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Heather x

CoffeeTime is flying by, and we’re already nearing March of a year that feels like it only began a week ago. I’ve been working on Red Star’s latest animation this month, in a very different music style to my normal orchestral/sound-designy schtick! ‘Tis alway nice to have a challenge.

Next month brings with it more new and lovely challenges: preparatory work with Slung Low for the music of The White Whale and the V&A’s Venetian Masquerade exhibition starts in earnest. I’m also putting together a pitch for a film (keep your fingers crossed for me!) and I’m talking at the next Hack Circus, themed ‘This is Reality’. I’m not entirely sure what my take on it is, but ideas of controlling perceptions of reality through music and sound feels like a decent starting point. But, who knows, when I finally get a mo to really sit with the topic it could go off in another direction entirely…

These interesting articles graced my RSS feeds of late; all seem to be a bit ego-themed for some reason (maybe it’s all the yoga, you know, enlightenment, ego-denial and that):

How to be alone

I’m not quite sure what to make of this. I like being on my own, and I know that I’m not totally unusual in that (although I don’t know anyone personally who craves quite as much alone time as I do).

However I do understand the notion of having to distract oneself once you’ve found yourself a little cocoon of quiet. A good book, facecrack, a walk somewhere… it’s almost like the ego needs a purpose, that it makes you a bad person if you’re not doing anything, not using your time up deliberately, somehow. I used to vehemently be this person, ‘don’t waste a second’, be efficient (ok I still am a bit like this) but I also now revel in the not-doing. Checking out. Brain break. Staring into space.

I do wonder if there’s a grain of truth to this article but maybe the hyperbole has taken over for book sales purposes?

Why I love my ego

It’s funny but in this business (music, film, making new stuff and selling it) you meet so many different types of egos, but mainly you come to realise that they are useful things, these egos, in order to function in such a culture of ‘self’. Even I’ve described the business as selling oneself, and became enamoured with the notion of personality branding for a while.

What’s nice about this article is that it goes against the grain of ‘the ego is bad’ and in order to be happy/attain enlightenment/be a good person you have to get rid of the ego. It occurred to me during reading that, evolutionarily, the ego is there for a reason – as a mental construct it must have helped keep us alive as a species, and that really it’s just a tool, neither good nor bad: it’s what you do with it that counts.

When it’s working properly by building you up and deflecting projectiles, it’ll protect you from whatever crap the universe throws at you and, by providing context, help you notice and appreciate whatever awesomeness the world sprinkles upon you. Rather than the other way around. And yes I do like to anthropomorphise quite a lot.
Hidden hierarchy in string quartets revealed

Here’s another story I can shoehorn into to my ego-themed post (even though it doesn’t reference it explicitly): in one quartet, the lead violin does her own thing and everybody else follows; in the other, timings are democratically altered between the four on-the-fly. As an ex-perennial second violinist I can tell you it is NO fun whatsoever (ok, it is a little bit) playing in the former when one of the other instrumentalists is a bit of a diva and ploughs through relentlessly ignoring any communication with her colleagues (and it’s not always the first violin… ok, it usually is) in comparison to the latter.

I can guarantee that these balances of power spill over in to the rest of the groups dealings! Looking back on it like this, clearly my ego might have taken a bit of a battering during time in the field; classical music performance can be a brutal arena. It’s just like Black Swan. Except without the tutus.

Also I’ve been on a bit of a caffeine detox for the last few days which may explain why I didn’t come to any of my usual searingly insightful conclusions. Sorry ’bout that.

New Album Release: Blood + Chocolate

24 January 2014 Theatre

The soundtrack album of music from Blood+Chocolate is now officially released.

It’s available on iTunesGoogle Play and Spotify et al…

Post-show thoughts and links to reviews of the show

More post-show thoughts and lovely pictures

The official site (Pilot Theatre)Read the rest

Happy New Year 2014!

20 January 2014 Miscellaneous

… that is, if it’s not too late for that sort of thing.

2014 has been lovely so far. I’ve practically become a hermit. The short days and chilly weather don’t encourage venturing out and about so I’m embracing the introversion, staying cloistered and writing library music ’til the end of the month.

The tail end of 2013 saw a … Read the rest

Looking back on 2013

6 December 2013 Miscellaneous

I’ve just finished on my final freelance project of the year; a perfect opportunity for reflection.

War, Hell, Blood and Chocolate

20 November 2013 Theatre

So here goes: when I first heard about the show Blood + Chocolate, I didn’t want to do it.

Now, this isn’t a new phenomenon for me. It’s just the lizard brain going into overdrive protective mode whenever I’m presented with a project that I can’t quite wrap my head around. I just ignore the feeling and accumulate more facts and ideas from the people who know more of them, and eventually, I come around and start looking forward to it.

Blood And Chocolate And Beyond

18 October 2013 Theatre

As usual, it’s all been a bit of a whirlwind of late. Seems like longer than three weeks ago that we had this sunny Sunday morning choir rehearsal for Blood+Chocolate, out on site.

Somewhat Off-Topic…

5 October 2013 Miscellaneous

FOODS! Nomnomnomnom…

Highlights from the last few months. Nowt beats home-cooked grub.

(Credit goes to John for most of these meals.)… Read the rest

Blind Faith vs Evidence-Based Expectations

29 August 2013 Creativity

I wrote a post a while back about being ok with not knowing. Sometimes you don’t know what your next move is, how you’ll get from the start to the finish line. The gist of the post is that this usually feels uncomfortable but it’s ok to feel that way. There’s no need to shy away from it – … Read the rest

Yoga, Music and Being Slightly Obsessive Compulsive

23 August 2013 Miscellaneous

You know I love the yoga, no? Well, asana, at any rate. Not least because you pronounce that word ASS-ana. Heheheh.

I’ve been at this asana (snicker) malarky for going on 6 years now, the majority of that as just a home practise with follow-along videos. But then… da da daaaa! I signed up for an actual led class, … Read the rest

Work and Play

20 August 2013 Miscellaneous

In July, I prepped some choral work for Blood & Chocolate. The preliminary rehearsal was very encouraging. Those chaps can really sing.

During August, I’m working on several Red Star projects.

I’m also doing a Twitter and Facebook fast. Admittedly, I logged in when I got a mention on the twitter, and also to play Team Cooper’s latest game … Read the rest

Listen to the Latest 15 Minutes Live

28 June 2013 Theatre

15 Minutes Live, made by Slung Low, was performed and recorded on 19th May 2013 at Theatre in the Mill (Bradford) in front of a live studio audience.