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I often enjoy a few rituals after I complete a piece … all mostly due to necessity. Now that THE RIVERS OF BOWERY is safely in rehearsals, I’ve started slowly ticking off these usual post-piece-completion activities:

  • Sleep for two days—The inivitable copying crisis and unhealthy run of all-nighters takes it’s toll on this 30-something, and the after-effects usually put me in a stupor of hibernating proportions.
  • Correspondence—In the final week’s push, there are usually piles of ignored emails, phone calls to return, etc.
  • Clean my studioPiles of drafts, scores, tissues, post-its…the Blatter and Adler go back up on the shelf, and that nasty coffee stain I’ve been ignoring for 3 weeks gets lovin’.
  • I play piano—Mssrs. Brahms and Schumann have received some attention, but let’s face it, the vocal score to Wicked has won out, and I hereby thank the great Stephen Schwartz for his soothing add9′s and C/F’s, which are a balm to my throbbing musical brain. Wicked is pretty much played out now, so a trip to Colony is probably in order, for some more p/v’s of dubious musical content: I’m thinking that a book of Jason Robert Brown cabaret songs might be next up for my Guilty-Pleasures Gorging…

As those are the standards of the post-piece-completion rep.—here are some more specific and timely items:

  • I will finally start binding those OK Feel Good scores for shipment to Hal Leonard. Long overdue, and a perfectly-mindless task for Piece Completion Weekend.
  • Organizing all the current work on Avenue X, due in about 4 weeks. Since all the drafts and sketches stink like garbage, some photocopying is in order, as is some re-copying.

Since we’ve mentioned the exciting New Year’s Thievery, last night I also started replacing some of the other items that were in the stolen backpack. For one, while browsing at the venerable Strand Bookstore on Broadway and 12th St., I finally re-purchased Jumpha Lahiri‘s novel. But a more newsworthy purchase was found while browsing in the Strand’s newly-organized music section (if you haven’t been there in a few months: Holy renovations, Batman. Now all of 3 floors, the overcrowded and jumbled stacks are now luxuriously spread out in a disconcertingly spacious layout), I came across a motherlode of C.F. Peters chamber music scores among the usual crappy Dovers (Ursula Mamlock, what the heck are you doing here?). The no-brainer impulse-buy was a clarinet/cello/piano trio by the terrific Marjorie Merryman (a former professor from BU for whom I’ve always been in awe—she’s one of those composers who doesn’t know how to write bad music). Price: Three American dollars. Sad, yes, that well-crafted chamber music from 1993 costs $3 in a bin at a used bookstore, but like that awkward puppy in the window, it still deserves a decent home. And so I just had to bring it back to Avenue C to be among it’s own in the chamber music section of The Library (bottom right of the Ikea bookshelf) where, among the Unsuk Chin piano sonata and Del Tredici Acrostic Song it will, (unlike its bin-home at The Strand, where its neighbors were a Dover Grieg 4-hand reduction and a Mel Bay Guitar Method book) be surrounded by friendly faces.

The biggest item for post-New Year’s Thievery replacement is of course is the PS2 (which of course, would have been a welcome home appliance this weekend off). But I’m hesitant. Do I wait a year for the inevitable PS3? Or do I chuck all caution to the wind, ignore my self-imposed ban on all things Microsoft, and just pony-up for the X-Box?

Gratefully, these are the lofty thoughts my spent and aching mind will turn over this weekend.

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