MA musings

I have promised numerous times since I started writing here post-MA to talk more about my degree. However, the time that has passed since my degree has been odd and quite trying. Upon completion of my MA I had all the best intentions of continuing to work on my show splanchnologies as well as revisiting my dissertation in the hopes of doing more research on liminality and performance and perhaps sending in some article proposals to various magazines.

All of that seems distant. I have to keep reminding myself that was…now let me count…5 months ago. 5 months! Feels more like 2, but I know that I lost at least 3 months because of being ill. Now that my iron levels are near-normal I have a brain again and have recently taken over the studio space at home (Ed has studio space in another building near our place), I can begin to think about working. working, working working…

But thinking about it is all I’ve been able to do so far. I am still trying to get organized and settled enough to do some real work. I’ve written a few poems and I would love to edit some older ones but that would mean braving the very large pile of boxes in the studio to find my box of poetry binders. I have ideas for a few pieces of music, but that would mean braving the pile of boxes in the basement to find some stave paper. I’ve had a few inquiries about voice lessons and workshops and am planning on looking into potential workshop spaces in March (yes, I know that is next week). I’ve also just heard that I’ve been chosen to read some of my work at Her-icane GoDiva, the annual Women’s Arts Festival here. So things are beginning to happen–I just have to brave the boxes!

Back to musing on my MA, I still plan to work more on my show and revisit my dissertation. Now that I have a studio space where I can close the door both these things become more possible. My cardio-vascular system is definitely not up to doing at one of the pieces I performed in splanchnologies which included singing and spinning at the same time for about 3 minutes. (There is a picture of this piece on the Dartington College website. Wait for the red dress.) The other 3 solo pieces are very doable, as my voice has mostly returned with the bit of practice I’ve been doing. The other piece in splanchnologies was a vocal trio, which was quite challenging for the two excellent singers I had performing with me, so I will likely wait until we’re a bit more settled before looking for other singers to perform with.

Doing an MA made me revisit my work and brought it up to the next level. I feel like my work has more depth and focus than it ever has. To do it in one year (as well as fighting off a gut infection during the last 5 months of it) was a bit insane but I am glad I didn’t drag it out into two years. The challenge now is to find focus again. The day-to-day demands on my time and energy dissipate much of the focus that I’ve managed to acquire in the morning through sleep, meditation and yoga practice. But every day it gets better.

As I get into work more my updates will likely become more about my work, though I can’t promise I won’t write more opera reviews! I recently found out about a new Philip Glass opera that I am going to try to find out more about and perhaps find a recording of. You’ll know when I do! Music-wise lately I’ve been listening to Joanna Newsom‘s new CD, Ys. Very quirky. I alternate this with the shuffle mode on my iPod which has been giving me a healthy dose of Kate Bush interspersed with bits of Stockhausen‘s Stimmung. Ed’s been into Sigur Ros and I need to put some on my iPod too, but his is usually within easy reach of the speakers as well. I’ve just read a glut of Neil Gaiman as well as Jeff Smith’s Bone comics and am now working through The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, which is more realist than what I usually read, but I am enjoying it immensely. We’ve been watching Dr. Who and Heroes (I don’t think I need to link to those!) and plan to watch either the Lord of the Rings trilogy or the Matrix trilogy over the weekend (I don’t think I need to link to those either!). Jarrod’s old enough for these films now and we missed the third installment of both trilogies while we were in Japan. I’m trying to encourage Jarrod to delve into Tolkien with a comic-book version of The Hobbit as I was reading the Lord of the Rings when I was his age. He’s into a series called Charlie Bone at the moment so we’ll wait on The Hobbit for a little bit. I also just pulled out a bunch of the books he had in Japan so he’s having fun reacquainting himself with those.

But I digress… time to settle into the studio and do some work.