Holidays are once again a timely blessing; I'm getting a substantial amount of work done while feeling refreshed and relaxed. Permanent holidays need to be a thing, am I right?
This means I've had time to think more about November's graduation recital, which is a very unique project in a number of ways. My usual strategy is to write for established ensembles and instrumentations to get the best results while coping with logistics (with the notable exception of the Newhouse Collective, which unexpectedly became a 'brand' in itself), but doing a recital means I can get a group of people together more easily and work on my skills as a director and laptop artist. As such, I'm excited about the orchestra I'm forming, which retains the flexibility and 'punch' of a jazz orchestra without quite the power. This lends itself to the organic enhancement of the more orchestral colours: flutes, clarinets, bassoon, strings, horn, mezzo soprano, and the electronics. Using a mixture of jazz, classical and experimental instrumentalists also means I can utilise a rather interesting mix of textures and ideas within the one concert. I'm so, so excited to finish the music and get started - we're having extensive group coffee outings after each rehearsal.
Between teaching, doing the Penhros musical and playing flutes in a free improv concert with guitarist Jameson Feakes, I'm continuing to mould myself into the instrumentalist I want to be. A highlight was being asked to jump up as a guest with trad jazz group Beans Buma's Boys of Rhythm at the Ellington the other night - these guys are fantastic friends and very talented entertainers. Things coming up include some shows with the legendary Ed Partyka, who always gets the best out of WAYJO, and a free improv showcase by the Newhouse Collective at the State Library after we play Thought Catalogs at Chamber Jam.
Currently listening to Natalie Imbruglia. No apologies. She's awesome.