Journal entries by composer and pianist Laurie Conrad
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Image: a road near Windgarth.
Correcting Scores and Parts: A Composer’s Journal Entries: October 12- 27, 2008
Sunday, October 12
We are here for the day; brought the Images scores to work on. Am correcting A Feather today, the main original score and parts. Taking breaks to sit on the dock. Just a beautiful day; cool, sunny. Johnathan came and mowed; saw Larry, we’ll go to dinner Friday night, M. will be in New Orleans for a conference. A potential renter came to look at Windgarth, they might take a week next summer. The asters are in full bloom, the trees in their autumn brilliance.
Al e-mailed: his floors are being redone, will take a week or two. Meanwhile, I can listen to the demos he dropped off, decide what needs to be done. Will try to finish the corrections for Dance tonight, in town. That would leave only the last two to correct, Elegy and Brownies Dancing in the Setting Sun.
After this project is finished, I need to meet with Robert Spear and type in all the corrections for the String Quintet, so we can record and send those scores out. I feel as though I am on a very slow train somewhere, or in one of those dreams where your feet do not move. Or your feet are moving frantically, but the rest of you does not go anywhere. It seems that this winter will be a time of finishing up old projects, rather than beginning new ones ...
The lake is so peaceful today, a light wind.
Saturday, October 18
Carolyn and the children visited today, with Louise’s sister Beth. We talked about Louise; gave Ian his birthday presents; met Carolyn’s new boyfriend. Beth was radiant; they all said they would e-mail me other-realm dreams for We Meet in Dreams. Gave them all a copy of the concert CD of Images.
Yesterday someone bought three paintings and a CD - she wanted the Visions CD to meditate to. Someone else bought a painting last week. Met Bob Spear Friday night in a restaurant (accidentally) and we arranged putting the corrections in the String Quintet II score. This afternoon a fellow from Cornell came and played through the score of Trois Prieres with me, on the piano - he is assistant conductor to one of their choirs. He took the original score with him, to photocopy. I Xeroxed Images last week; put copies and letters and CDs of the concert in envelopes to send out. Suddenly life goes forward instead of backwards. At least for the moment.
Wednesday, October 22
Went to the post office and mailed off the scores and demo CD of Images to Poland and Germany. E-mailed John at Cornell, to see if he could return my original score of Trois Prieres; he wrote back: not done photocopying them yet, but they are safe in his desk drawer. No word from Al about editing the studio recording of Images. Will try to organize the corrections for Robert Spear tonight, for the String Quintet. I think it would be easier if Bob and I worked together, but his schedule does not allow it at the moment. Life goes forward in a slow-moving heap.
Thursday, October 23
Wrote up all the corrections to the string quintet for Robert Spear last night, off the parts the musicians used for the concert. It took many hours of comparing the score and parts, deciphering the musicians’ corrections; finished near dawn.
Monday, October 27
Finally found David Howard’s phone number and he gave me his home address, which I had also lost; put the score of Images in an envelope and will send it to him as soon as I can get to the post office. Will also mail off the corrections of the string quintet to Spear. At last some tasks are finished. Unfortunately they are immediately replaced by new ones ...
Getting ready to mail off the concert version of Images to CDBaby and also to the company that will produce them.
Wednesday, November 12
M. Left for South Africa today. Mailed the score of Images to David. Realized my master copy of the concert is scratched; wrote Bob Spear and asked him to drop off a new one. Al’s floors aren’t finished yet, so editing of the studio recording is on hold.
Myra is in town for some days. Went to dinner together downtown, and the choir director of Ithaca College was there; Myra introduced us and mentioned Trois Prieres. He seemed interested and gave me his e-mail address.
I’ll e-mail John at Cornell and tell him. His idea was Cornell or the Community choir or Ithaca College - or all three.
Monday, November 17
An e-mail from Bob Spear: he was out of town and will drop off a master of Images later this week. Once the copies come back from DiscFaktory I will send some to CD Baby and start selling them on my website. Unfortunately I will have to print up the covers and inside pages, cut them to size, and place them in the CDs myself. That should take me a few days. The life of the composer. Before Xerox machines composers also had to hand-copy all the parts, or hire someone to copy them - so I am very lucky to be a composer during this time in history. Unfortunately, this time in history is not that interested in classical music, much less new classical music. Gave Myra the same speech I gave Robert Spear a few years ago: we must consider ourselves lighthouses in a darkened world.
Wednesday, November 19
Stayed up almost all night cutting the covers and inserts for the Images CDs; they take twelve cuts and I can only do one cover and inside page at a time. Spent a few hours today finishing up. Myra called and said I should put her name on the cover for her copies of the CD, so I did. Got dropped at the post office; mailed the master from Robert Spear to Diskfaktory. Myra needs them by December 1st, that is when she returns to NYC. Gave Spear a copy of Realms of Light, for Deena: she is writing a book on similar topics and wanted to read mine. Gave Pam and Serge two paintings, for helping out with the figarobooks website.
Made ten copies of Images for Myra on my computer; put the covers and inside pages on, the labels. A bit of trouble with the printer, just another puzzle to solve.
Thursday, November 20
Laurel stopped by, we went to dinner. A light, happy snow. A few days ago a relaxed snow, large wet flakes, falling straight down slowly towards earth. I mentioned to Laurel that I have known happy snow, merry snow - dancing snow. And profound, even sacred snow - but never sad snow. We went to her office, now I forget why - and I saw a new painting of hers, a pastel. Magical, sensitive ... After she dropped me off, Jude came by. We hung more of my paintings on the walls and she rehung one of hers over the stairwell, it had fallen from its hook. M. wants my paintings on the walls instead of on the floor leaning against walls ... She said, “They’re originals, why should we have copies on the walls”, and I said, “Because they are Monets...”
Saturday, November 22
Went to dinner with a friend. Almost down to zero degrees again tonight, the wind sullen and bitter; wearing my warmest jacket and the wind cut through it as though it were lace. Myra stopped by a bit after midnight, she wanted more of the new Images CDs. She left after two a.m. and we made plans for the future. She thinks she has found a singer for the Song Cycle, a soprano. I want Graham Stewart to sing the baritone part - he has a beautiful voice and we have worked together on and off for almost thirty years. As always, the main problem is where to find the money to pay the musicians. The music itself is rarely a problem ...
Robert Spear dropped off the master of the concert recording of Images and took the copy of Realms of Light I had left for Deena. I mailed his master off to Disk Faktory and hope the discs arrive before Myra leaves for New York City in early December. Gave Serge all the information so he could update my website; sold a painting on my new painting website.
When the Images CDs arrive I will send them off to radio stations around the world, and contact reviewers. Meanwhile the scores to Chansons and Trois Prieres wait for me to open them and start orchestrating ... There are just not enough hours in the day, not even for someone who stays up until dawn almost every night working.
Yesterday I managed to figure out how to convert the tracks on my CD of Images to MP3 files for the Artisopia website, so that people can listen to them and download them if they wish to. However, the quality was not as good as my master. E-mailed Diana, and she said most likely I did not have a high enough grade of software for the job; she wrote that she will upload them for me, hopefully next week. Al and I have still not found a time we are both free, to edit the studio recording of Images. In short: my projects continue to limp along at their own pace. Tonight clear and cold, but warmer than last night. M. Returns tomorrow.