Just about anytime I see a friend these days, they ask, “Are you still on sabbatical?” The answer is yes! I am on sabbatical from the Music Program at Regis University until August 2015. “What have you been doing?” is the next question. At which point I proceed to give a long rambling answer, which I’d like to put here, hopefully in a less rambling fashion.

One, I’ve been improving my skills on Max/MSP, a program in which I’ve been developing a software-based instrument called the Drone Machine. The Drone Machine is now in its third…er…fourth, maybe? iteration, and I am currently writing for it and the Laramie County Community College New Music Ensemble. (They selected me and D. Edward Davis for the honor of writing a new piece for the group earlier this year.) Thanks to Bryan Christian, LCCC NME Director and composer, for making it all possible! This piece will premiere on May 5 in Cheyenne.

Second, I’ve been planning and sketching a few new pieces for the Playground Ensemble, including a new piece for this summer’s Biennial of the Americas in Denver, and a new string quartet to premiere in the 2015-16 season. I’m very excited about these projects, which are still in the early stages.

Third, I’ve been editing, polishing, adding to, and in some cases subtracting from my catalog, which I recently have begun to offer for sale via my new publishing company, Disegni Music. I even had signs made!

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This work is…not exactly boring…more like housework…let’s just say…highly detail-oriented and time-consuming! It’s also necessary, and I’ve been needing to do it for years. This is what it looks like:

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The best part of the process so far has been attending the Chamber Music America conference in January, where I met many talented and friendly performers, presenters, and composers. I even raffled off a box of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory truffles to the lucky winner, Matthew Levy, of the inestimable PRISM Saxophone Quartet. You may be interested to know that my 2-year old daughter R supervised the setup at the conference:

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Fourth, I’ve been updating my website. Also a highly detail-oriented and time-consuming process, again totally necessary! Thanks for visiting it!

Fifth, well, is everything else. Work for the Walden School’s Creative Musicians Retreat (you should come!), work for the board of the Playground Ensemble, working on my piano improvisation skills, singing with the First Universalist Singers, traveling to see extended family in Oklahoma and Maryland, spending time with my wonderful husband Kevin, and taking care of my darling R.

Now, tell me, what have YOU been up to? Really, I’d love to know. Please drop me a line anytime at loretta at disegnimusic dot com.

Are you still on sabbatical?