So if you had read my last blog post, you may have an inkling of how crazy my fall has been. My music projects really overtook my life- since September I had two more trips to Imaginary Road Studio to work with Will Ackerman in Vermont, for my Wyeth album (including sessions with Jim Matus and Noah Wilding) and contributing piano tracks for Jeff Oster’s album “next.”; two “Burchfield: Artist as Composer” concerts at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, with Sibelius, Haydn, Brahms, and Schubert; and I wrote a couple of grant proposals for Wyeth album funding.
So, I was practicing the piano non-stop. When I wasn’t practicing piano, I was writing. When I wasn’t writing, I was traveling. When I wasn’t doing any of the above, I was wishing I was playing piano or writing… attempting to be present for my family, and not doing a great job of that. Family dinners, exercise, and family fun slipped by the wayside.
I know it’s all a balancing act, and this time I feel it slipped too far in one direction- every waking thought was about the creative work that was pouring forth. I am not sorry I did all of these things, in fact I’m super proud of them. I got wonderful feedback on my classical concerts and am excited to have Sibelius in my repertoire now, and to know all these hours I put into the practice room has improved my technique even further. I am proud of the tracks I created for the Wyeth album, and I can’t wait for you to hear my contribution to Jeff Oster’s album (April 2015 release).
But, all that said, I would like to get exercise back into my life and more family fun, and dinners on the table. It’s taken several weeks to recover from the last of my fall projects- hitting submit on a 10 page grant proposal. After I hit submit on that I think I slept for two weeks! And then my son had his 5th birthday and I hosted Thanksgiving! But, I am emerging with a fresh outlook- wiser about not overbooking myself in the future, and wiser about knowing how crucial it is for me to sneak yoga poses into my day or to sneak 20 minutes of walking in the morning, and to make freezer meals ahead of time so our family isn’t scrounging for food last minute.
What’s next? A Maiden’s Voyage! My “neo-classical jazz” album is in the final stretches of engineering, and I have the artwork all planned out in my head, I am going to start working on the art design this week. I’ve been selecting jazz repertoire for April and June 2015 concerts with my trio: Steve Meashey on bass, and J. Jody Janetta on drums, and guest Elliott Levin in June on tenor sax and flute. I haven’t talked a lot about this project because I’ve been so focused on the creative aspects of Wyeth, but I am going to set Wyeth composing aside for a few months, hopefully to have a fresh outlook when I return to the composing in the summertime. In the meantime I have a stack of Wyeth books that I am actively reading and LOVING (right now about 2/3 of the way through the NC Wyeth letters edited by Betsy Wyeth).
A couple of fun highlights in there: in September, River Flow won a Parents’ Choice Silver Honor (their review said “an extraordinary piece of music making”)
and I won a grant from the PA Council on the Arts to host a “neo-classical” jazz concert in Kennett Square, PA, in 2015. I also had the amazing opportunity to share my Wyeth music with a room full of curators and Education staff at the Brandywine River Museum of Art- and it was so fulfilling and energizing for these folks who know the Wyeth family so well to be so encouraging about my project.