No, we're not celebrating the music of Thelonious here today (but feel free to do so in my absence). The "monk" part has to do with the fact that I have to complete several full combo arrangements today, for the concert that a few of my groups are doing in less than two weeks. My groups have big front lines and unusual instrumentations, so it's best to write some backgrounds, harmonies, shout choruses and so on, so as to spare the audience a constant "wall of unison" for the entire set.
But there are a few challenges to doing this: I find it hard to get "inspired on demand" to write; I get very little work in this area done at home (too many distractions); and I have a shared office at school that often gets quite noisy. (Oddly enough, the most inspiration to write that I've gotten in the past several months took place at a Starbucks one afternoon last week; I didn't have time to finish everything, but I at least wrote the ideas down to finish up now.) Since I can't do this on demand on a regular basis, I told my groups that there would have to be a weekend where I just "became a monk" to get everything done. This is that weekend.
So this is a roundabout way of saying that I won't be blogging much today, even though I'm behind on a few days' worth of posts. I might duck in later with a progress report, but anything that doesn't get done today will have to be done by Tuesday afternoon (for one group) or Thursday evening at the latest (for the other one).
UPDATE: Seven hours later, the two most time-consuming arrangements are done. Everything else can wait, as my hand is cramped beyond belief (you should see the typos I'm correcting while I do this post). If I don't put up anything tomorrow, it means I've gone back to the "monastery" for a little bit more.