Hi. I'm Iain.

In the fall of 2015, I came up with a personal statement. It was a deliberately positive self-assessment, really. It goes like this:

I am an engaging speaker, polished writer, active listener, compassionate and supportive leader, technology enthusiast and power-user, devoted truth-teller, and relentless learner. I encourage open dialogue, collaboration and mutual learning, data-supported decision-making, and looking out for community. I’m good for morale. I strive for elegance in my personal conduct, my movements, and my problem solving. I’ve been crafting innovative, creative, and people-based solutions that integrate the heart and the head since 1983.

Far too long have I put off actually doing anything with this space. Time to change that just about now, little by little. Content is going to be a little more all over the place. I used to blog a couple of times a year about classical music under this domain name. I was far too self-conscious about clicking "publish", so it was far too irregular to draw any readership (that is, to be useful to anyone else) or to be a valuable writing exercise (that is, to be useful to me). I'll dig those posts up and revive them here, unedited. I'm curious to see what I used to think of as somehow representative.

The old site was hosted on Wordpress.com: nothing wrong with that, but I've since become interested in a more hands-on approach. This site is set up on Vultr VPS1 using Grav, a flat-file CMS whose development I've been following since last summer. I read a bunch of documentation pages and blog posts and Wikipedia pages about different content management/web publishing solutions. (There's no shortage of choice, regardless of whether you fancy a database, flat-file,or static site setup.)

My decision to revive my web presence with a flat-file instead of a static site setup was largely arbitrary.2 Electing to use Grav was not: with freakishly good documentation, a helpful and active forum where the lead developer himself routinely answers queries inside a couple of hours, and a friendly and rapidly growing community of users and developers, it was a no-brainer.

Current projects, in various states of progress: my dissertation on Die tote Stadt, tracking my personal finances using some command-line tool, tai chi (traditional Chen style, first and second forms), taking a stab at porting a theme to Grav (for this site, in fact), some language study (with duolingo and some radio programs, continuing to get Bach's C-minor Partita under my fingers, fiddling about with Python with the long-term goal of fiddling about with music21, and revising an essay on the role of the piano in modernist English novels.

Also, I'll gradually (probably never 100%) swap over my email to this domain so I can change providers without changing addresses. If you fancy dropping me a line, say hello@iainsgillis.com.

  1. Disclosure: that's an affiliate link. You sign up from there, I get $10 credit. 

  2. My decision to not use a database solution for my writing, however, was not. The simplicity, security, and portability of a files-and-folders system are all ace, and I was interested in learning how to use version control. Practically speaking, by way of example: trying to pull information out of WooCommerce tables for will-call lists for Cantilon Choirs isn't pleasant, and retrieving my old posts from a database shouldn't be a hassle. Philosophically speaking, I defer to this piece by Mandy Brown. (It's about Jekyll, but that's neither here nor there.)