Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 - YE

Nothing inspired me to write this year, so it's just another year-end list.  Hmm..., let's see...

The year started slowly for me, digging out from more loss than I anticipated.  Happily I was able to generate a nice "little" project for myself and started writing a group of pieces for my 6th favorite alto player ever.  I had expected to record it at home, but turns out that we're now planning an actual live performance this coming year, which means that I have to write for an actual rather than a virtual ensemble (limiting and liberating at the same time), and more importantly - I have to actually finish it.  That will certainly be my creative focus the next few months.

Did a number of nice "jazz" gigs with my tunes from "Late Nighting" and finally from "A Mess of Pottage".  Of course, finishing and releasing "Mess" was probably my big accomplishment for the year.

Exit 12 kept busy, as usual.  Some exciting things coming up, stay tuned.

Saw Swan Lake.  Saw NY Phil play some Hitchcock music while they screened the scenes.  Also got to see Sibelius' 5th, which left me unable to walk (along with Ravel's Mother Goose and Salonen's violin concerto).

Speaking of violin - played around a bit more with that, but made no real progress.  Mandolin has been getting better and better, and recently put together an acoustic project so I can concentrate on mandolin.

Phew got married.  I cried a lot.  Transmigration of the Beef, I insist was the reason.

Of course the big, mass 50th birthday party weekend was pretty special, most special for gettting to reunite with my "Banned" mate and oldest friend Vinny to do some playing!  Keep on rocking, indeed!  (Too bad our other gig fell through).

A couple of Monk's Monks gigs sprinkled in. 

Got to see Chris Thile play Bach and bluegrass at Carnegie Hall.

Got to play with Gene Bertoncini in Dec.  Always a thrill, and kind of made me re-focus on guitar a bit more.  Putting together a new trio book now, will probably be more open to gigs.

Not a whole lot more jumps out at me.  Kind of a lot of loss around the end of the year, but people at one remove from me - people that people I care about cared about, not people I knew directly.  Still crappy.  Life is short, rock hard.

Of course, we lost Jim Hall.  The best.  

Listening - lots and lots of Sibelius and Mahler, as I had hoped.  And Wagner.  Lots of violin and mandolin music.  Berg - in particular the Seven Early Songs, which became a new favorite.  "Stars Fell on Alabama" bu Louis and Ella made Donna cry. Going back to Jimmy Giuffre to find inspiration for GPM. 

Reading - a bunch of books about Hart Crane, more sci-fi, more comics (Hickman's Fantastic Four and FF were big favorites).  And the Nikki Heat books.

Watching - Castle and 30 Rock, TBBT.  Not much else that jumps out.  Gravity was great, but remember never to go to another THX (or whatever it's called) 3D movie again.  The 3D was ok, but it was so loud we had to stuff our ears with tissues. 

So I look towards the New Year with high hopes for GPM.  I think it can be something special, but I've got to put in the hours.  Part Suite, part song cycle, part chamber music, part jazz.  Could be a nice little summation, if I don't crap it up.

If I think of anything else I'll come back and add it, but it didn't seem like a big standout year for me.  I'm happy that I got a new record finished and released and the new tunes premiered, but that seemed to be all I could manage.  Hopefully this year will see a little more productivity, a little more output.  I'm hopeful that after gestating a lot of ideas, things will flow quickly.  At least I have one (soft, at the moment) deadline, so I know I'll have to finish at least one thing. 


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