personae — I’m very leery of “I’m this name on this blog, and that name in that community” and online handles multiplying out of control like vermin and being just as difficult to manage. I’m also not yet sure how this break/shift in focus is going to settle out, but it’s becoming evident to me that … well, I don’t think I need to use a pseudonym anymore.

I think I’m going to just stay here and let things work out for a while, and then reevaluate when it becomes evident that it’s needed.

Of course, I have a tendency to say that right before I go off on a tear, so we’ll see what happens. For now, I’m just itching to get that damned harp and get started on this new path. When I had surgery last year, I felt the same way. Once I knew I needed it, I was like, “Can you just do it now? Go grab some duct tape and a box knife, and I’ll wait here.” I tend not to care for dickering. Make a damned decision, and then move forward on it, or STFU.

Although, this seems like a good decision, to let things play out for a bit and see what seems like the best course of action when I have the benefit of a few months worth of hindsight.

“Tu scendi dalle stelle”

Like most songs for untutored voices, it’s straightforward, mostly I-IV-V-I, and has no accidentals, so it should be pretty lever-harp friendly. It’s even in Eb.

It’s really a nice feeling to contemplate composing and arranging without having to ask myself whether I should put it out under my own name when and if I opt to publish. Yes. Of course I should. Why wouldn’t I?

Harps and earthquakes

Crap. These things are top-heavy and built to tip over. I’m going to have to quake-proof it somehow. I have a feeling that it’s going to consist of picking it up and lying it on my bed every day when I leave for work. (It weighs the same as a box of cat litter, so that shouldn’t be mechanically stressful.) People with pedal harps sometimes drive an eyebolt into an overhead beam in the ceiling and then use a strap and carabiner through the neck to keep it from tipping when it’s not played, but as an apartment-dweller, I don’t really have that option.

I’ll think of something. I’d rather not have to case it up every time I’m not using it.

So much for the first of the year.

I should have it next Monday. And we’ll go from there.

I’m on the fence about teachers. I’m just not interested in yoking myself to that at this point, and am not in the mood to have to pledge myself to an apprenticeship or get on the freeway for an hour and a half on weeknights to Prove My Dedication or any of that. I’m really leery right now and may be perfectly content for the moment to work assiduously out of the Sylvia Woods books, and only then consider Skyping with someone. There’s a Canadian fellow who is well known for his YouTube videos on harp technique and who does Skype lessons, and my cousin is working with a teacher on the East Coast who may (or may not, I haven’t investigated) give Skype lessons.

For now, we’ll see how it goes. This is unknown territory for me.

You know, I remember an interview that Zoe Keating gave some time ago where she described leaving an unsuccessful audition completely disenchanted with the whole culture of classical music, standing in cold fog and waiting for a bus while thinking to herself, “I will never play classical music again.” I’m not sure where I lie on that spectrum, but after months of crap and neverending back-and-forth, it’s at least somewhere along there.

And I’m not interested in hearing about how I Can Help Classical Music, or I Should Stand Up For Women Composers or some such. That’s dreck. This is not a problem with women. We’re not at fault, so I’m not holding myself responsible for the entirety of the solution anymore, nor guilting the shit out myself for not being able to solve a problem by my little lonesome that’s the size of seven billion people and has been around since the dawn of time — that’s just one more vicious edge on the sword I’ve been contemplating falling onto for the past few months. I am more than a body to be shoved in front of a cannon in hopes that once enough corpses pile up, whoever comes next can climb over the pile and make progress. I will not be a nameless corpse nor a nameless guilt-riddled corpse.

There comes a time when I Should Stay And Fight starts to sound a lot like But He Needs Me And I Can Help Him Change.

Anyhow. Looking forward to getting this thing. And once again, we’ll go from there.

First of the year

Dusty Strings Ravenna 34

We’ll see what happens.

This has been brewing for some time, and in retrospect, it’s been influencing me a lot regarding how much commitment I’ve been willing to give the classical genre when I know that there is just no way to make this work for me. I think it’s behind part of my hunting around for other instruments, my constant mulling over what kind of musician I am, what it means to even be a composer in a genre that barely acknowledges composers at all much less when they have the nerve to bring their tits with them into the studio, and as I said already, the way that the Haendel project sort of petered out at exactly the same time as I started contemplating the self-immolation of a male pseudonym under which to publish it.

You know, to give it a fair chance. Fair. Let that word sink in a little.

I don’t yet know what it’s going to be like to manage with the new limb instead of the old one, but … well, we’ll see.


If you’re going to respond by informing me that the only reason for that 1.8% is because women like me decide not to write classical music, then you can go straight to hell, do not pass go, do not collect $200. That isn’t what’s behind that 1.8% and you fucking well know it.