All musicians know that too much work is far better than too little. No argument; most of us have experienced the latter, and it’s no joke. That said, I need to vent: if things continue, I think parts will begin to drop off. Here I am, with the following projects in various stages of disarray:
1) The Chopin Ballade project. The book proposal is out for consideration; the thing has been in the works for fifteen or so years, and I’ve given a paper related to it both here and in the UK over the last few years.
2) The Chopin and Temperament project. More recent, papers given in U.S., U.K., and Poland. Expanding to an article. Except that I keep thinking of new stuff, like with (1) above.
3) Write a paper for a symposium at Stanford this April, plus learning some music to play at the evening concerts there.
4) A major nineteenth-century reconstructive project involving sketches and drafts and partially surviving scores and so on.
5) My teaching, remember? Let’s not even discuss all the administrative add-ons…
6) A dissertation at a foreign university for which I’m serving as Research Advisor, on a sort of pro bono basis (I could not have said no, in good conscience).
7) All other aspects of life, such as fully operational and contributing member of my family, etc.
8) The myriad letters of recommendation one is asked to write, more or less constantly.
9) Occasional tasks like refereeing submissions to journals and so on. These may sound like less important tasks, but they are not; people read my Dreck too, and if the pieces are in one’s specialty there is a responsibility to contribute in this way.
10) SHOVELLING YET MORE SNOW GODDAMNIT—OK, it’s just this year and it’s Colorado, but combined with the weeks of bitter cold, it’s really beginning to tell on me.
11) Not to mention the stuff that’s back-burnered, such as the book on the reception of “national” music and musical exoticism, a subject on which I’ve also been giving papers over the last three years.
12) Other occasional tasks such as a guest presentation this coming week on the film of Jesus Christ Superstar for the Rock and Film class. Now, don’t jump to conclusions: I’m exactly the person to do this. It came out when I was in high school, I saw it several times, and I’m planning a bang-up musical back-story to the thing, the various musical languages Andrew Lloyd Webber uses and so on. In the past, I’ve done the same for This is Spinal Tap and Almost Famous. It’s a hoot. A time-consuming hoot, but a hoot.
OK, that’s a dozen. I’ll stop, and I’ll try to stop whining, because I feel (slightly) better. I fully acknowledge that not one of these things is bad; I’m buried in wonderful, invigorating, necessary stuff—stuff of the sort that I prayed my life would consist of.
Still beginning to crack, though! The flesh is weak, and weakening further.
I’m thankful that Phil is on his game, because I’m likely to be blogging a bit irregularly. Now, a certain Someone has a trumpet lesson tomorrow, so we have to go practice and run his Thomé Fantasy…