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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New piece

Day after Christmas. Since I last blogged we did get our wallop of snow, right after I did the overnight shift Friday night. I woke up out of my 7 hour afternoon nap around 3:30 and looked out to see it had started. It didn't let up all day or night and it was quite a sight. By nighttime it had become a beautiful, fluffy and sparkly kind of snow that blew into artful looking snow drifts up and down the streets. I went to two separate parties, one in Astoria with friends of Karishma and then another back in the adjacent neighborhood of Park Slope with a friend from church. Trains were running slower and trudging was the watchword street level.

Both parties were great fun and I got to meet some new people at both. The second one entailed playing rock band with people I had just met...which is usually fun. That night was no exception.

The next morning, no one had mentioned to me that the choir would not be singing in church and would be using their rehearsal time to work on music for the Christmas Eve service, the service I could not sing in due to my inability to attend rehearsals. Maybe next year. Either way, I was really wishing I could have slept in after all of that gallivanting around Saturday night. But it happens and it was still a good service despite not singing with the choir. Four of us, in fact, sat together in the pews and sang in parts to the startlement of those around us who weren't expecting us to be wedged into the congregation as such.

I'm still poking at the piece of music that I'm composing for the ensemble. It's all for lack of inspiration at the moment. I decided to compose something like an Alleluia and I have an opening motive and some rhythmic motives and a basic structure in mind...but it's always the same. You hear it in your head when you're in one place, far away from instruments or paper and the only thing that remains of it when you finally do get paper or an instrument is the basic rhythmic idea. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes you just have to accept that certain ideas never make it out of your head entirely before their corrupted or altered by time and the infinity of variation that abounds in the trials of writing but that corruption and alteration can often lead to something far more inspiring than what came before. This is all, of course, relative and opinionated. Like, how do I know it's more inspiring than my original idea? All I'm really trying to say is that your first idea, the purest idea that's in your head and the onset of musical inspiration, almost never comes out like you thought it would in that moment. I suppose it's more important that something does come out at all.

It's not as though I have complete and total writer's block though. I'm happy to report, in fact, that I spent the better part of the past few days diving back into a minimalist piece that I started months ago in Astoria. I set a teapot down on my cousin's stove top and the water splashing around inside made the most amazing rhythm...or at least the start of the most amazing rhythm and I finished out the rest of it in my head and while patting it out on my thighs and chest (this is something I do, probably to the complete vexation of those who spend a great deal of time around me). After letting some melodies and rhythmic ideas bounce around my head for a part of that afternoon, I did the most rudimentary of pre compositional planning and even composed some of it but left it sitting for the entire summer. Now I've extended it, come up with new ideas and even revamped my original idea for orchestration to include electric guitar and some electronics (samples and a drum track). This should be fun. I think I'm going to shoot for a healthy length and submit it to the Bang on a Can festival...the deadline is January 15th. That's close but hey, I'm pretty inspired now.

At any rate, the snow, which was actually mostly gray slush and desultory piles of crunch by mid week this week, is all melting now with the rain coming in now. I got loads of work next week at both jobs and I'm spending New Year's Eve working the overnight shift. Hopefully, I'll find some way to get it all of my work done on this piece.

With that, I'm going to go and probably do a little more work on it. Good night.

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