Once again, on a flight home from a conference, I find myself having little interest in what Air Canada has on offer for seatback entertainment. Sensing an annual tradition, my thoughts turn to reflection on the year that has passed and the one that emerges ahead. Since my life seems to divide somewhat cleanly between academics, performance, and family, that seems to be the best way to organize this update!
Academics: year three of the PhD has passed without incident. I completed my comprehensive exams in May, which means I’m about to enter the vast, murky, but potentially rewarding phase of dissertation writing. With the help of attending stimulating conferences organized by the Society for American Music, the IASPM Canada chapter, and the joint European Societies for Music Analysis (EuroMAC, from which I’m currently heading home), my thoughts on how the dissertation might proceed become increasingly clearer. Stay tuned for more on this: those who see me this coming year can anticipate my ramblings and questions about hip-hop vocal rhythms.
(Strasbourg - where EuroMAC 9 was held)
Performance: while some of my performing activities have been momentarily (I hope!) shelved due to a busy year with exams, Architek Percussion is still going strong: touring, recording, making Christmas videos, and generally engaging in a wide variety of percussion tomfoolery. The archi-lads and I went on three tours this past year: England/Norway, Ontario/Western Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. That is not entirely accurate, as the ever-brilliant Dan Morphy of TorQ took my place on the third tour and knocked it out of the park (I can say this with confidence for having snuck up on Architek at their Halifax concert - see below). We’ll be touring less this coming year, but are excited to engage in new projects with Collectif9 and Sixtrum, as well as record our first full-length album with the tireless help of Adam Basanta and Denis Martin.
(it's a bit strange being in the audience watching an ensemble that you're normally on stage with...)
Family: Jess, Simon, and I are eagerly awaiting the arrival of another boy later this summer! I’m already planning a steady listening diet of hip-hop for him…