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Hey, sometime after I finish my PhD...

...would anyone be interested in being in a Fediverse Virtual Choir to sing some of my work so I can put recordings online?

Eric Whitacre did this (not on the Fediverse) and it worked super well. I... definitely don't have his resources, but I can probably film a conducting track that people can sing to.

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I'm a choral composer; I like to release my music under free culture licences, usually CC by-SA.

I'm working on a PhD in contemporary sacred choral composition.

I'm neurodivergent, and I have multiple healthcrap issues. I'm a migrant. I'm Christian.

You can find my work at and fund it at

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I also run Cecilia's List, a project to highlight Christian sacred music composed by people who are not men. That's very much on the back burner for the time being because of PhD stuff, though.

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New rule:

You don't get to say "oh, you could sell that on Etsy/set up a Patreon/write an e-book and sell it/etc" unless you promise to buy stuff from the person you are saying it to, at a price that pays them a living wage for their time *after* material and admin costs.

I'd say "I don't make the rules" but I totally just made a rule, there, so.

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Viva Voce today. 16.00 BST.

Currently alternating between worry and calm, which is probably fine.

uk will-writing is a good idea 

Even if you don't have much money, you may still want to make a will. Citizen's advice has a lot of good information about how to do it and what needs to be included.

You will need: a list of your assets including pensions funds and bank accounts, a list of who you want to get stuff, who is getting your kids, who you trust to carry this out.

uspol, voting 

Save your "I won't vote for an imperfect candidate" ideological preciousness for some time when perfect candidates are available, eh?

Elections are absolutely about choosing the lesser of two evils, and you aren't morally compromised by seeing that practical compromise and engaging with it to try to get the least-bad option.

Purity culture is bullshit.

subtoot I guess, 2020, uspol, climate change, 2021 

And yeah, climate change keeps going, and is the most urgent problem.

But probably the most effective thing *anyone* can do about that right now in the US is work to ensure Trump doesn't get re-elected. Those of us not in the US can help support that too.

That does, in fact, make the rest of 2020 pretty important. There is, in fact, a way to make 2021 be probably better, on balance, and it is a very 2020-focused effort.

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subtoot I guess, 2020 

People aren't all "let's just try and get through 2020" because they believe 2021 will be magically better, they're doing it because they are overwhelmed and need to mentally parcel out the time to remain functional. People do this all the time. Sometimes I have to do it day by day. I do consider the longer term, but I can only meaningfully plan what I can do *today*.

You aren't saying anything profound, unknown or kind with your "it's not just about 2020!" hot takes.

politics, racism 

national borders are racist

Very gently trying to get bck into "real life" after submitting my PhD thesis.

Can't get too stuck in just yet, as I've still got the viva voce to go (probably end of October).

Simultaneously feeling quite a bit of freedom and quite a bit of overwhelm. I've put off *so many* shiny things that I want to do, I don't quite know where to start. And I'm way behind on general life maintenance stuff.

politics, crapitalism, economics, subtoot I guess 

But please save your outrage about governments giving companies money to create jobs and the jobs not being as many as you think they should be.

Giving 500 people a job for a month is next to useless: nobody gets back on their feet in that time, it just puts off the inevitable. Giving 56 people a job for 108 months is likely to make a real difference to those people.

That's not me being a Tory (I'm really, really not), it's just arithmetic.

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politics, crapitalism, economics 

Now, personally, I think a better way for a government to boost the economy is to just... give people the money directly, or maybe create the jobs directly. I don't really care that much whether it's in welfare payments, or spending on infrastructure, or one-off booster payments, or what.

But this only really works if people will then spend that money in ways that boost the economy. This is hard to ensure, especially in a recession when people avoid risks.

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politics, crapitalism, economics 

Of course, the median salary obscures both the costs to the company of each employee (in e.g. pensions etc) and the gains they get from each employee (by spending less on each employee than the company makes in profit from their work).

Paying a company to create jobs is asking a company to take a risk they wouldn't otherwise take. If they thought it would be profitable they'd already be there!

I'm not saying this is good: just saying it's how things are.

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politics, crapitalism, economics 

A thing about paying private companies to "create jobs":

It's never going to lead to as many jobs as you think. If you take the money, divide by the median monthly salary and the number of jobs you'll get the number of months those jobs *might* hang around. And if they do, more jobs could be created -- because of the uptick in spending when those employees spend their salary, *or* because the initial investment for the company is profitable enough to invest more.

We can't keep our dog; can you help? 

- Sheds hair everywhere, all the time.
- Is extremely clever, but also a fool. Will work out ways of getting out of any house so he can find you. He thinks he knows how to cross roads on his own. He doesn't.
- Is terrified of thunderstorms.
- I don't know how old he is.
- I love him lots and will miss him horribly, but he's too much for us to deal with.

Please c&p and ask your friends.

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We can't keep our dog; can you help? 

We can't keep Hari. Can you take him? Can you find someone who will? Please retoot!

- Large dog with amazing fox-like ears.
- Lives in Salford, but we'll drive a long way to bring him to the right person.
- Hates cops. Also hates posties.
- Microchipped and neutered.
- Likes walks... but is living with disabled people.
- Barks when he hears neighbours... but is living in a flat in a terrace.

I'm a choral composer, mostly of sacred Christian music but I compose some secular pieces too. I have a Patron but I haven't posted anything there for a while because I'm working on my PhD.

I'm also still thinking in the back of my mind about what comes after the PhD. I feel like I'll need a rest, and then maybe to do some creative exploration.

What could I do that would convince you become a patron? What's the choral music you want to hear, need to exist in the world?

Submission deadline is 31st August; yesterday I submitted my Intention To Submit form.

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On final stretch of PhD before submission. Then a brief rest in which I panic about how imperfect it is before the Viva Voce (end of October). Then... well, hopefully minor corrections. But could be major corrections. Could be "this isn't a PhD, but have an MPhil". Could be "fail" (this is very unlikely). How long I have to finish those depends on what the examiners think I can do.

covid-19, food 

The soup kitchen at my church used to feed 12 to 15 people once a week.

Now it's ~50 for lunch on Sunday and ~35 Tuesday night, all takeaway/low contact.

This is in addition to the food bank, which opens 4 days/week.

We've lost all hall lettings now, so our income to support this is a) online donations b) regular giving from a congregation of less than 20 people in a deprived area.

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SoNoMu (Sound Noise Music) is a mastodon instance for musicians, sound-artists, producers of any kind of aural noise, songwriters, bedroom producers, sonic manglers and algorave livecoders. -> more...