Wednesday, January 11, 2006

i am ... the doctor (ooo wee ooooo...)

11th january 2006

Current levels of conviction in own genius: 10. Hurrah!
Amount of creative activity acheived in last 24 hours: None, apart from small poem entitled 'PhD Motherfucker'.
Hair day: Fabulous!

After five and a half years of full-time teaching, lounging, contemplating, schlepping, and occasionally having wild spurts of abandoned creativity and going at a Murder She Wrote pace on Sibelius, I've cracked it and got the PhD. (Small cheers from the back.) I was, after a run-up of extreme aloofness, unaccountably terrified this morning, particularly after beginning to read through my write-up and spotting three typos almost immediately. I'm probably the only Composition PhD-er in a while who has carefully considered which top (emerald green with black tree print and pink ribbon) and which eyeshadow (aquamarine green, naturally) would really help my cause during the viva. But once I was in, and Gavin Bryars and Bill Brooks (my external and internal examiners respectively, which is less racy than it sounds, more's the pity. Arf.) began their avuncular and extremely informal chat, I knew I was on the home stretch and remembered that I am in fact an utter genius. Well, when you're complimented on how artistically coherent your portfolio is and how your notation is better than Faber's and how if you pursued your dream of becoming avant-pop singersongwriter starlet you'd probably be a very rich woman, you can be allowed a leeettle gigantic-headedness for just one evening. Gavin is clearly a man to know: after I name-checked my two pop gurus - Bjork and Tom Waits - the immensely successful composer who looks and sounds like a Yorkshire sheep farmer casually mentioned that he'd spoken to both of them just yesterday. No, really. He also tossed us anecdotes of his encounters with Le Waits all those years ago when he recorded Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet in Tom's old shed containing all his bone machine percussion. Sehr kool. Of course, I have to make a couple of minor cosmetic adjustments to my CDs and pay for the posho boxes to be embossed and go to graduation wearing the most shamingly floppy-assed hat ever in July, but from today I am offically allowed to call myself Doctor Andrew, or just Doc Kerry if you're really lucky. Of course, there will be no shameful flaunting of my title for any purposes whatsoever apart from on credit cards and hotel bookings and passports in order that I get the chance to be upgraded to first class on planes, as the medically-qualified are, apparently. Of course, that does pose the danger of being dragged to chaotic on-flight scene of man with heart attack surrounded by flapping stewardesses and having to try and cure him by applying a range of extra-vocal techniques including Mongolian-style throat-singing and tongue-clicks and mouth-pops before being booed into standard class, but it's a risk I'm willing to take.

dr kerryx

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

snow joke

jan 3rd 2006 (crumbs!)

Current level of conviction in own genius: 6.5
Amount of creative activity achieved in last 24 hours: nul points
Hair day: risked all and got snipped in High Wycombe near dad's, emerging with el chav blonde-side-stripe which am just getting used to

Phew. Well, here we are, spat out blinking into 2006, wondering why the streets of Brixton look as scummy as ever and not chockablock with shiny dealer-robots that can craft any drug of choice with a couple of deft button-pressings whilst boom-boxed spacecars thump by overhead and everyone shouts into the transglobalaudiovisualmobilechip in ther heads (as long as it has Radio 4, I'm in). Still, the back door to 2005 was slammed shut with an almighty kerWALLOP as I threw a bangin' party chez Baytree Court, where we grooved to Zen cuts and FF and S Club (yes, well, all in the past) and Prince's 1999 (New Year will always be musically on the cusp of the millenium unless Robbie Williams or the Arctic Monkeys can come up with a catchy 'Bring On 2007' number) whilst stuffing our faces and spilling so much booze on the floor that I was standing ankle-deep in a champagne swamp come Big Ben's dolorous chimes.. Marvellous.

Of course, nothing has actually changed at all, and I'm still perpetually grumbling about my lack of creative opportunity whilst not doing quite as much as I could about it despite protestations about schoolwork (which am obviously dreading onslaught of come...when is it...tomorrow! AGGHH!) and dreaming of the great things to come. Not one but two chums of mine currently make their sole living from composition and also Have Bought Their Own Houses. How, pray, is this possible???? Perhaps I shall adopt February as my real new year, when the boyfriend-gem-that-is-Andy and I shall squeeze ourselves into our new basement flat, the jewel in the could-do-with-a-polish-crown of E1. Then I shall revolutionise myself into all-singing-
all-composing East London artistic whirlwind that I really should be by now.

Getting away from the city grime from Christmas was well worth it, particularly to venture even further north than mother's in Driffield to majestic Northumberland, where we made like Scott of the Antarctic, watching our fingers turn blue, black and then drop off as we braved -7 temperatures and slipslid our way through the snow. We covered Druridge Bay, a menacing blade of beach with waves as high as houses on the horizon, and trudged through England's most northernly town, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, where locals couldn't seem to decide whether they should be Geordies or Scots. We checked out Alnwick's phenomenally fab second-hand-bookshop, Barter Books, which fills a vast Victorian railway station, nestled into a gorgeous old Inn in Alnmouth for mussles and whisky as cheap as chips, and shivered in the spooky bay the next morning, with its alien-moon landscape of snow and sand, the village behind us huddled into the icy mist like the setting to a Steven King novel. Brrrrrrr.