I had a great visit this morning with the students at Garfield High School in Seattle. I played “Juba” for them, and had a fun chat about that piece, and All Things Composerly. Tonight I’m heading to a rehearsal of SYSO’s Junior Orchestra. That’ll be fun.

Thanks to a commission I accepted yesterday, I’m now fairly booked with work until the beginning of 2007. I have no idea how this happened. The newest addition is a work for a consortium of wind ensembles in Japan. This sounds like an absolute blast (my first international commission!), but I realized a few minutes ago that I’ll write the piece next year — it’s due in December 2006 — but I won’t hear it live until late 2007 at the soonest, as the schools in Japan will have exclusivity until then, and it’s unlikely they’ll bring me to Japan for the premieres. (Granted, if they ask, I’ll go! I’ve never been to Japan. Hell, I’ve never been anywhere outside of the US, except Vancouver.)

So the agenda is: SEC commission, due Fall 2005; a piece for high school winds, commissioned by my old high school friend, Josh Thompson in Chicago, due spring 2006; possibly a transcription of an existing piece, as yet unconfirmed, to premiere (hopefully) in March 2006; and this new work for the Japanese groups, due December 2006. There’s one other as-yet-unconfirmed commission, in addition to that transcription, but if they all come through, I think that’s the absolute limit to what I can do in that amount of time without becoming fried. I wrote my limit over the past 12 months — “Under the Rug,” “Wrong-Mountain Stomp,” “Mass,” and “Sasparilla.” I don’t think I can write any more than four different pieces in a year and come up with anything new for each piece. I think that’s why each piece was harder to write than the last, and why I’m not going to try to start anything new for a few months. “Sasparilla” really kicked my butt.

But what will I do to get my mind off of writing? No idea. I think I’ll clean my closet when I get back to NY. Doesn’t that sound fun? AEJ and I still have the third season of “24” to watch on DVD. I also still want to buy that new Mac monitor that I’m lusting after. I would love to play emulated Commodore games on a 30″ screen…

For now, though, I’ll just continue to sit in this cool coffee bar in Seattle, drinking mochas and enjoying the free WiFi while I watch the rain. And maybe I’ll listen to some music.


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