Hilltop Diary, June 8, 2022

After my travels (see last entry), I was pretty much exhausted for days but am feeling back to normal now and am already beginning to “pre-compose” my next piece. I can’t really define what that means! But it involves quieting my mind and feeling the musical mood I’m after, and just waiting any number of days for the music to come. Like a cat, it won’t come until IT decides to come, and not until it has made you wait for it.

Here are a few final details about my album production, for anyone interested in that process, then it will be put to bed and awaiting processing and release by the distributor, Naxos Records. The last steps are mastering the full album (this week, by the same engineer who worked with me on the mixing) and my proofreading of the album liner notes (next week, I hope). This is a sample of a page from an earlier draft of the 12-page album booklet done by the record company’s art department, showing the partially done front and back covers and spine. They send the pages to me in this format to check.

Cover Art draft

I’ve decided to offer a choice of either one of two bonuses for people who e-mail me a copy of their pre-order receipt for the album (on Amazon later this summer). The first bonus is a three-episode podcast series (about 12-14 minutes each) on “The Making of . . .”, which I hope people will find interesting. The second bonus option is a pdf file of the full conductor’s score with a 40-minute podcast episode talking about my favorite highlights in the orchestration, for musicians who can read a score.

Since I last wrote, Crystal has been rehearsing the role of Lily in the lovely musical called The Secret Garden, playing the last two weekends of June in Springfield, TN north of Nashville. What I’m lucky enough to hear of her practicing every day here at home, from the other room, indicates you are in for a treat! They have a large auditorium with too many seats to sell out, and so the idea is for you to buy a general admission ticket and use it flexibly for any seat of any performance you wish to attend. Get them HERE.

Flowers 3

Speaking of Lily, I might say that our perennial lilies (right) have returned and are now blooming in our garden. I love how these perennials seem to be dead as a doornail in the fall and then magically return in even greater force the next spring. We have not had time to plant all that we hope to plant yet, but we do also have some roses blooming (left). I  manage to water everything once a day when there is no rain, and we have already eaten some of our own salads. I put some chive seeds into an indoor pod planter, but without much success, so far. There is nothing better than chives on eggs!

It is not quite officially summer yet, so we’ll hope to have better pictures later. These photos are from two of our four above-ground boxes. The woods in the far background of the left photo are on our property, too, and someday I’d like to put in a footbridge (the creek is hidden in this photo) and a gazebo or something over there, but we have enjoyed picnics on a blanket there.

If you want to know more about the new symphony, here is a page about it that includes a couple of two-to-three minute excerpts from the unmastered mix of the new recording at the bottom.

Until next time, I wish you peace and great summer ahead!

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