"I've been too busy for words" is, in this particular and isolated case, absolfruitly true. Where did we leave off? I think it was just after Aldeburgh and before San Francisco.
So let's talk about Christmas. It's been a majorly productive Christmastime, measured in equal parts between amount of music prepared (writing and learning, more on this anon), number of sleeping hours accumulated and a notable lack of meetings. Much has been achieved, including learning and fiddling with my new toy (Eventide Harmoniser) and working out quite how it fits into my life.
I'm in the process of learning Gabriel Prokofiev's terrific new suite for Cello and Electronics. It's fabulous stuff, really exciting and capricious but also flaunting its urban sensibilities through its rhythmic extremities. They're great, 4 movements in total, and we have to find the time to prep. the electronix between now and May 17th when I'm performing them at LSO St Lukes for their Eclectica series.
Also, not to gloss over it, but did I mention my new album? Yes! I'm currently writing a new album. It's a lorra fun and is, to quote Rihanna, looking (sounding?) hella cool. Well, I think it is. It's going hand in hand with the elusive big tour with Sandbox - I spend this morning speaking with travel agents, not normally something I'd chose to do, but in this case, it was really interesting. The guy I was speaking with could litrly plan elaborate flight routes off the top of his head. I mean, this was a 23 city itinerary I hit him with. I didn't even do that without prompts, cross references with the diary and some traditionally British fumbles. And there's him, telling me which airline would be better for, like, Zurich to Hong Kong and how that impacted how I got to Paris. It was pretty intense.
Incidentally, that neatly segues into some chat about what's happening right now. I'm speedily renewing my US visa so I can hit Boston in time to do Spheres and Splinters again for the opening weekend of the MIT150 FAST festival. This is such hot and awesome news that it hasn't even been updated on their website. Oh yes, I'm all about breaking exclusive stories right here. It'll be great to work with Tod, Ben and Ash from UVA again on the piece, and Boston will be wonderfully cold at that time of year, so I'll enjoy that.
Also, totally related but not really, I'm really excited by The Ecstatic Music Festival. It's just another great big tick for what's going on in America right now as far as I'm concerned. The line up is, clearly, excellent, but it's just the variety and exuberance of the whole thing that is so refreshing. Actually, it's the scale of it too. It really feels like a Festival, a celebration. Exciting stuff, hoping to be able to at least make it to one of the concerts.
Back to the grind now I think - got me some more notes to learn, a lot more notes, and it's just hours on the clock really. Somehow got to fit it all around watching series 8 of 24 and listening to the brilliant 'Lonely Avenue' by Ben Folds/Nick Hornby. It's been sitting on my shelf for monthsish, can't believe I only listened to it on Christmas day for the first time! It's great.