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  • Writer's pictureWill Sharland

January 2024

The cycle is complete, I have finally lapped myself as this is now the first monthly blog post for a month that I have already done in a previous year. It is an incredible feat, as the two of you who read this blog must recognise, as I now feel that I with good authority can call myself a prolific blogger, an expert in all things pretentious wank.

It has been quite an interesting start to the year, I have on the whole been able to keep to my New Years resolutions, though I probably have not been as committed as I should have been, particularly to eating better as I have been eating a lot of pizza (no regrets). Half of January has been occupied by me working quite intensely, mostly on finishing my film score for the Berlin International Film Scoring Competition. I managed to finish this to a good standard about a week into January. I am quite proud with what I have done, though of course I wish I could go back and change a lot of things about it, particularly relating to the mixing and mastering of it. I uploaded it to YouTube and it is now the most watched video on my channel ( I don’t think I am likely to win the competition, but in any case composing this score was good practice and it will undoubtedly look good in my portfolio. 

   I have also been busy working on my orchestral piece, or I should say busy dragging my feet and procrastinating in making it. I seem to have run into a bit more writers block with it, I have been studying other composers work to try and get some inspiration but I have not made substantial progress for a while. In any case, I have until the middle of March to finish it. I have managed to make a little bit of progress on some other chamber pieces as well, though again I have been plagued with writers block. This writers block has been the most intense when it has come to my musical where I have hardly touched it over the whole of January. I am planning to have finished a new version of it by the middle of February so I really need to get cracking.

The other half of January I have spent traveling around India with my fiancee. We were there because I was to be a groomsmen at a wedding taking place between two of my best friends. The wedding took place in the city of Indore over the course of four days, but as we were going all the way to India we decided to explore some more of the country as well. I won’t go into too much detail, but on the whole it was an incredible trip that I am very grateful to have been able to embark on. I don’t have any uniquely interesting takeaways that won’t have already been made my some other white guy from the West, but I will say it was probably the most different to home country that I have so far been to. That said, the people (like most places in the world I have been to) were very lovely and generous on the whole. 

   The trip began in New Delhi, a city which I feel very glad to have been to, but can’t say I really loved. It was a city covered in smog, with the worst traffic of anywhere I have ever seen. It was a total culture shock and it was a very tough few days being there, particularly as we got really bad food poisoning on only our second day there. I felt ill for most of the rest of the trip afterward but those first few days were the worst. After New Delhi, the trip got better and better as we went to Agra, Jaipur and then Jodhpur. Each of these places were better than the last and I felt like India had won my heart over much more by the end of the trip. The wedding itself, which took place in Indore, was like something from a film and I felt like an extra for the entirety of it. I don’t think that I will ever go to a wedding again that was as grandiose as that one was. I took many photos and videos but they honestly can’t convey how extravagant and enormous it was. Mumbai was our last stop which was really great but it was an extremely divided city with half of it looking like a tropical New York and the other half of it being mostly made up of third world slums. I feel that I saw both the most abjectly poor people and some of the wealthiest people in the world while I visited this city. Of course inequality exists everywhere in the world (particularly in the UK), but there was something very haunting about seeing these massive glorious skyscrapers right next to these thousands of slums. Again though, I cannot say anything that has not already been said by some other white guy who has been to India. 

   On the whole it was a fantastic trip though, and I would love the opportunity to go to India again and possibly explore more of the south. The highlights of the trip included: The Wedding (obviously), getting to feed and stroke an elephant, seeing the Taj Mahal, seeing the fort and markets of Jodhpur, exploring the pink city of Jaipur, and watching the sunset on the beach in Mumbai.

That’s all for this month folks, see you at the next score!

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