A to-do list for shut-down

What times we live in. At the time of writing, I'm well and still on a normal schedule, but some future work has already been cancelled and I'm anticipating more will be in due course, in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic. Here in the UK, the government has taken a markedly different approach to many other countries, but even if schools don't close, it looks like arts events in general are off the table for some weeks at least, and that like many others I'll find myself at home for substantially more time than usual in the near future. Unstructured time like this is something I both crave, and dread, because I find it very difficult to set and stick to goals without external pressures like deadlines and audiences, so I'm going to write here a to-do list (or maybe a wish list) of creative-focused (so no 'tidy the office', 'do my tax return early') things that I could use this time for, should it happen. Here goes:

  • Compose! I've got at least 4-5 works in some stage of preparation which I could make progress on.

  • Get some serious reading done - I'm thinking into Ornette Coleman's Harmolodics, Steve Coleman's M-base.

  • Do some serious listening - again, I'm thinking Ornette and Steve Coleman, Sun Ra, Evan Parker, AACM (on a real improvised music/free jazz odyssey at the moment), but also catch up with 21st-century orchestral and chamber writing.

  • Create a highlight reel of compositions for my Music page.

  • Make a page to showcase my work in arranging and music preparation.

  • Write more blog posts! I've got a lot of works to showcase, as well as ideas/experiences from teaching to share.

  • Promote my Skype teaching (go on, you know you want to).

  • Have some Skype chats/lessons with other composers (feel free to get in touch).

  • Finish and publish more arrangements on SMP Press.

  • Edit some of the mountain of video I'm sitting on from the last 5 or so years of recordings and gigs.

  • Publish more videos of my work on my Youtube channel.

  • Finally start that Patreon I've been thinking about for ages.


I think that will do for a start! I'll try to post some updates on whichever of these I actually get done over the next few weeks. Stay well.

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