Saturday, March 15, 2008


Lately I've been thinking about how much I miss my American composer friends.

Thank heavens for e-mail and Facebook, so I can keep in touch with people. But it's not quite the same as being able to pick up the phone for a quick (free!) call, or zip off to a concert together and snigger about the music and the performance, or have a regular lunch date where you could chat about what you were working on or what you've been thinking about.

My two closest composer friends and I still e-mail regularly. It's great being able to communicate so easily, air an idea, ask questions, or just get an opinion. Handy when one friend is a Pulitzer Prize nominee and general all-round amazing musician, and the other is also an amazing musician, and she's like a second sister too so we are usually on the same wavelength!

My husband David is a brilliant soundboard for ideas. In fact, he's always the first person I go to when I feel like I'm beating my head against a brick wall. He's an ideas man, is David.

I'm working on a large choral-orchestral piece and I'm trying to settle on a text. I have two poems already, just need to make a decision about a third because the piece has to be around 12 minutes long, and the two poems aren't quite enough. It's really hard because I am not Australian, but I'm using Australian poetry. Mostly because I have been asked to. Having an identity firstly as a New Zealander tends to mean that New Zealand poetry makes more sense to me, so I am having to wrap my head around some new language, tone, pictures, you know what I mean. The bush ballad thing just sounds a little too folksy for what I'm trying to do!

Anyway, I do feel like I am making progress in very tiny steps. It's a wonderful journey of discovery. And it will hopefully be the ideal way to communicate to my audience and performers once the piece is finished. That's the no. 1 goal of this whole business.

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