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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, July 30, 2011

Casual reminders on a Saturday evening...

I live in New York City. Occasionally, I feel like I need to remind myself of how awesome that is. Just to keep myself going. As a kid at 17 coming here for the first time, the trip was followed by weeks if not months of dreaming that I'd one day be living here as an adult. Now I'm here and sometimes I just let life go on and get wrapped up in whatever problem I'm trying to solve. I get overwhelmed, obsessed with outcomes and altogether befuddled. Then, I recall that at least one good thing is going on. I'm living somewhere I've always wanted to live and I'm doing what I love. Sometimes I'd like to tell that wide-eyed kid what eventually happens to him.

Still in the afterglow of the concert and all the response we received, and today Tania posted the first review. I read it with great anticipation, trying to discipline myself not to jump ahead to where the reviewer talked about my piece but after about five paragraphs of the reviewer expounding on various things, I did it. I skipped ahead to my paragraph. It's the ninth one down in case you want to do the same. But do read all of it eventually. It's important to note that the idea of shaking up the paradigm of traditional classical music recitals in order to reach a younger audience was not lost on the reviewer...nor was it wholly frowned upon.

It's a great partnership brewing between Tania and myself and all the other composers and musicians I'm meeting through her. We are considering doing the same program again somewhere else in the fall. And I plan on writing more for Tania and eventually commissioning her to record some things of mine. All in good time though. All in good time.

She's off to Holland for the Holland Music Sessions Summer Academy for a bit and then off to Bulgaria for a bit as well. You'll know more when I know more.

Meanwhile, other than Lacy's show (for which we will have our last rehearsal tomorrow), the next big thing to wrap up is the music for Mohammad's film. The interesting thing is that we're working with music that has already been written and trying to make it conform to several ideas that he previously had about the structure of the video portion of this particular segment. If I haven't mentioned, it's a video timeline of events leading up to the beginning of the story, sort of an exposition, if you will. The music was going to be all Oud, and then some audio from a call to prayer which would line up with the dramatic reveal at the end of the animation. In my boredom waiting for the oud player to arrive on the scene, I came up with an electronic part inspired by the script and the setting of the film (the subway on the Manhattan bridge). I incorporated not only electronic drums in a slow 12/8 beat and a low droning ostinato string part, but actual audio from the subway trains screeching to a halt and bumping sounds made by the train as it crosses the railroad ties which I incorporated into the rhythm of the drum part. This whole thing may end up being the score for the trailer and only a small part of it may end up in the film but we'll see. Anyway, it's always fun to see how different an end product you can get based on whether the piece is cut to music or the music is composed to fit a finished cut of the video. I love this part of the process. The bouncing ideas off each other, the constant revisions, the honing of it all. Most might get frustrated in this stage but I tend to get more frustrated at the beginning before the ideas start to flow. Once I have an idea it's like I finally got the car started and can just start driving. Even if I get stuck in traffic at least I'm not still stuck where I started. Being stuck in traffic, I can at least turn off on a side road if I need to.

At the risk of exhausting my metaphor I think I'll end here. Gotta get some sleep at some point. I think we're going to try for another recording session next weekend and then get the ball rolling on a final cut of everything. Talk soon!

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