Take that, form TP-80-V!!

Taxes are done and ready to be mailed. And the deadline isn’t for 36 hours!

I must say, the whole tax system seems a little … off, to me. Especially here in Quebec, where we have the Quebec versions of everything on top of (or beside…) all the federal taxes and pensions and deductions and all the rest, things get so complicated that many people – probably most of the people I know, actually – just don’t bother at all. It’s particularly a shame since those people are the ones that would actually be benefiting from filling out the forms – us poor musician and student folk usually get more money back from the taxman than we’d ever have to pay! I’ve been doing my taxes for a few years now, and there are still things that I leave out that could potentially make me more money – I’m not registered to collect GST, for example, and I don’t claim any deduction on rent money or the phone/network connections, even though I do a lot of work at home these days.

The other interesting thing is how so much of it is based on the honor system, especially when declaring self-employment income. I could stick any numbers down there at all! I know this year’s isn’t all that accurate, either, because it’s the first year I’ve considered myself self-employed, and I wasn’t keeping the best of records to begin with. But who could ever know? If I can’t keep track of it, how could an auditor have any hope of finding inaccuracies over a year after the fact?

Anyway, I’m glad all the forms are done, and I’m glad I have a better accounting system in place for next year! This was the last year that I have any significant real ’employment income’ at all (i.e. ‘income that’s easy to manage taxes for’)- from now on, it’s almost all self-employment income. And if you have a problem with that, talk to my boss.

New recordings

I told you I had been busy doing things! And this time I have evidence!

The first few tracks that were recorded in my solo recitals in New Brunswick in mid-March. These concerts mostly went very well, except that attendance in St. Andrews and Saint John was lacklustre, to put it mildly. The final concert, in Fredericton, more than tripled the audience of the first two put together! In hindsight, the concert date was probably not ideal: Spring Break meant that many people were away, especially in St. Andrews. When the available concert-going population is so small (St. Andrews is a tiny town) an event like this can make a huge impact. In Saint John, it turned out there was a Gilbert and Sullivan show the same night, so again, any potential audience members already had plans. I think that concerts like this may work better in the afternoon rather than the evening, as well.

In any case, musically they were a success, and we are better prepared for next time. I probably won’t be doing another series of solo recitals in New Brunswick until next Fall, but hopefully we’ll be able to bring in more people.

The other recordings I’ve uploaded are from the La Fiorenza concert from the end of March. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to record the whole thing (let’s just call it a technical error…), but I was very pleased with how the Froberger turned out. La Fiorenza will be performing again in May (date TBA) and then the band is travelling to Boston in June for the Early Music Festival. As well, if you’re really quick, you might be able to hear the ensemble on CBC Radio 2 tonight – between 8:00 and 10:00 PM. The concert they performed as part of the prize package for Montreal Baroque‘s competition is being broadcast on Canada Live.

You may have noticed that these recordings sound a lot better than most of the previous ones. I finally caved and shelled out for some decent microphones, and it makes a HUGE difference. With the advice of several people on the harpsichord mailing list, I got a pair of Oktava MK-012’s from Oktava Canada. I’m still experimenting with how best to use them – the best results so far have been with quite close miking, though it still sounds decent even from about 15 feet away from the harpsichord, though you lose some detail from the sound.

Finally, I’m looking for a better way to organize the recordings page on this site. I’m finding that it’s surprisingly difficult to organize the recordings in an intuitive, useful way. Currently, I’m using a variant of my photo gallery script, but I think I’ll try to find something else. I toyed with the idea of just using wordpress to rig something together, but it’s not really ideal. Sometimes I want to have the recordings sorted chronologically, sometimes arranged in categories, sometimes in lists, sometimes in ‘albums’, like the photos. It’s hard to decide on any one thing. Any suggestions are welcome! In the meantime, I think I’ll keep using basically the same scheme as before, but I intend to get rid of most of the old sound files that used to be there. A 5+ year old recording to minidisc just isn’t representative of how I can play now, or the kind of technical quality I can manage.

Happy Easter

I’m a bad bad bad bad bad blogger. I have done things this month! Really! I just didn’t write about them here.

I was delaying posting about the concerts in New Brunswick, and the performance with La Fiorenza until I had some of the recordings from them assembled and ready to go. But that’s taking a while, as you can see. There are also a pile of photos needing sorting and organizing. I’ve gotten a good start on both those tasks, but they always seem to take longer than they should.

With Sari’s help, I’ve been rethinking the way I organize all my .. data, for lack of a better word – mainly photos and recordings. I think I need to divide ‘public stuff on the web page’ a bit more from the ‘archived stuff for myself’. I can be a lot more choosy about public stuff, and be a lot less organized and ‘spiffed up’ with the archived stuff, since no one will see it but me. But I’m not entirely sure exactly how I’ll manage it yet. I definitely plan on getting rid of most of the recordings that are currently available on the site, since most are over 5 years old now, and, really, I can play a lot better now!

Consider this post to be rich with new content, but with a big ‘under construction’ sign on it. Eventually I’ll upload things. No, really!