Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Vacation

So, it has been 12 days since I've written in this blog. During that time I have received twelve drummers drumming, eleven pipers piping, ten lords a leaping.......FIVE GOLDEN RINGS. (Had to get to that part) Well, you get the picture. It's Christmas time, in fact, it is Christmas day, and I've been a bit busy. As usual, the gigging picks up a bit during the holidays with all the corporate parties and church gigs, including non-paying gigs at my own church. And then there's the holiday shopping and gatherings. And we got a wonderful snowfall last weekend. 18 inches to be exact. So I've spent a good deal of time with a shovel in my hand.

I wonder if Stravinsky ever had to shovel snow? In fact, I wonder many things about him, especially during the time that he was working on Rite Of Spring. Did he do any gigs? Did he have other writing projects that he was working on? What sort of family commitments did he have, if any? Was he teaching any private students? (I've been far too lazy and/or busy to reseach anything about Stravinsky's life.) Did he take a Christmas break? Did he even celebrate Christmas at all? Especially while writing such a "pagan" piece of music. Perhaps I'll do a little reading about his life after finishing the project. Anyway, these are all things that I have been dealing with as I continue this project. I teach saxophone students at Towson University. I teach woodwinds at Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore. I teach at home. I gig. I have family commitments. I've been doing other writing. That's why I thought the two charts a month goal was pretty lofty. It gives me lots of time to miss my deadline and still be done in time. I'm very close to my schedule as I just finished and printed part 11 three days ago and part 12 I think will go quickly.

But back to Igor. What demands did he have on his time. Did he take time off from his writing. Did he find inspiration when he did other things. I have have had many of my best ideas come to mind while far away from the house and anything musical. Often while driving the car or even more often, while walking my dog in the woods is when I have got some of my best ideas and inspiration. For both original compositions and arrangements of other people's music. The recent snowstorm gave me lots of time to think while I was shoveling, though I can't say I really got any ideas this time. And the holidays have taken away available time to write. But in the end, I think this will be good. A little layoff from the writing often yields some fresh ideas. It seems to be the same with playing. It feels good again.

So, the holiday season is here and it has slowed me a bit. No big deal. I have lots of time between Christmas and my New Years Eve gig to get some Stravinsky and other writing in. As long as my wife doesn't have me scheduled otherwise. (She works for the school system so she's home, too!) And before you know it school is back in and the college semester starts and the students come and......... At least January is a slow gig month.

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