Archive for April, 2010

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‘…the most natural thing in the world…’

April 29, 2010

Wednesday 28th April was my dissertation recital ‘Beethoven’s Faith; Discerning a Trajectory.’ I played a selection of Beethoven’s works for piano and cello.

Today I was found saying that while playing my ‘cello last night it felt like ‘the most natural thing in the world.’ When Chris Grey, one of my lecturers picked me up on this, I realised what I had just said.

My last lesson with Margaret last week, we agreed I didn’t really need to see her again, which took pressure off early this week 🙂
My rehearsals with Steve Robbings, my pianist, had been going well, although I wasn’t so happy with it all last week, but content, knowing it was the week before my recital!
On Tuesday I had a lesson with Sue at Eton, I hadn’t seen her since November. I played through my recital in order, after which Sue sat back and explained how she was trying to picture herself in the audience, not knowing who I was, and she’d never have known how ill I’ve been! She wanted to know where I was able to get all my musical energy from?! And, she was really impressed, saying it was ‘excellence!’ She did pick up on a few bits and bobs to tidy up which was helpful 🙂
It was a lovely surprise to see Matthew, Sue’s son at Eton too, he’s teaching there one day a week. He was encouraging as always and wanted to read my dissertation essay, which I sent to him. He sent me a good luck message yesterday afternoon, which was very sweet of him!

The whole of Wednesday felt surreal. I don’t think I really did the being nervous thing, because even today I don’t feel like I’ve done it, you know? It hasn’t sunk in!

Especially as when I moved back to LST my dissertation recital had a massive question mark over it! Even a month ago I doubted I’d have the stamina to survive!

Have I really just finished my dissertation? Have I done with Beethoven (for now)?!!

Es ist vollbracht!

The recital itself, went fairly well. I slipped up three times in the 40 minute recital, which isn’t too bad, especially considering they were all things I’d never done wrong before, and I didn’t let them affect the phrases too much!

I was so blessed by the amount of people who came to support me! I’d printed 60 programmes, but there were none left at the end! Phil estimated at about 80 people in the audience!
My parent’s had come down from Nottinghamshire with Victoria (bride-to-be), Mick had got the train down from Southwell! Sarah and Helen came over from Muswell Hill. Some Scouting/NSGSO friends also came which was a lovely surprise! David had come over for the day from Finchley. Simon James-Morse and Mark Jenner, who were both in my class last year, came back especially to hear me play! Mum’s friend from orchestra/quartets, Malcolm also came all the way down, too, and took the opportunity to mock me still!

Thank you to everyone who came and supported me in so many ways!

I spent some time compiling all the messages of support and encouragement I’ve received… I still haven’t finished and there’s over 5 pages!!

14 of us went out for a meal at ASK after wards, which was lovely. I was so hungry by the time we got there, as I hadn’t eaten much before my recital! But I didn’t manage to finish off my pizza, which is a first for me! I don’t understand how I got full so quickly?

I gave Helen, Sarah and David lifts back to Muswell Hill/Finchley to save them spending ages on public transport!
I got back to my room at 12.15am.
I crashed physically and emotionally. I’d felt it coming when David and I took my ‘cello, chair and music back to my room before going for the meal… my legs were burning, but I ignored it!
I was in so much pain, I could barely move. Trying to take off my shoes, whilst sat on a chair, I almost wound up on the floor. The thought of getting changed to go to bed was beyond comprehension, I just couldn’t do it. I wound up taking my trousers off, cause I was too hot, then I felt a bit naked, so put my PJ bottoms on, but hadn’t changed my top half!
I was overwhelmed with emotion, I had gone from performing to 80 people, to going out for a meal, to driving, to being so alone. I just wanted to be held. To fall asleep in someone’s arms.
My body rested for a few hours (not asleep) by which time it gathered enough energy to cry. I cried for about an hour and a half. I texted Lizzie during the crying, knowing she is sometimes awake at these early hours. She came round and sat with me till I finally drifted to sleep at 5.45ish. I didn’t get up till lunchtime. I crawled back into bed numerous times throughout the day. I missed my lectures.

I was worried as I had a rehearsal at All Souls for Prom Praise Royal Albert Hall next Saturday, between 7 and 10 this evening. I struggled getting into London, I didn’t think I’d survive the evening at all. But, once I was playing my ‘cello again, everything felt so much better! I lasted ’till 10.

Paul Hammond very kindly recorded my recital for me. I’ve just listened to it just now… it’s weird listening to myself. The microphone was quite close so it picked up a lot of surface noise and I don’t sound in tune some of the time.. I didn’t think it was that bad in real life? ack.

I’m looking forward to seeing Mr Marriott’s photographs soon 🙂

I saw David Peacock and Richard Hubbard (my examiners) at lunchtime today, they wouldn’t even give me a hint as to how I’d done!

I found Chris Grey to apologise for not getting to Arts and Worship this morning… we wound up having a conversation about ‘what next’ and performance. I think I should pursue ‘Cello related things. Scrap that. I know I should.
We talked about post-grad’s and music colleges vs. universities… he suggested I looked at Durham, Royal Holloway and King’s. The latter of these would mean I would still be around London and could thus still be near friends, play with All Souls and stuff.
Holloway want an application by May 10th to be considered for scholarship funding… they also want a CD of my playing and an essay! Ack.

But I’m still lacking the confidence in my ability, I doubt I’m good enough to do post-grad. After all, I’ll be the first person in my family to get an honors degree, I never thought I’d get to University when I was at school! So for me to be thinking about Masters’ is crazy.

I’m crying again; I am such a musician it’s untrue. It’s taken me till now to really realise this; I’ve been suppressing it all this time. When I was at school, my ‘cello was just a hobby, nothing else. I knew music college was there, but I never thought in a million years that I could go.

And yet, when I was sat in chapel last night, behind my ‘cello, in front of 80 people, I was praising God and it was the most natural feeling in the world to me.

I am so very blessed.

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On being English

April 29, 2010

[This post has been written over the course of a week or more.. so excuse the inconsistencies/ramblings/brain fog etc…]

This academic year, there has been a frustrating response to LST Intranet posts concerning St George’s Day and Remembrance Day. The comments have been anonymous, which is frustrating, but whoever it is seems to think that these two days in the English calendar are pro-war, pro-invasion, pro-violence. Which seems a bit crazy. I can kind of understand it for Remembrance day, but it is in no way endorsing war.

With the risk of sounding rather like my father here, but I was brought up with the rule ‘when in Rome, do as the Roman’s do…’ rule. It makes sense, follow the countries laws, don’t impinge your views on another culture etc etc. So why is it that in our now multi-cultural Britain, there remains very little of Great Britain left to celebrate. As the previous paragraph mentioned, immigrants seem to have such a strong view on our British culture that it’s now diluted. It frustrates me immensely.

Land of Hope and Glory [I can’t quite remember why I wrote this, but something made sense in my head at the time, I’m sure… I’m thinking of the hymn… being all British and that.]

I doubt you would have escaped the forthcoming election and all that comes with it… or if you have, you live in more of a bubble than I do!

Of late there has also been controversy over the 2010 Westminster Declaration. I have yet still to make up my mind on the matter, along with my friends David and Phil, there seem to be much that isn’t said, leaving too many gray areas?

The last three weeks we’ve had the leadership debates. I wasn’t able to watch the first or the last, but from what I did see and have caught up with, they have really helped me to understand some of the party policies and compare them.

Here’s Steve Chalke interviewing the three party leaders;

At LST this week, we also had a debate with some of our lecturers; Anna Robbins, Tony Lane, Robert Willoughby and Simon Steer. It was interesting to discuss politics within the Christian community, what impact we have and how vital it is that we vote.

On which note, I am not registered in Northwood, as I only returned to LST in February and they sorted it out in the Autumn. So I decided that I’d go for a postal vote at home, as I’m definitely on the Electoral Role at home. Both constituencies have previously been very strong Conservative seats, but my vote still counts, right? I sent off my form, having downloaded it from Rushcliffe website, where there was no mention of a deadline for applying for a postal vote, in fact, on the form it said I could register for a postal vote at any time. Yet today I received a letter from Rushcliffe telling me I cannot vote, as my application for a postal vote was received after the registration deadline of 5pm 20th April. Again, I say, they didn’t have a deadline on the website or the form… AND they write to me now saying there’s no time… well, there clearly is, because if they’d just sent me the darn postal vote instead of that letter, it would have been in the post this evening. They did however say I could vote by proxy, but, get this, the deadline for registering for that is 5pm Tuesday 27th April… it’s gone.
I debated with the idea of driving home and back to LST next Thursday in order to vote, but, I don’t want to be missing more lectures and I have a rehearsal in the evening and it’d be 240 miles round trip and well, fuel isn’t exactly cheap these days…
To put it lightly, I’m gutted that my voice won’t be heard. I just hope and pray that enough other people’s will be to make a difference to our country!

And, I am worried that a very friendship my be in trouble because of my inability to vote.

As I said, I apologise for my distinct lack of coherence and clarity of thought in this post… My girly blonde brain just can’t cope 😉

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Protected: What a topsy turvey, messed up day!

April 23, 2010

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On being a ‘doer’ and emotions this invokes

April 21, 2010

As part of our Worship Clinic module, we have to complete a Personal Assessment, which is then discussed in class and our peers mark each other on the accuracy of our own assessment! Sounds complicated, I know, and that’s not even half of it!

So on Sunday evening I found myself filling in my Personal Assessment thingie with the help of a very wonderful friend of mine.

On Monday morning, I found myself discussing said assessment with our HoD and W3. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it might be! I found the process really encouraging and empowering 🙂 After discussing each person, we pray. While praying for me, Tom had a picture, which was pretty ace; it was that God delights in me when I’m playing my ‘cello. A light shines when I play.

This has helped me shake off comments people sometimes make about my ‘cello being a burden to me. It may appear so, physically, but it’s really not. I don’t mind carrying it around, it’s not that heavy! And it really is an extension of who I am.

I have had a bit of a revelation the last few days, also, in that I connect with God best when I’m playing the ‘cello. It really is a gift from God. Yes, I can sing in corporate worship, and there are plentiful other ways to worship, but when I play it’s a completely different realm.

Which makes sense of my emotions in response to playing for corporate worship. In the last year; I played at the RAH for Prom Praise last Easter, I played in the band for Ro Willoughby’s commissioning service at St Paul’s Finchley, and I’ve played at Emmanuel once since returning to LST in February. But I haven’t played in a worship service other than those, which is hardly at all!

I am hurt that the only contact I’ve really had from Emmanuel since I have been back is asking if I can play now I’m back. I don’t feel part of the church family, a lot of my friends have moved on over the course of the year. But still, I’ve heard zilch from anyone regarding my general well-being.

In the last 24 hours, I have experienced jealousy, envy, frustration, anger, resentment amongst other emotions, which came about because I wanted to play in a worship group! Crazy, huh?

This year at LST there has been an official ‘LST Band’ set up and organised by one of the lecturers, which is many people’s placements. It’s great. At the start of the Autumn term, they auditioned and have practiced every week, visit churches regularly, and play in LST Chapel and other LST events, like this weeks ‘An Evening with Geraldine Latty.’

Which was the trigger of my emotions this week. Many of my friends in the band and in W3 said I should be playing for this event, especially with the other strings. But I didn’t ask early on, as I didn’t want to seem like I was gatecrashing a well-oiled machine, you know? I am still struggling with asking to play in Chapel anyway, because of the ‘what if I’m not well enough?’ question. But as my wise friends have told me since, I need to be given the chance to play, to be able to back out if that situation arises!

One of my big frustrations was that one of my closest friends, a violinist, isn’t on the music course, and yet in the last year has had more opportunity to play with folks at LST than I have had in the course of my time at LST. I am jealous of her. I am envious that, despite the demands of her hectic course and placement, she still has time to play with my classmates. My new classmates who despite feeling part of the family, I will never know in the way I want to know them. And I hate these feelings, because she is my best friend, and if it were anyone else, I’d be able to discuss it with her. And it took me a while to get hold of my another best friend.

I am angry that so often I get forgotten about, because ‘the ‘cello isn’t a band instrument’ which is a load of… there are so many ways it can be used in a band, in an ensemble in worship, it just requires a bit of thought, rather than opting for the ‘classic’ band set-up.

I am frustrated once again by the memory of the pastor of SBC, who, upon my arrival at a church weekend away, straight after a second exams at LST (which was a tough time for me anyway), he asked why I hadn’t brought my ‘cello. I was already upset because I was feeling left out of life at SBC, that the minister had never once encouraged me in my journey towards LST. And that when I first came to LST, I was kept in the loop with the SBC Worship Band, so it meant I was able to get in touch with the leader and ask if they’d like me to play when I was home. But the overall worship group leader changed and I got forgotten. I assumed I wasn’t wanted. No one got in touch with me before the weekend away. His argument was that he is a Minister and brought his Bible without anyone asking him to! Well, so did I! If it had been suggested I brought my cello, I would have made the effort to bring it, but despite it not being a burden to me, unlike the Bible, or the flute, the ‘cello is not an instrument I can pack for ‘just in case,’ especially when I was relying on others for lifts…

I wasn’t able to play with the Band and Geraldine this week purely on a logistical basis; there weren’t enough ports in the PA desk, or microphones, and possibly space on the ‘stage.’ Yet, it felt so personal, even though I knew it wasn’t; I had been asked by my friends that it would be nice for me to join them. Geraldine really liked the idea.

I reacted badly, to the point where I didn’t even feel able to attend in the event even in the congregation. But I couldn’t escape it, either, as I could hear the celebrations clearly from my room, which is when the flood gates opened.

These situations would have been resolved with more forethought of planning and communication.

I am upset because I want to play. Not because it makes me feel good. Not because I feel left out. But because I know that it edifies God. I know that when I play, it enhances the worship experience of others.

I want to play, because when I know what is involved in an event, I am more free to worship. I worship when I am serving others, be it as a Verger, playing my ‘cello, or any other involvement. I just need to be involved.

I want to play, because it hurts to sing, it hurts to stand for a song set, it hurts to breathe deeply.

But I have learned from this. I need to be proactive and make people aware that I would like to play in chapel, with enough warning to pace myself! And to be free from guilt if it so happens that I’m not doing so well on the day.

I need to keep playing my ‘cello.

But for now, I am so grateful that I am able to worship when playing my cello, during practices and rehearsals. That I am able to be in dialogue with God while I play the music of Beethoven, Saint-Saens, Bruch, Frescobaldi et al. on my ‘cello.

I thank God for the gift of the ‘cello.

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This post contains happenings and things I’ve been meaning to blog for the last couple of weeks!

April 16, 2010

I returned back to the world of LST the week before term started. It was good to go home, but I was glad it was only for a short time. Returning to LST has always been like coming home. Being at my parent’s house, my routine got out of sync. and everything seemed hard work. But it was good to spend time with my parents, catch up with friends. Being able to help around the house was pretty awesome, not to mention the ability to run up stairs which showed a massive improvement in my health since coming back to LST in February.

While at home, I went with Victoria for her wedding dress fitting. How very exciting! This was made all the more interesting because she was in a sling following an operation on her shoulder the week before! The dress maker showed me how to tie her into the dress!
We also talked Hen weekend which was fun 🙂

On Thursday I went for a spontaneous picnic with an old school friend who now lives and works in London, Sophie. We were chatting on Facebook chat at lunchtime, and she wanted to go for a picnic to appreciate the good weather! I took along cake I’d made at home, and met Sophie and a friend of hers from work at Regents Park. Unfortunately by this time the sun was setting, so we got cold pretty quickly. But we were too busy enjoying our picnic, chatting and catching up (I’d not seen Sophie for a year), that we didn’t notice how dark it had got until we started to pack up. And then, we realised we were locked in Regents Park! What excitement! Hehe. Hilarious!

Unfortunately I wasn’t so well after that, possibly a mixture of overdoing it and getting a bit cold on the way home; the daytime sun can be so deceiving!

I’ve recently begun my Disney DVD collection, which is very exciting. On Friday a good friend came to visit, we ate food and watched the Jungle Book! Fun times. I’m not surprised why I was so scared of that film when I was a kid!

I didn’t make it to church on Sunday morning, but went with the LST group to St Andrews, Chorleywood in the evening. I found it really hard to worship. I was in a bad place. I just wanted to go home, back to LST. I received a text from Dad during the service and I knew something wasn’t quite right, so I called him straight after the service. He said he thought I’d like to know that mother had fallen in and taken a bite out of the boat in the process. To which I initially thought she’d crashed the boat, damaging it and the force threw her in the water. Then he said she’d done similar to me (in regards to smashing teeth), which confused me.
Dad has been re-designing the cratch, which is the front ‘porch’ of the narrowboat. So they were spending the weekend on the boat, Dad was doing woodwork. He asked Mum to help him with something, after which she either slipped or took a step backwards and ended up in the water between the boat and the mooring pontoon. But she hit her face on the boat on the way, which has misplaced 5 of her top teeth. Thankfully Dad was able to help her out of the River Trent with the help of another boater on the same pontoon.
We’re so thankful that she didn’t get knocked out, as the River has a strong current to it, and she could have been swept underneath the boat which wouldn’t have been so pretty. Although she doesn’t remember falling or hitting her face, just being in the water and thinking she needed to go up! I’m also glad it happened in front of Dad, I think he might have blamed her for being stupid had he not ‘seen’ it happen as such.
Mum has been pretty low this week, she was upset to have missed her colleagues retirement party on Sunday as she was in hospital. Last week I’d helped her choose a new dress for the occasion too! But she’s happy she’ll be wearing it new for my dissertation recital!
She also lost her glasses and her slippers (what was she doing on the outside of the boat in her slippers?!!)
I sent Mum a Get Well card, enclosing a couple of plasters for Coriander, where she ‘bit’ the boat! And I also explained that as much as she likes the fashion advice of her daughter, there are somethings, like smashing teeth that she shouldn’t try to emulate!
Saying all this, she was in work on Tuesday, her reasoning being that she wouldn’t get paid for the first three days off sick, and she said she can’t afford not to work… 😦

I managed to get some work done before term started, but not quite as much as I’d hoped. I wanted to take advantage of a lecturer’s offer to read drafts of my Arts essay, especially as I’ve not been here all year… but by Tuesday I’d only managed to get a third written.
Tuesday was an overwhelming day, people returning etc made me pretty anxious, just hearing the buzz of more people around college was draining. I realised that this is it; the beginning of the end. I will graduate this year. But I had forgotten about reading for our sexuality module, but didn’t have time to read it. I’d not done as much as I’d wanted for Arts. I still really want to do my Orchestral Arranging project, but hadn’t done much on it at all. I thought I’d been fairly productive over the holidays, but I’m beginning to think not enough.

I received an email from St John’s Wilmslow, they liked my application and have invited me to visit them for the weekend at the beginning of May – straight after my dissertation recital! That week is going to be crazy, with All Souls Prom Praise rehearsals for the RAH gig on May 8th too. [I’m hoping that playing at RAH will take my mind of the date?]

I saw Robert with the written part of my dissertation on Tuesday morning, he seemed fairly impressed and gave me a few things to tidy up 🙂 I’ve since sent him my *final* draft! Yay! I just need to tidy up my chronology of Beethoven’s life and works, and write my programme notes and add both to the appendices, then I think I’m done. Harah.

Wednesday was crazy. I should have listened to the warning signs. I was struggling even in chapel to stand and sing. Yet lots of people were telling me how well I am doing, and I couldn’t argue with them, but I was hurting. Instead of listening to the pain I ignored it.

I got very anxious when our Sexuality lecturer told us he wanted us to host a two hour debate on the subject of homosexuality in 2 weeks time; that is my dissertation recital day! ARGH

I had a rehearsal with Steve, my pianist for my recital, on Wednesday afternoon. It went well. He’s really impressed how much I’ve improved over the last year which was good to hear 🙂 It was really helpful for me to play with the piano accompaniment, to get to know how the parts work together. I’m really looking forward to my recital.

Obviously there’s been much talk of politics this term, which keeps meal times lively! I’m hoping to arrange to do a postal vote, but I’m relying on Dad to tell me what to do, how I contact Rushcliffe…

However, Wednesday evening I crashed big time. I felt so ill. I was seeing stars. I wound up on the floor whilst trying to take off my shoes. I put myself to bed early. Thursday, Lizzie woke me up, but I was still in so much pain, it was horrible. Somehow I managed to get to my lectures. I planned on making a bacon sandwich in coffee time, but there was a fire drill, so I didn’t have chance, and then it was lunchtime after the next lecture.

I spent the rest of the day resting, and taking it easy, but trying not to sleep, knowing it’d mess up my sleep pattern. I sat outside in the sunshine for an hour, which really helped my mood as I’d been incredibly low. I was able to tidy my room which made me feel better 🙂 I picked up in the evening, but soon felt the warning signs returning so went to bed at a sensible time… but I didn’t sleep until 6am!! But, I got to hear the birds morning chorus which was lovely! And I didn’t even think about taking more drugs than I should, which is pretty amazing… I just went with it and watched iPlayer! I was able to sleep until lunchtime today, when I felt better. Although I’d been woken up by Maintenance dept at 10.30 in the roof space above my room and I heard ‘…I’ll go and fetch the poison…’ which made my last hour and a half of sleep more disturbed!

I wore a skirt today, which is usually a sign I’m not so depressed 🙂 I tried working this afternoon, but have been struggling with my Arts essay. I know there is a blatant link between Suffering and Creativity, but I need to find some scholars who say as much; I only had Rob Bell until this evening! But I think I’ve found some good links now… so hope to make good progress on it tomorrow, so I can send it to Chris 🙂

I did practice in Chapel before tea, playing through my dissertation programme, which was really uplifting. I know it’s going to go okay, there are only a few tiny little corners I need to polish now. I just need to be careful not to overdo it! This evening, I put on my dress and shoes that I’ve been saving for my recital, with the hope of trying it with my cello in chapel. But I couldn’t get into Chapel this evening, which was frustrating.
I am looking forward to my lessons in the next few weeks with Margaret and Sue in Eton.

I also got a message inviting me to Amelia’s hen do in June. Exciting times.

On the whole I am really looking forward to this term. I love everything we’re studying. It’ll be exciting finding out what happens next. But I am also sad to think I will be leaving the place I so fondly call home; the people, the security, the support, etc.

I think that is all for now! I’m hoping for a fruitful Saturday and looking forward to Sunday in Finchley!

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Aeroplanes and Iceland

April 15, 2010

Prior to my visit to Iceland in 2002, I remember being a little anxious about Volcanic activity. At that time, the volcano’s weren’t really active, but still, amongst the glaciers, they were an impressive sight. [I would share my pictures with you, but they’re all on slides… back in the day… before digital photography 😉 ]

So, the recent eruptions have caught my attention. The pictures are pretty impressive.

A group of school children from Loughborough have been evacuated from their accommodation in the early hours as they were in a vulnerable position in relation to the active volcano. That must be pretty scary! Especially as the British air space is closed until the ash cloud clears, so their flights home tomorrow are unlikely.

Read here to find out more.

One article said ‘It’s not just tourists who have been affected, but British sport, too.’ As if sport is the most important thing it’s affecting?! [Sorry] But seriously, what about the Icelanders who’ve been evacuated from their homes?

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Technology vs. the Arts

April 15, 2010

This morning, during our Arts and Worship lecture, we read and discussed an article by Dick Pountain (editor of PC Pro’s Real World Computing Section) putting forward the motion that computer technology is killing artistic creativity; in the way calculators killed mental arithmetic.

Initially I had my ‘old school’ head on and agreed with his position to an extent.

We discussed how for some composers, programs like Sibelius, are more of a hindrance than a help; Chris Grey (our lecturer) explained how he can’t stand composing on the computer, the visual limitations of the screen and not being able to see the whole thing at one glance. We discussed the inability of the computer to create audible music in a way a live instrument can; the expression, thought and feeling just could not be produced.

We should also concerned about the disappearance of handicraft; we don’t want to lose those skills, either.

In terms of visual art, especially the realm of photography has taken off in the last decade with the digital camera, the ease of editorial programs and ability to publish work on the internet. Has this development erased elite artistry and promoted amateur arts? One member of the class was particularly against digital art, if art draws a link between humanity and the transcendent, how can computer generated, or manipulated work inspire us to look to the divine?

And yet, the more the discussion continued, the more I disagree with the argument. Obviously we need to be wise with how we use it.

I got very cross with the member of the class who said that computers are only a tool which manipulate in a negative way. Yes they are a tool. But so are the paint brush, the pencil, the piece of paper, the instrument etc. Animatedly, I stole the pencil and paper off her and said ‘now create a work of art!’ to prove my point [with hindsight she could have chosen to get up and dance, but she did not!]

Digital photography enables the photographer to practice their skills at less expense of time and photo paper. Editing software enables them to be more creative with the image they have captured.

Personally, I have found Sibelius a very useful tool when I have been composing; but there is the generational aspect here, too; I was taught to compose with Sibelius! It would take me hours and hours to compose with pen and paper, not that I lack the skill, knowledge or theory, but I have learned how to use Sibelius with the ability to copy sections at the click of a button.
I remember when I was very young being told that the only way to compose was with a pencil, manuscript paper at the Piano. This was such a confidence crusher for me, as I lack the ability to play the Piano with ease.

Programs like word are tools which I could not live without and produce the work I need to produce. They give me the ability to rearrange my thoughts, ideas and arguments with relative ease, compared to writing out however many drafts by hand! Had it not been for the computer, I would never had any confidence in my creative writing ability. The option of putting down ideas, coming back to them, rearranging, editing, changing until the author is happy that they are ‘right’ is such a blessing.

Music technology provides the facility to record multiple layers, to save time re-recording in the studio by editing. [Although it was argued that the ‘perfect’ output of some recordings makes live performances seem weak?]

It also enables a musician to listen to various recordings of the same piece of work and compare their interpretations.

We as artists have limitations. Our work has blemishes. And I accept the computer should never take the role of the artist. But the computer can be used, as a tool, by the artist to aid, inspire and develop work.

The computer certainly doesn’t replace other means of creativity.
It has it’s limitations.
But we can use it wisely.