21 days to go…

shopping-cart-hiHappy NZ Music Month! A week has gone already and that means my music month project is well underway. Here is an overview of the first things I have considered…

WHAT AM I GOING TO USE
The biggest decision, which could make or break this project is what software I am going to use. There are three options:

  • Manual – things could just be listed on the website with purchase details and if someone wants to buy it they will notify me and we will organise payment and distribution. That’s far too much work – not a good option.
  • Shopify – is an appealing option, I can still host it on my site if I wish, can have automatic PDF downloads, automatic payments, manage on my iPhone and more, much more – it’s a great service! But, it’s so expensive. US$348 a year for the most basic option – I’d prefer to keep that money in my pocket.
  • Shopp – this is a platform that you install on your WordPress site and you can do everything you can do on Shopify (basically!) and all for just a single license of US$55. There will be a bit more work on the backend, compared to Shopify, but it still makes it the absolute best option for me.

Continue reading “21 days to go…”

A project for NZ Music Month…

In 2011 I celebrated NZ Music Month in style by writing 31 microscores in 31 days. It was a huge success, they all got recorded, are hugely popular and I use them almost weekly when talking to students about composition and instrumentation.

In 2012, while I was involved in many Music Month events, I didn’t have a music composition project and I was pretty disappointed about it.

So in 2013, it’s back!

NZ-Music-Month1

Continue reading “A project for NZ Music Month…”

I survived 2012. This is how it was!

The New Year means it’s time to have a look back over the past year and see, through my blog posts, what has taken shape and what I have to say for myself!

January started with a very well deserved “Shout-out to VaultPress” after they marvellously got my website back up and running after a meltdown!

3100508059_5c99a0f9e1_zFebruary is the start of the school term and I posted about the preparation work I do for schools.

My typing fingers must have been tired at the end of March – it started with two popular posts, iOS apps for music professionals and Digital music stands vs iPads, following on from, again, two very popular posts I did in 2010.

Continue reading “I survived 2012. This is how it was!”

A month of New Zealand music

NZ-Music-Month1New Zealand Music Month is here again. Make sure you get out and enjoy some New Zealand Music – well, more than usual, I hope!

You may remember for last year’s Music Month I wrote 31 microscores in 31 days. It was a huge success and loads of fun. Check out this post to read about the project or listen to the microscores.

This year I don’t quite have a project like that ready to go, but here are some events that my music is involved with this Music Month:

3rd May: William Green performs This Day this Thursday

As part of Auckland Central Library’s FREE Thursday lunchtime concert series, William is playing my piece, This Day, as part of his “NZ piano music of the 2000s” concert.

Continue reading “A month of New Zealand music”

2011 through the eyes of a blog

And just like that, another year is gone! Here is a look at my posts for the year.

thinking web picThe blogging year started in March with my favourite book arriving, “Behind Bars”, which I preordered in 2010. It is definitely the most used book on my shelf! I then talked about two approaching projects:

In April I introduced my new work, “blimp”, and reviewed two projects – a song I helped a friend create and my work at the BOP music school: Continue reading “2011 through the eyes of a blog”

May Microscores – a ginormous month of tiny things

During this year’s New Zealand Music Month I wrote 31 musical microscores, and far out, what a month it was! I decided back in this post that I would do the project – each microscore would be from 30 to 60 seconds and I would do them in a maximum of one hour each day.

I was initially unsure how it would shape up musically – would they all be completely different, how would they relate to each other – but once underway it was clear that small sets of microscores was going to be the way to go.

Another thing I was unaware of was the difficulty of taking one hour out of an already extremely busy working day, especially for 31 in a row. I made it though, with a few catchup days here and there.

It was interesting to see the voice that came out through the compositions and how they relate to each other even when they are for very different instruments and based on a very different idea. Some I wrote for instruments I know well, others I wrote for instruments I have not worked with much.

Below are most of the microscores – have a listen. The rest are still on their way due to technical disasters.

Below is the full list of microscores:

FOR PIANO, a response to my piece for orchestra, “blimp”, which was premiered on May 1 at the Auckland Town Hall by the Auckland Symphony Orchestra.

  • May 1: “the pilot” Yes, it is about the pilot of the blimp.
  • May 2: “the view” Yes, it is about the view from the blimp.
  • May 3: “the flock” Yes, it is about the flock of birds that hit the blimp.

FOR VIOLIN – Alexey Kurkdjian, a set about memories from Brazil.

  • May 4: “Carrão” About a metro station in São Paulo where we spent a lot of time.
  • May 5: “Liberdade” About a district in São Paulo – the largest Japanese community outside of Japan.
  • May 6: “Rocinha” About a favella we visited in Rio de Janeiro.
  • May 7: “Pão de Açúcar” About the famous Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.
  • May 8: “Terra Brasilis” About our hostel in Rio de Janeiro.

FOR PERCUSSION, a set about living in Auckland.

  • May 9: “a moment last week” for drum kit with bongos.
  • May 10: “a moment out west” for marimba.
  • May 11: “a moment of rain” for xylophone.
  • May 12: “a moment of colour” for xylophone.
  • May 13: “a moment of grit” for drum kit with bongos.
  • May 14: “a moment of quiet” for xylophone.
  • May 15: “a moment to share” for triangle and crotales.
  • May 16: “a moment imminent” for marimba and crotales.

FOR TROMBONE – Peter J. Russell, a set based on the fact that some frogs can be frozen solid, then thaw out and continue living.

  • May 17: “he freezes”
  • May 18: “he thaws”
  • May 19: “he lives”

FOR FRENCH HORN – David Kay, a set of three based on the three sleep stages referred to as non-rapid eye movement (NREM).

  • May 20: “NREM sleep: N1″ This is the light sleep stage where it is common to experience restlessness and hypnic jerks.
  • May 21: “NREM sleep: N2″ This is the medium sleep stage where the sleeper can be easily awakened.
  • May 22: “NREM sleep: N3″ This is the deep sleep stage where night terrors and sleepwalking can occur.

FOR CLARINET – Yvette Audain, the original name for butterflies was flutterby.

  • May 23: “flutterby I”
  • May 24: “flutterby II”
  • May 25: “flutterby III”
  • May 26: “flutterby IV”
  • May 27: “flutterby V”

FOR TRUMPET – Brendan Agnew, a set of three about a flea circus.

  • May 28: “flea circus: opening night”
  • May 29: “flea circus: race day”
  • May 30: “flea circus: the escape”

FOR PIANO, the development of my favourite idea from all microscores written in May. And I also happened to sit on a rather large swiss ball to write all 31 microscores.

  • May 31: “sitting on a ball”

Microscore May

May is New Zealand Music Month, a chance to celebrate all things NZ music. I have always been involved in extra activities during the month, but I decided that this year I would do a project of my own – write 31 musical microscores in the 31 days of May. I will write one and then post it online every day – no exceptions!

Miniature harpI am very much looking forward to it, but am in the process of thinking how exactly I will go about it, so I thought the big wide world may be able to help me. What I’m pondering is:

  • What instruments should I do it for? A different instrument each day? Select perhaps six in total? Have only one instrument?
  • Are there any performers out there who would be keen to perform them through the month?
  • Any ideas on a theme that could tie them all together?

I look forward to any thoughts or comments.