Keeping the vast quantities of music I deal with under control is a never ending battle. It seems to be one of those unwritten rules of working as a professional musician that the amount of music you own always exceeds the space you have available to store it – that’s certainly been my experience! For months now I’ve wanted to get my study tidy but I knew I’d need several clear days to do this properly. A few weeks ago I spotted a three day period this week that was completely empty in my diary so I blocked it out, ready to clear the decks.
By chance I got through all my jobs a little early yesterday so I took a ‘before’ pic of my study and made a start on shifting the piles of orchestral music out into the spare room to give me some space to work. This morning I set to work on everything else – quite a daunting prospect. My first task was to thin out the music in one of my large filing cupboards. Since we moved up to Essex I’ve given up school teaching so I was able to remove a lot of educational music I haven’t used in four years, along with duplicate copies of sonatas I’ve inherited from other recorder players over the years. That cleared a shelf and a half and leaves me with a huge pile of music to donate to a music charity I know who can sell it to raise funds.
My next task was to prune the orchestral sets of music I have down to a sensible size. For occasional events I’ve found myself conducting as many as 150 recorder players, which, of course, demands a lot of music! Normally though I’m faced with no more than 40 players so I was able to remove some of the excess copies for recycling. That freed up some more shelf space so, once I finish filing away the music that was sitting on the floor yesterday, I’ll hopefully be able to see both the floor and the desk in my study!
As things stand, the study barely looks any better than when I started but I can see the change and, with luck, it’ll be inhabitable by the end of tomorrow. One thing’s for sure – it’s done wonders for my backlog of podcasts. When the day started I had about 22 to listen to and that’s now down to 12 – music filing is one of those brainless exercises where I can listen and work simultaneously!
6 February 2018