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last two weeks - recap part one

I'm sitting in Kate's office right now waiting for her to get done teaching a seminar class, so i thought while i had the opportunity i'd try to do a quick recap of everything that happened during the Crazy April period that was the past couple of weeks.

I had a bunch of back and forth emails with Jim Casella at tapspace about his interest in publishing Timpani Forces and the email interaction we had was incredibly positive, enough that i decided to sign the contract and hand over my materials. It's currently in "proofing stage" - i imagine that this means that this is going into his queue of looking over the Finale files and "tapspacing" it for lack of a better term; making sure that the notation is consistent with what they want to see and also adding the sort of tapspace publication information and branding to put it on their shelves. According to Jim, the whole thing will take a few months to do - i think that timing is actually pretty good because assuming that it can go into production pretty quickly when the proofing process is done, it'll be ready for the next academic year and I can start putting it into people's ear to buy it and think about programming it at some point during the next academic year.

Even if the piece itself doesn't turn out to be as successful as i hope (i have no idea how to gauge that sort of thing), I think it's a great foot in the door - it gave Jim and I an opportunity to know each other both personally and professionally and establish a great relationship, and at some point during the next academic year I may come to him with some other material to see if i can flesh out my personal library with at least one other piece with the company. We'll see what form that will take, but the whole thing is very exciting for me.


April 15th was when i officially was able to move into the new place. Gradually over the week i started moving all of my stuff in easily manageable boxes to the place, saving the big furniture stuff for Saturday morning. In the latter part of that week i twinged something in my back that made me worried that I had regressed my extruded disc, but i've since gotten better - not 100%, but still improving.

I stayed in the new place for the first time starting on Saturday, and during that week i started dealing with a bunch of respiratory issues that i haven't had to deal with since moving to New Orleans. My mom was wondering if it had to do with the apartment - the paint job is relatively new (the place is only 6.5 months old), and it's vaguely possible that that or maybe the kind of insulation they used to renovate could be causing the issue, which would suck because then i wouldn't be able to actually stay there. I'm not convinced that the apartment is the culprit - particularly given that some of the issues had started a little prior to that. I suspect that moving did it - kicked around a lot of dust and allergens that have been festering in my old place and even moved to my new place, and the whole move combined with the new place just exacerbated the issue. We'll see what happens over the next month or so - i feel much better than i did a week ago, and I'll be organizing the place into something livable including getting a new bed and potentially a new futon mattress which could help if the issue has to do with that.

I'm very excited about the new place. The people who own the house are great people and big board game geeks, and they're pretty excited about board gaming and pokering it up together. Once my next wave of crazy busy gets done, i'm going to try to start regular poker at my place again and also develop some routine for other board game goodness with these people and maybe a few others in an effort to be more social. I'm also excited about the new place to make it truly my own space - to give it a sense of home that i've not done to any of the other places i've ever lived. There'll be a big BB&B and World Market trip made once I figure out how the space will work for me.


On April 22nd, i had my third annual nienteForte concert, and it was a tremendous success.

This concert was definitely the most stressful of the three that I had done. Everything seemed so late in coming together, i was going through a bunch of issues with finding performers and then getting performers to show up for this reason or that reason. I was also playing piano for Jenni's piece and it was a hard piece for me to learn because of how out of practice i was and the middle section was the sort of piano music that's difficult for me to learn.

All of it started to finally feel like it was coming together starting around the week before, so i started to get a great sense of relief that maybe the concert would turn out fine after all, but i never expected it to be as successful as it turned out to be. I attribute a lot of this to the quality of the music - Rob and Larry are amazing composers and teachers whose musical voice and teachings clearly still had some resonance with how Lona, Jenni, and I deal with our craft, so even though the performances were far from perfect, the intent of the music was very clear and was very well received by the audience. Jenni was very happy with the piece and with her entire time here where i took her out for some great food amidst a lot of great conversation and catching up with our current lives as well as a great reminiscence of our time together at West Chester. My parents also came down for the concert and it was great to see them and hang out with them too.

And for all of this, i ultimately feel incredibly grateful. I feel like i worked really hard to get to this point in my life, where things are incredibly busy and sometimes stressful but in ways that i choose to be and want to be. But at the same time, i have a hard time believing my recent success and fortune - to have my timpani piece published, to find a great relationship and friendship with my new landlords, to have such a receptive audience that i hopefully inspired with the music that inspired me - to be in the center of all of that (as well as my guest lecture at Hawaii) doesn't feel real all of the time, and I am trying very consciously to approach it in a way that is more thankful and humbled rather than self-congratulatory, and in a way that uses this positivity to keep pushing forward - not just because i still have a lot to try to accomplish between now and June, but because there's no reason for me to feel satisfied - the more i up my own game, the more important it is for me to push harder and make myself better both personally and professionally, and hopefully in the next year i can accomplish that in new ways.

We shall see.

Post about hawaii forthcoming. Pictures will go on my g+ account.


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March 2017