It is so peaceful here, at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. I am enjoying every minute of my three-week residency! I am working on a new piece for Akropolis Reed Quintet, which I hope to finish before going back to everyday life routine madness.
In this seclusion that is called "Residency" I am making observations and finding out some interesting things. Because I am sitting in a designated artist space, one that is dedicated for a very specific purpose- me as an artist, I must wear a different mind set. Do "me" and the "artist" personas overlap or do I have to clear some or the whole way for the "artist"?
I have been unconsciously nurturing the "aritst". I have been feeding her with what she likes- good nutrition and coffee twice a day, taking a walk to the river and nourishing her curiosity while observing the local community in the coffee shop. The results are satisfying so far- first 15 measures of music were written today as an exposition for a new piece. Not only that, but suddenly I have a craving to practice slowly and carefully, something I was always reluctant to do. At the same time- me, the "person" is being kind of push aside. Is it by chance, because my suitcase has not arrived with me and I do not have most of my personal things, that I don't "take care" as usual? In any case, I find it completely emancipating not to have to think about clothes or make up.
My time is ready to be filled with content and although it seems like a lot of time to fill, it absolutely flies! The initial preparation for a new piece requires research. This process has become my standard way of working: researching on the ensemble I am writing a piece for. In this case, finding out particular playing techniques of reed instruments, since I do not play any of them myeself. Particularly, I have to learn more about the saxophone, an instrument which I have never yet written for. There is information available online including demontrating sound clips, which is very usefl. In parallel, I am trying to get a hold on existing pieces for this ensemble to show me what is possible and carachteristc of the reeds to play (not nessicerly for me to follow), what has already been written and to just get familiar with the sound world of this ensemble. There is not a whole lot of music I find for it as this ensemble is yet a "work in progress", a kind of newly formed group comparing to a string quartet or a symphony orchestra. The idea of extending the relatively small exisiting repertoire makes me very excited! I hope to do a good job with my work.
While sitting in my studio in a vacuum of sound, I have more control over how I feel up my thoughts and my time. (this came out rhyming.. haha)
*** Here is what we eat here: on Thursdays there is a farmer's market next door to the center (Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts). I got a strange looking yellow summer squash which apparently is great to marinade and funny looking little carrots, both Certified Naturally Grown from a local farmer. On the same day we also received our order from the Nebraska-Food Cooperative. Meryl, my apartment-mate, made a delicious pasta. In the next days my creativity will be put into test with these vegtables, as well ;) ***
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