Since 1999, I’ve been spending the bulk of my summers out on the Outer Banks, an amazing stretch of coastline with deserted National Seashore about five hours drive from here. I’ve had varying roles in a summer arts festival there over the years, from overseeing the afternoon chamber programs to coordinating all of about a hundred performances of music, dance, drama and film. In the last two summers, I’ve reported on this blog about our activities, especially as they relate to new music.

After eight summers, though, I decided I had had enough, and perhaps the festival had had enough of me as well, so I stepped down to spend more time on composing. Their new season is in its third week now, and I’ve been staying home working on the thing I’d really much rather do: writing music. It’s been a great relief to be able to focus inward more than I have in many summers. I’ll be taking a quick trip out to the festival in a couple of weeks, but just as a spectator.

When I’m there, if anyone asks me any questions about housing, rehearsal schedule, repertoire, driving directions, Xeroxing, lighting, sound, weather, ticket prices, etc. I’ll just smile and shrug my shoulders. I’m just there to listen to the waves and gaze at the amazing array of birds and beach life.

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