It's been a long time since I've posted, which has been the product of two things. One, I prefer doing things to writing about them. Two, it's hard for me to come up with things to write that would actually justify the time I'd spend writing them.
2016 has been a year of a lot of changes. Most of them aren't really on-topic for this blog; I'll leave writing about politics to others, and while it's attractive to write about the environmental, financial and humanitarian disasters both looming and in progress, it's not my purpose here. My own life has had a major upset or two, and as a result I've had to re-think a lot of plans.
So, what has 2016 contained?
Not as many new compositions as I'd like, but that's par for the course:
Forebodings, Too Easily Dispelled for saxophone choir
A companion piece, Ignore the Clouds, the Droplets are not Rain, is in the works
The beginnings of a set of pieces for hatun kena and piano; two pieces basically done, unsure how many will follow.
"The Gardener's Song," a short song in Esperanto about a groundskeeper who painstakingly sorts the autumn leaves into piles by color, and has to re-think when the wind comes along and mixes them up again.
A number of performances, of which the most interesting are probably the ones at the Spanish Benevolent Society with a group of Spanish-language writers, artists, poets and musicians. It's an honor to share the stage with them, and I'm looking forward to more wonderful programs in 2017. Here's where to find their upcoming events.
I also played some Azerbaijani music up at Lake George for the Autumn Esperanto Convention
in October; it was my first time attending that gathering, and already I can't wait for next year.
In performing terms, 2016 has been the year of the 61-key keyboard; mine has a very different sound and feel from the pianos and 88-key digital keyboards I've played, and I've enjoyed getting to know its more intimate feel. I'm working on a list of music that can be played on such a keyboard; I was surprised to find pieces by Bartók, Chaminade, and Florent Schmitt that will fit. It's not a surprise that most of the important works of the piano repertoire need a bigger keyboard, of course.
My wish list for 2017 is still in progress; the above-mentioned piece for saxophone choir heads the list, followed closely by some keyboard pieces.
Happy New Year!