Welcome to IAAY number ten!

This week it's all about Australian guitarist Lincoln Brady, someone who not only performs other people's work (and pushes the boundaries of the classical repertoire off the edge of the planet), but also composes his own work. As a guitarist myself, I take my hat off to anyone who does both.

IAAY is published every Wednesday (yes, all of them), so there's plenty of time for you to join in too! Contact me via the comments section or via Twitter: @mickdavidson.

It’s All About Lincoln Brady
It’s All About Jan Freidlin

Hello, my name is Lincoln Brady and I am a classical guitarist living and working in Adelaide, South Australia. I’d like to talk about several artistic projects I’ve been involved with over the past four years.

During this time I’ve worked with the excellent Russian-born,Israeli composer - Jan Freidlin - premiering several of his new compositions for guitar:

Freidlin is a very prolific composer with a very poetic but accessible style. The above compositions are very different in terms of emotional content revealing a broad-ranging imagination and a great technical proficiency.

’Moon Triptych’ is kind of ‘serenade’ to the moon but with a deeply ‘existential’ feel. ‘TangO’ Clock’ is a musical description of ‘a day in the life of a tango dance teacher’, as revealed in the titles of the 5 movements: ‘Entrada at Sunrise’, ‘Morning Milonga’, ‘Tanghitta at Noon’, ‘Evening Tango-Vals’, and ‘Final at Night’.

“Five Venetian Glass Poems” is yet another contrasting piece – a meditation on the special poetry of the amazing glass-Art exhibits of Venice. The video clip of this suite is hosted on the website of the "Murano  Museo del Vetro” (a museum in Venice).

Each of my interpretations of these pieces appear on Youtube with exquisite picture sequences organised by the composer himself.

Last year, at my request, Freidlin generously composed and dedicated a piece for my guitar & flute duo (DUO ORFEO) called “Delphic Music Games in Three Events” for guitar & flute  & woodblocks - it was premiered at the Adelaide International Guitar Festival on 9th August, 2012.

It’s All About Me

This year I’ve also resumed writing a composition project of my own – “Six Preludios” for solo guitar. They are written in a mainly traditional and romantic style. Although they have fairly formal musical structures they have a ‘personal’  tone – written more for pleasure  rather than attempting to make a big statement. I gave them Italian titles which just seemed appropriate and which alluded to classical music tradition:

‘Preludio Misterioso’ is probably the best one and it is my favourite. This piece uses a rapid right hand arpeggio technique which is used in many classical guitar compositions.

It was inspired by a piece by the American progressive- Rock band ‘Spastic Ink’ which only uses two pitches and lasts for an amazing four minutes! This technique is also used in classical music composition.

It’s called ‘Limited Pitch Class Set’ - the composer restricts himself to a small selection of pitches forcing himself to rely on other musical parameters such as rhythm, harmony, tone colour to create interest. My piece, though, employs five pitches, two chords, and lasts only two minutes!

You can find links to more of Lincoln's performances of pieces by other composers on his website.

1. The Darkness Beneath - Free Copy
2. It's All About You - Read All About It!

The Darkness Beneath: Sex, Death and Trains, all Yours For Nothing (still!)*

*Terms and Conditions apply: you can get a free copy of my first novel, The Darkness Beneath, by following this link - but hurry! Only the first 100 people to sign up can claim a free 

It Is All About You!
Well we got off to a flying start with the first IAAY with a brilliant contribution from the irrepressible Maureen Hovermale, and nearly 800 people reading her piece, plus several comments. Thanks for being the cutting edge Maureen!

The next IAAY will be out Wednesday 27th June, and will feature one of the USA's top artists, Rebecca Venn. She paints and draws exquisitely and I'm looking forward to introducing her to you. 

If you're a writer, painter, musician or any other kind of creative person, and would like to take part, please have a look at the guidelines. You can contact me via the comments here or on Twitter: @mickdavidson.

Where Did All The Time Go?
I stepped rather niaively into having a guest contributor - for instance I hadn't though about the extra time needed to gather up new contributors and organise their material, and then add all that to the blog. But it's been worth it as I've had a lot more people visiting my blog and websites, I've made some new contacts with a variety of creative people (some of whom will be featured in IAAY - hurrah and thanks!), and one of whom described my idea as 'innovative'. Which I like a lot.

I like it because I've toyed with the idea of having a guest contributor for a while, but wanted to do something a little different to either a guest blog or a straight interview. Cutting out the middleman (me) and letting the contributor strut their stuff in their own way seemed like a good idea. Judging by the reactions I've had, a lot of other people agree. 

For me, creatvity is one of the most important things in life: it fires the imagination and takes us to places we never knew we would or could go to. It also forces us to expose our inner selves to the world, which is often very challenging. Despite this, I know that all the difficulties we experience are worthwhile. Not only that, we get to join a group of people who are fantastic to know, supportive, helpful and full of wisdom gained by travelling the same path. We might work alone, but we are not alone.

One of the things I hope comes from IAAY is that others will read it and become inspired to create as well. And if that happens, I'll be very happy indeed.

Manage the Manic
A few weeks ago I was as happy as a lamb enjoying the sunshine in Melbourne, Australia. It was warm, it was new and was/is populated by some very lovely people.

But then I came back to northern Europe and my mood dropped like an icy stone as the temperature plummeted and all the world's problems alighted on my shoulders.

Then I was off to the UK where I was able to forget again as tiredness and work overwhelmed my senses. I loved it: then I was back home again and unable to escape the horrors that surround me. My mood swooped down into subterranean depths again, my only escape being sleep.

I'm not going into the details of why this is happening, they're far too complicated and personal, but I will say that they involve every major area of life. In other words money, work and my private life.

If you're like me and seem to be trapped in an ever-spinning world of negativity, what do you do to get through it? The best I can do is to try not to think about it and keep putting one foot in front of the other - which works when you're desperate, but it isn't a long term answer it?

On a good day I can cheerfully laugh at all the bollox that comes my way, but that's just bravado. It ain't going to cure nothing. On a good day I try to work my way out of it by taking action, but without someone there with a whip, it's very hard to stick to the plan. Hopelessness creeps in to my head and paralyses me and the best I can do is hide in a book or tune out in front of the TV. And working from home and being an amateur novelist don't make it any easier either. Both contribute hugely to feelings of isolation, and if any of you have or are trying to get published, you'll know exactly how tough inhabiting the world of the unpublished author can be.

I'm not expecting any sympathy here, but I would like to know how people break through negativity and the loneliness it brings. 

My latest plan is to rise at 0600 every day and get on with writing my 2nd novel (working title: Life Cycle) but that means getting to bed by midnight. And getting to bed at the time (and going to sleep) is not something I'm good at.

I can do it, but I'm sure many people will know that going to sleep means waking up, and waking up means facing the day again: at night nothing can touch you.