Hi all. Stay warm while you read this. The temperature has been waffling quite a bit here in Bloomington, making Autumn seem like a very short season. Try to enjoy as much of it as you can!

Composition

            I have finally finished With Flowers, We Gather for Ben Shaheen and Kelsey Broker! If you’re just tuning in, it turned out to be a 13min and 4-movement piece for violin and marimba, and I’m really excited to have it performed! Formatting the page turns was a nightmare and ended with 11×17 paper, but it’s done now! Woo!

            Now, I move on to new projects. I’ve sketched and begun work on a solo multi-percussion piece for IU’s Hammer and Nail collaboration. The piece will be titled Hunting Patterns and reference Afro-Cuban folkloric rhythms with a formal structure imitating a predator stalking and chasing its prey.

            Also, I’m happy to say that I will begin work on a piece for the Baldwin Wallace Symphonic Wind Ensemble to be premiered on the 2017 FOCUS Festival concert series. The piece will be paired with Michael Colgrass’s Winds of Nagual. I’ll send updates when they arise.

Percussion

            In the performance world, I’ve been trying to keep myself sharp. It turns out that extra percussion lessons at IU are something that I cannot justify financially, so I will probably only be enrolled until the end of this semester. With such a brief time, I have decided to focus on Afro-Cuban music with my teacher, Andy Miller, who has spent time in Colombia and performs frequently in Latin ensembles. Already, I see this influencing my composition!

            Along those lines, I was fortunate enough to perform in my friend and colleague Felipé Tovar-Henao’s recital. My participation took the form of a large multi-percussion setup, and I was happy to hear other works composed by Felipé.

Books

            I’ve tried to remain active in the book realm as well. This past month, I read Splinter Cell, The Lions of Lucerne, and The Black Box. Splinter Cell is the written series attached to the popular Tom Clancy game plot. I had already read this one, but as some of you know, I enjoy going back to old favorites.

            I had also already read The Lions of Lucerne, but it’s one of my favorite Brad Thor thrillers. This was his first Scot Harvath thriller, and it’s a great way to introduce the character and the series. The president is abducted by a international clandestine team of intelligence operatives, and Scot must race against the clock and moles in his own organization to find him.

            My next read was The Black Box by Michael Connelly. This was new to me, but I loved it! It had less action than I was used to but kept me turning pages to see what happened next. The reader looks through the eyes of Harry Bosch, an older detective in the LAPD who investigates a murder from the LA riots that’s been a cold case for 20 years. He battles politics in the police department and tries to find the truth behind a two-decade cover-up. If you like police mysteries, this is a good one.

Climbing

            Climbing has been more difficult for me recently. I have weak days, and I have stronger days. Lately, they have been mostly weak as I am still recovering from sickness, but I’m going to the gym as much as I can. After taking a week off, I haven’t lost much strength, but my endurance took a bigger hit than I expected. My advice is keep at it and try to work through the bad days. Soon, you will accomplish new feats!

            I will also begin my experience as a route setter very soon. IU has a small bouldering wall on campus, and I have the opportunity to set for them. I’ll be training on it next week and then start my work. I’m very excited to combine my obsession with rock climbing with a passion for creativity.