Reading: I’ve recently finished Olivia Laing’s The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone, and will be writing about it here in the next several days. In need of some inspiration, I’ve just started Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. And much of my home remains dedicated to my to-be-read stack.
Viewing: Continuing my gradual exploration of the films of Alain Resnais, I watched his penultimate film, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet, on FilmStruck earlier this week. Despite the oddly trivial title, the film itself was quite mysterious and wonderful, even better – and perhaps a more appropriate valedictory, somehow – than Life of Riley, his last film, which I watched last week. My other film for the week, Lonelyhearts, was from a DVD that I purchased based on a very impressive partial viewing of the film on Turner Classic Movies not long ago. Lonelyhearts, based on Nathanael West’s famous short novel Miss Lonelyhearts, might be a little chatty and ponderous. But it is also deeply moving and human, and I took it very much to heart. The film also features some great performances, by Montgomery Clift and Robert Ryan in particular.
Listening: My music listening has, once again, been dominated by works I am writing about for Reno Chamber Orchestra and Reno Philharmonic Orchestra program notes. Should I get those notes done in the next couple of days, as I should, then I can take a week off before the next set of notes, for an all-Tchaikovsky concert by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine. As mentioned below, I finally acknowledged this week that I have gotten back to writing music of my own, and that music received a little attention as well. Lastly, the person whose music has probably most influenced my own, Mike Oldfield, has a new album coming out in a few days. Return to Ommadawn is something of a sequel to his 1975 album Ommadawn that is one of my desert island CDs. Needless to say, I’m more than a little excited about this.
Blogging: My two main posts for this week were a little unusual. One was a description of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which stores seeds of the world’s major crops in case of emergency. The other post was a more personal one on my return to writing music after many years away. It was the first time I had actually tried to describe what I think about when I create music. Being so revealing made me a little uncomfortable, but I hope that it will also spur me on to more creating.
Anticipating: I have created some good momentum for myself in the last couple of weeks, after a rather down Christmas and post-Christmas period. I’m exercising regularly and writing a lot, and feeling somewhat optimistic that these positive trends will continue.