I'm so happy right now I keep grinning and squinching up my shoulders and toes in order to get some excess happy energy out. If I were a runner I would run, but instead I'm just sort of hopping in place and smiling.
This morning I joined my flatmate Meredith to travel down South for the East meets West project in Poplar. The project is reaching its culmination; today was the penultimate rehearsal and the performance is next Friday. Unfortunately it is looking like I'm not going to be able to make it to the performance because I'll be working on a project in Kensington which is just about as far away from Poplar as you can get and still have both be in central London. But no worries, I will be there all day next Wednesday and that will be when the musicians and dancers are in the same place for the first time- it is sure to be hilarious.
The songs for this project have taken on a surreal nautical aspect. This morning we spent time thinking about various jobs on ships and broke up into four small groups to make actions and short rhythmic sentence pairings that we then used as verses. 3 of the 4 groups decided that they were pirate ships. Probably this was inevitable, but we had to figure out how to discourage the 9 year olds from using this as an opportunity to make finger guns and shoot their classmates.
I couldn't be there for the afternoon session because I had an assessment meeting with Sigrun for the Globetown project and since she is heavily pregnant it was at her house which I wasn't sure how to get to. Meredith convinced me to join everyone for lunch though, and I am very glad I did.
The East meets West project is being run by a woman named Lucy Forde (not to be confused with any of the seven other Lucys floating around). She is extraordinarily good at making the kids feel involved and validated while at the same time carefully steering what is going on in the room. On the walk to the small Italian cafe where we all had lunch I got to pick Lucy's brain which was totally informative and fun. Lunch was lovely too and it was great to sit and chat with nearly everyone involved in the project. You know how you can tell the college freshmen coming out of lectures because they are the ones excitedly discussing concepts they were just introduced to? Lunch was kind of like that.
I then returned to Guildhall and caught up on emails and phone calls. I had to call Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs because I need a National Insurance number in order to not get taxed through the roof. Currently I am on *EMERGENCY TAX* which, while extortionately high-amuses me with the concept of anyone freaking out and declaring it an emergency because they are not sure what level to tax me at. In any case, it doesn't seem like it would be a pleasant thing to have to call HMR&C, right? Sort of like the DMV...but to my great surprise and pleasure I ended up talking to a woman who was not only pleasant and cheerful but actually took a moment to tell me how much she loves her job...how cool is that? So I am now set up for that and for a consultation with a nurse about my Gambia trip immunizations. So sweet- I'm on top of things.
Then I traveled down to Sig in Sydenham and got a little bit lost so I asked a woman with her wheelchair bound daughter where to go and they walked me most of the way there while telling me about a barbecue they had been to on that street. The meeting with Sig went really well and she said that I had made noticeable progress even just over the course of the project which I was not only pleased to hear- but also already knew because I had seen that for myself and knew that I had worked hard and well during Globetown.
I know I haven't written much about my thoughts and reactions to the Globetown project but one of the things I discovered was how much I really enjoy thinking through various aspects of leading- Nick and I talked extensively about who was going to lead which portion of the session, how we were going to lead each section, and then even the choreography of where each of us would stand so that it was very clear at all times who the kids should be paying attention to. I really enjoy thinking through how various actions from the leaders are going to affect the kids' attention.
I've also always been a big one for intentionality so I'm really enjoying thinking about how to bring what I understand of eurhythmics sensibilities to the workshops that I work on. I want to see if I can make sure that every activity that we do from the introductions to the warm ups to the music we write and create can have a musical concept behind it and a musical purpose. It's like a big fun puzzle.
This evening I made myself a tasty dinner and listened to a bunch of sea shanties to get myself in the mood for electro-acoustic class where I am using LogicPro to write a sea shanty. When Daddy and I were in Greenwich on Sunday I took my Handy Zoom H2 recorder with us and recorded some really great clips of water lapping and then later the docks for the Thames Clipper creaking with the waves. I'm a big fan of the shanty "Row Bullies Row" which is in 3/4 time and D Dorian so I decided that my shanty would be the same.
I love electro-acoustic class. I like the people in the class (a mixture of 1st and 2nd year leadership students) and I like playing around with the program and I like our tutor Mike and I really like composing and creating things that I get to hear immediately. (In addition to being a big one for intentionality, I am also a big one for immediate gratification.)
So this evening I wrote a sea shanty. It doesn't have words yet but it has a clear phrasal structure and it has super neat atmospheric sounds (courtesy of Greenwich) and I *like* it! And I'm doing all sorts of patting myself on the back (see the title of this entry). I have a lot more to learn, tons and tons more to learn but currently? At this very moment? I feel like I can do anything.