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After a packed weekend of music-making with De Profundis (go buy tickets!), I’m now at St Pancras, waiting for a train to Paris to go to the European Lisp Symposium, where I’ll be presenting my work (with Jan Moringen and David Lichteblau) on generalizer metaobjects. I’m looking forward to the event: it’s being held at IRCAM, which as an institution neatly combines two of my interests (computing and music) – there’s going to be a special session on Tuesday on Lisp and composition, though I might try to participate and broaden it a bit to talk about some of our current problems and approaches in Transforming Musicology.

I’m not (yet) looking forward to my talk. Over the next few hours, I’m going to be putting to the test my current belief that I am most productive on trains, because I haven’t yet written my talk, and it turns out that I am in the first session tomorow morning. (I know, I know, this is the sound of the world’s tiniest violin). 2h20 should be enough fo anyone.

The flip side of the stress of being first is the ability to enjoy the rest of the symposium without the stress of an upcoming presentation hanging over me – as well as the ability to ask nasty difficult and probing questions without too much fear of instant reprisal. (I suppose that by putting this out there before the talk I open myself up to pre-reprisals; all I can say is that I welcome a constructive and robust exchange of views: there is definitely more work to be done in the world of extended dispatch, and suggestions will be welcome.)

And of course it will be good to meet up with a community of like-minded people; I may not be highly active in the Lisp world these days (though I have been making an effort to be more engaged with at least the SBCL team for more than the one day a month of release activity, and it’s been fun to watch the ARM port progress on #sbcl) but I retain a good helping of interest in what’s going on, and it will be great to meet up with old friends and maybe even to make new ones. (Registration got to the room capacity very quickly, and hopefully the overflow room will have a good atmosphere too). Hopefully the conversations I have and ideas generated will mean that I have a productive train ride back, too!