Weeknotes 2020 #11: all that jazz

Weeknotes

Everything is quite monotonous and relentlessly trying right now, so mixing things up and pretending to start a new term (in my head, I’m not still at school obvs)

💪 Starting a twelve-week online programme with Fitter Confident You.

🎹 Ordered a jazz piano book to start teaching myself and learning some standards. I’m using Tim Richards’ Exploring Jazz Piano and, after a decent 90-minute flick through, it looks like a good starting place, with a good grounding in the basics of jazz structure and a good tour of the greats. Looking forward to working through it in more detail.

📚 Reading for at least twenty minutes a day. Recently finished Girl, Woman, Other (good, refreshing); Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race (really eye-opening and necessary reading for me, and outstanding). Next up: a re-read of my friend Laura’s first novel Blood & Sugar.

⌛︎ I’ve decided to try and work maximum four days a week during all this to make sure I don’t end up collapsing in a heap again at my next proper break, and to pick up some other creative stuff. Let’s see how that goes. I realise how privileged I am to have this choice. In work at the moment, I’m spending a lot of time turning a crisis response into sustainable work; weaning folks off the adrenaline of ‘what now!’ and into the wholesome and important work of longer term vision, goals, bets. Given the twists and turns of the virus, this is no mean feat.

🎼 This spotify playlist of African Disco has been rocking the small moments I manage to not be in meetings.

🤷‍♂️ Really mad dreams of late, including one in which Will Gompertz and Fiona Bruce were on the news to open a new log flume that had been installed in the Barbican, only the person operating the water switch had fallen asleep. AND I keep dreaming up strange songs about prosaic things like out-of-office replies and spinach. There is no reason for dreams to have become more vivid so I am curious about this.

Tommy Turntables passed away, unexpectedly. The king of Popstarz, Ghetto and Trash Palace was single-handedly responsible for virtually all the queer club nights I spent my late teens and twenties in, and was a regular partner in crime to organise fun later in my thirties with the Pink Singers. He improved all of our lives and is gone too soon.

I really really can’t wait to go to Duckie and dance all night.

The things we take for granted.

One thought on “Weeknotes 2020 #11: all that jazz

  1. I’m looking forward to how you get on with ‘Exploring Jazz Piano’. I bought it and saw it advised that you should be at a certain level (which you probably are, but I’m not) or to start with ‘Improvising Blues Piano’). So, being one to obey the rules, I got that. It’s very good but not quite rigorous enough for me. It’s quite “Do what you want in any order!” which is nice but it just means I skip over anything that’s a bit tricky (all the actual improvising). And I have zero knowledge of theory (chords, keys, all that, er, jazz) so still felt a bit lost at times. But I think this is just me, and it all looks good and people love it, so I hope you have fun 🙂

    After not having a piano since January it should arrive this week so I’ll hopefully get back into it. I thought https://www.pianogroove.com looked interesting and might satisfy my desire for more structure.

    Anyway, hello Simon!

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