March ArtStart Reflection

A slightly belated ArtStart post for March, what with everything finishing up at the Flute Studio course and now being on holiday for a few weeks. The last month of ArtStart-related activities has been something of a step backwards and a reconsidering of options, but I now feel more or less on track again. Here is what I’ve been up to:

The AirTurn PED for my iPad arrived, which is exciting. I waited a little longer to get the PED rather than the older BT-105, as the PED was both cheaper and lighter, and am really happy with it. I’ve been using it in the practice room with scores that are on my iPad, but haven’t had the chance to test it beyond that as Trevor wasn’t terribly into technology. I have the ForScore app on my iPad, and need to play around a bit with sorting out page turns still. At the moment, I loose my spot when the page scrolls down…

In the first week of March, I heard  back from Bang on a Can, and wasn’t accepted to the program this year. It was a bit of a disappointment, but I have no idea who else applied so shouldn’t be too hard on myself. The question then became how to redirect my ArtStart funds in a way that gives me a similar musical/education experience but coincides with other plans. Various friends and mentors suggested summer programs in both the U.S. and Europe, and I’ve spent quite a few hours looking through them all (and my diary) trying to work out the best options.

In the end, I’ve decided to return to SoundSCAPE for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I want to go to a festival where I can play chamber music with a broader range of instruments than just flutes. Much as I love the flute, I’m yearning for greater diversity in the music I play, and think that I would find a flute summer course a bit frustrating. I’ve had my six months at the Flute Studio – bring on something a bit different! And then, while there are some other courses on in June in the U.S., I’m still committed in England. Going back to SoundSCAPE will give me another opportunity to work closely with Lisa Cella, and I know the ropes so will be able to prepare some challenging pieces. I’m also going to be giving a talk on contemporary Australian music as part of the festival!

So where does that leave my U.S. trip? I’m still planning on going, at least for the NFA convention, but am also awaiting the results of some job applications in Australia. I hope to be able to fit in some lessons in NYC as well, but also need to look into the possibility of them happening during (or maybe directly following?) the NFA convention.

The end of March means I’m already a quarter of the way through my ArtStart year. While some things have been ticked of my list, and others are well on the way, I’m also learning that making a career in the arts is never a straight road. Things change, and where one door closes another hopefully opens. At the moment, it feels like I’ve thrown lots of juggling balls up in the air, and need to wait for some of them to land to decide exactly what happens next. Which order they fall in will be the difference in choosing one path or another, which at once feels like an exciting and terrifying way of deciding things! I now know I’m coming back to Australia in mid-July, but still need to plan out much of the path once I’m there.

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