100 Days – Day 38

State of the Phd Address

Had to take a few days off working on the PhD and posting here because of a very mentally intense chamber choir project – 2 Bach motets, 2 Brahms motets, a whole pile of Schütz and a haunting Es Ist Genug by Sven-David Sändstrom, who passed away on Monday last, which brings a new layer of emotion and poignancy to today and tomorrow’s concerts.

I have been tipping away at my Christmas carols – putting the structure together, gathering my materials, generally getting them to a place where I can just sit down and knock them out in a few days. It feels mad to be planning Christmas in June, but sometimes I think I’d be happy if I wrote nothing else in my life but Christmas Carols! They occupy a very specific place in my output – both sacred and secular. I feel like I can express both the more serious side of my composition and the zany, Moother Goose side of things in the one breath.

I’ve also been dipping in and out of the brilliant Staying Composed by composer Dale Trumbore, which came out a little over a week ago, and is about “Overcoming anxiety and self-doubt within a creative life.” I knew it was the book for me when I arrived home during the week, and it was sitting in its envelope having just arrived, and I took it out, and flipped through it at random, and the first chapter heading I saw was DO IT NOW.