So. What has happened to me. Let's tackle this in my favorite blog post structure - THE LIST!
1. My wife and I had a baby.
Violet August McClure, born April 30 at 8:38am in Suzhou, China. She is perfect. We could not be more thrilled to be parents. As a person who never changed a diaper or really held newborns/babies other than my nephew, I feel truly at ease with Violet. It is amazing how when it is your child, you just kind of know what to do, how to hold her, etc. It is a really awesome feeling. Plus, her hair makes her head so soft for kisses. I promise not to inundate my blog with baby pics. For that you should check me out on Instagram. But here is one more for now.
My music has gotten into several festivals in 2014 including: New Music Edmonton, North American Saxophone Alliance National Conference, Last Friday Listening Room Concert Series at UC San Diego, the Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music (Belfast, Ireland), the New York City Electronic Music Festival, the Charlotte New Music Festival and Composers Workshop, and the Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium.
Also, it was announced that my orchestra dissertation piece, Warning Colors was named the Winner of the 2014 Paul and Christiane Cooper Memorial Prize in Composition from Rice University. Very honored.
3. Teaching, Teaching, Teaching.
I wrote about the electronic music class I was going to co-teach earlier this year. It has been going well but, the amount of software learning I've had to do for the class has been incredible. Totally learn a new DAW (reaper) and build 7 max instrument patches that are essentially fool proof. Ran into a lot of problems with the fact that the kids have all windows machines. In addition to this class, I am teaching Theory II which has been fine. I've never understood tonal voice leading as well as I do right now.
I've also been involved with meetings for the construction and design of the electronic music studio in our new building and purchase of all of the gear for it. Next semester, I'll be teaching Electronic Music I and setting up our temporary studio as we wait for the building to be completed.
...has gone slowly. Please refer to my (gulp) last blog post from February where I detailed my upcoming projects. I've finished The Lightning Field. I pulled a "Ben Krause" and just stopped everything else I was doing for about 2 weeks and really nailed the piece down. It will be premiered at the Charlotte New Music Festival by the loadbang ensemble. Excited for that.
The vibraphone and computer piece is a technological monster. I just finished inputting the score with all of the electronic cues into sibelius the other day. Now, it is time to make all the sounds and built the patch. I had really ambitious thoughts about the electronic part for this piece and I plan to see them through. But, I am doing a lot of things I've never done before and a lot of time will be spent on trying to figure out how to make that particular sounds or how to make Max do a particular thing. Luckily, many of the things I built for my electro class this semester will overlap with what I am trying to do in this piece.
The other three pieces are on the back-burner until the vibraphone piece is done. I've technically been working on it for a year and a half (although my dissertation, Warning Colors, Memory Variations for Liminal Space, and The Lightning Field have all been finished in that time period) and it is time to devote all my focus to it. But, I have a lot of ideas for them and can't wait to get started on them. I think it is going to be a very busy but productive summer full of new ideas and new diapers.