Looking back at 2016

As a freelance composer (and therefore a small business owner), the first task of the new year is emptying all my receipt folders into envelopes so that I start the new year fresh. And conveniently, to already be organised for tax time.

A nice thing about freelancing is that every project, large or small, gets the payoff of a sense of completion. But then I’m immediately on to the next project, and my focus is intent on the piece right in front of me. So I’m completely in the moment, and pretty soon what happened last week seems a distant memory. Read more ›

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Let Me Entertain You (at 35,000 feet)

enroute-squareFor someone whose job is largely sitting in front of manuscript paper, pencil in hand, I seem to spend a lot of time on planes. The exact number varies widely from year to year. A couple of years ago I did a lot of travelling for concerts and projects, and was on 48 different planes in a twelve-month period. So I am quite familiar with the Air Canada‘s “EnRoute” in-flight entertainment system. Read more ›

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Bridging Cultures and Centuries

Siset stoneMost of my projects over the last few years have been collaborations, which opens up my world and allows me to work creatively with artists in other disciplines. Vetta Chamber Music‘s Joan Blackman approached me early last year to be part of fantastic project: a made-in-BC answer to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons that would combine my music (a violin concerto for Vivaldi forces) with stories and spoken word by Sahtu Dene/Coast Salish storyteller Rosemary Georgeson. Read more ›

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On Being There

Tafel bowsWhen composers are first learning to a compose, it’s a given that we’ll be at most (if not all) the rehearsals, plus the concert(s). In the beginning, this is frequently because we’ve organised the entire thing ourselves: we’ve asked all the players, arranged for the hall, worked out the schedule. We might even be conducting or performing, or both. As our careers progress, we get used to being there. Read more ›

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2015 In Pictures

Okay, in practice my year works on the “concert season” year which starts in the fall, so I’m really partway through 15/16, but it’s December 31 and the end of a calendar year, so I thought I’d give a look back on events of the past twelve months, with a lot of pictures and not a lot of words, because a picture is worth… well, you know. Read more ›

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Six Days, Six Rehearsals, Two Pieces (part 2)

BOL MollyThat busy week of rehearsals I mentioned in my last post wasn’t just about Jubilant Red. It was also the week that all the elements in Book of Love came together for the first time: Kokoro Dance (which commissioned the piece), Standing Wave (which will perform the music live in performance), British artist Jonathan Baldock (who has created the costumes and set design), and me. Read more ›

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