Are we done yet?

I have had a completely MAD August. I have felt like a headless chicken for most of it. And it hasn’t finished yet….

Here’s what has been going on.

There have been ‘Bach in the Dark’ concerts with the choir of St James, and their director, Warren Trevelyan-Jones. They have been wonderful concerts. I have loved them all. The repertoire has been fabulous – one piece in particular by a young Australian composer, Joseph Twist. But each of these concerts have needed enormous amounts of admin – from setting up on-line ticketing, to getting enough wine (or, as my Timorese friends would say ‘wime’) from my wine sponsors to moving furniture in each venue (and a bloody chamber organ!). They are not only physically exhausting, but mentally draining.

I have been working on an Australia Council Grant for a CD recording I’d like to do with my dear friend and former teacher, David Pereira. This has involved all sorts of writing descriptions, getting letters of support, editing sound tracks, uploading things etc etc. HUGE amount of work, for a lottery if we’ll get the money. It’s just been submitted now. As in, 30 minutes ago. HUGE sigh of relief.

I have been teaching in schools – and third term is the hard slog. Kids are mostly sick. Teachers are sick. Halls are cold. One of the schools is gearing up for a concert – and that’s hard work, with a lot of organising. To make it even trickier, I have to work around school excursions, camps and stuff, where I lose groups of kids every so often. I hate getting kids ready for concerts – it’s stressful.

I have had an article on the concert series in the Sydney Morning Herald. This was a great honour, and a huge validation of what I do. I was delighted. It has meant I’ve felt I needed to put on extra concerts – more on-line ticketing and artists to deal with. Yes – I know. I chose to do this. I say it to myself a great deal. You don’t need to tell me too….

The CD I released last year has just started to be in profit. Yes! It’s all paid off! But this involves a new way of accounting, to keep Mr ATO happy.

My lovely friend who does all my website is re-doing my website for me – but this involves extra copy-writing blah blah blah.

Don’t think I am complaining about all this. I am not. Not at all. I lead a wonderfully fulfilling artistic life. I love all the things I do… well, most of them.

I am writing this for two reasons.

One is to justify why I haven’t had any social life. If you are a friend I see for a quiet glass of wine, or a meal every-so-often, I’m sorry I’ve been absent. If I haven’t replied to a text or email, this is why.

The other is to acknowledge all the help I get. Help from friends who pour wine and move pews for me in concerts. I can’t say thank you enough. Another friend runs the front-of-house for me at every Bach in the Dark concert. She does this, always cheerfully. She drives for miles to be there. Again, I can’t thank her enough, either. Another dear friend is re-doing my website, for no fee. I am so incredibly appreciative of her looking after me and my career like this.

But most of all, my complete rock through all of this is Ben. He spends hours tweaking websites for me. He edits sound files. He does all the heavy lifting in concerts. He deals with my tired snappiness. He cooks. He smiles through it all. I couldn’t have the career I do without him. He drives to get me my favourite hot drink, from my favourite cafe. He won’t like me writing this, and publishing it on line, but I’m not sure that anyone reads this. And I’m not going to tell him.

Roll on September!!