Weeknotes #2

Weeknotes

This week was spent mostly in Trondheim, Norway with my barbershop group the Barberfellas. We were invited to perform with Kor Hen, Trondheim’s queer choir and they were the most gracious hosts, organising hikes, city tours, social events and so on. I also led a workshop on barbershop singing and surprised myself by how much I enjoyed doing that. Our joint gig was packed to the rafters with an incredibly warm audience of around 150 people.

Kor Hen’s leader is Gunnhild Hasunds, an accomplished musician and singer of impressive vocal range – a chilled Sunday morning listening to her SoundCloud is time well spent.

One of the highlights of Trondheim was a 12-mile walk around Bymarka, where the locals go for a quick weekend ski in winter. We stopped off for hot dogs sitting by a roaring fire (it was about 4°C) in one of the cabins. The views of the lakes, trees and fjords were very soothing. We also briefly visited Hell, but there wasn’t very much there aside from a train station and it was chillier than we’d expected.

Not too much work this week, but a little prep for what will be a busy one coming up. In study world, met up with my MBA buddies and chatted in the sunshine about our next assignment which is due in a little over two weeks.

A back-burner project finally came to fruition after over a year of conversations about rights & royalties: the Pink Singers album that I was project lead on is now available via streaming services like Spotify, Deezer etc.

For the choir, this initiative was mostly to help new people discover the group, as we don’t expect to make any money from it. On a personal level, I learned a bit from this work about how to release music in the age of streaming, about the differences between mechanical and performance rights, and about contracts with session musicians. And that patience works in the end.

My favourite songs on the album are our cover of Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell (arranged by Chris Chambers) and Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush (which I arranged). Both incredibly reflective songs – I hope we do them justice as a choir.

Weeknotes #1

Weeknotes

I’ve been doing weeknotes for myself for a couple of years now – for me, because reflection is the best way to learn and adapt. I also suggest to many of my clients that they try them out.

So, I’m experimenting with going public to practice what I preach. Let’s see how we go.

Work

A relatively busy one this week with a series of coaching sessions (and the consequent write-ups, research and reflections); running the second in a series of innovation workshops with client Mozart; and dealing with a couple of new leads for Triple Sharp coming in – some via some very long-lost colleagues.

Another blast from the past: Little Printer being resurrected by Nord projects. This news stirred up all kinds of memories from working on this back in 2011-12 at BERG: the talent, culture, tenacity and yes, stress, involved in rapidly developing a physical product and its ecosystem. I learned so much working on Little Printer about supply chain, logistics, the challenges of designing physical products, about finance and pricing and much more besides. The whole project provided concrete experience on which to reflect whilst studying for my MBA that really helped cement my learning.

(incidentally BERG was the first place I made public weeknotes too – one of the many things I learned from the mighty Matt, Matt, Jack, Nick, Denise & the crew)

Study

Having finished the final residential school of my MBA, I have two assignments remaining – the final-level bosses – so the end is in sight. My next tasks are assembling a set of critical friends for my final project and iteratively designing my research. Unhelpfully I have started browsing other degrees I might start next. Perhaps I should focus on finishing this one first.

The non-work

We also had Harry, Anya and Mike to stay and I enjoyed peeking into their lives and labours. I caught up with Matt for a natter and to hear the latest news from FutureLearn, where a new investor has just been announced, valuing the organisation at £100m. Not bad for a company that started with about 9 of us in a windowless basement getting high on whiteboard pen whiff.

On Friday night I caught Kings Cross Remix, a performance by Tom Marshman at the Camden Peoples Theatre. It was a really immersing show evoking queer Kings Cross in the 1980s and 90s, culminating in a boogie to 80s tunes with fellow theatre-goers evoking the atmosphere of The Bell.

No more tears?

Other stuff this week: I added band parts to the disco anthem I’ve arranged for the upcoming Pink Singers concert. I also purchased, assembled and filled a VegTrug for our little balcony to grow some salad / all our food for the impending political meltdown. It’s expensive for some bits of wood, but I’m not handy that way and it was easy enough to put together. I’m looking forward to learning how to grow a bunch of different stuff. I’m finding gardening to be a very soothing break from all the political turmoil of the world (predictable late-30s statement).

Also managed to watch some of Special (jury’s still out) and Years and Years (extremely bad for my blood pressure).