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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. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Intensity in ten cities...

...is what the next few weeks are going to be like. Between rehearsing for Tania's concert (and my premiere) and Lacy and I arranging a set list for the 3rd of August for our first full length show AND working on the last touches of the film score, I may go insane. But, the good kind of insane. Luckily, I can sort of organize my thoughts in my spare time here.

Today, after Harry Potter 7 part 2, I worked with Lacy on the set list and deciding which ones we would do electric with laptops and which ones we would do acoustic. We've arranged with Wayne, the organizer of both Bar 82's and Banjo Jim's open mics, a full 40 minute set on the night of August 3rd at Bar 82. It's exciting to take this project to the next level now. Plus it's been a long time since I've played that long of set with a band...I mean, I played with Teletextile back in November but I believe that was only 30 minutes and I only played and sang on about 3 of the songs out of 5 that we did. I'm remembering the days with Brilliance as a Fashion and with Buggstar, though, rehearsing for shows and working out logistics of set lists and things like that and I didn't realize how much I missed it, the excitement of presenting all the work you've done, pieceing it all together into a cohesive whole.

Intense though today was. I had to scarf down dinner after that rehearsal and pack up all of my electronic equipment to head to Queens to rehearse with Tania for the electronics and piano piece, now being called "Moon, Tides, Cycles." I'm going to post program notes to it eventually once I get a recording of the new performance. Here's a link, for those interested, to how I'm setting everything up with the Macbook and my mic, interface and keyboard.

Anyway, we had a few good run-throughs and then I had to truck it on over to the Chelsea Market for work at NY1, the trains running all screwed up in normal weekend fashion. (Tania's apartment and studio are right off the E train in Queens at 23rd St./Ely Ave, yet the first train to come was the F, allegedly running on the E line until West 4th, which would have gotten me straight to work at 14th Street/8th Ave with no connections. Yet, the F was actually running, not as advertised on its regular track after 5th Ave/53rd Street...so I had to take the L at 14th Street one extra stop). Dizzying I know. But luckily the train came as soon as I hit the L train platform at 14th Street/6th Ave.

So things all together felt much smoother than my day on Friday, when, though I began my day with a perfect sans spatula flip of my eggs without breaking the yolks, all hell broke loose. I was planning on buying Harry Potter tickets using a Groupon and then packing all of my stuff together for work, including my equipmnent, so that I could head straight to Queens for rehearsal with Tania right after I left work at 8pm. I would have gotten there way too early and needed to kill time but it would have been better than going all the way back to Brooklyn to get my stuff...which ironically is what I ended up having to do anyway. I was all set to get the movie tickets for just $2 a piece with the Groupon codes but I wasn't sure if Fandango would let me use both Groupon codes a the same time so I figured I'd just buy them separately. After hitting back on my browser though, I forgot to reset the correct date in the date field and ended up buying a ticket for Friday's matinee. So, with an hour before I had to be at work, I now needed to somehow manage go by the theater in downtown Brooklyn and exchange the ticket. The sooner the better they told me. And then I had to still buy the second ticket and hope the show wouldn't sell out before I could get to a computer again. In all this frenzy, I thought I already had everything packed: lunch, laptop, keyboard, cables, microphone, stand, etc. Until I got to work (late because of the effing 2 train being stuck for 10 minutes on the track), I didn't realize that the audio interface was still sitting at home plugged into my PC. This set up of mine will not function without an audio interface. Even if I could plug the mic directly into the computer it's a condensor mic and needs phantom power to operate. So, I cursed for a while and then realized that I'd have to just leave on time and pickup the 15 minutes I'd missed, being late, on another work day, and head home to Brooklyn. First, I decided that I wasn't going to drag the keyboard and laptop all the way home and then back so I left them at work to come pick up later. Since the E train was actually running on its proper track I would only need to take one train from work to her place in Queens. And wouldn't you know it, I got home and back to work in just an hour and 15 and, after leaving work with the rest of my equipment, that put me in Queens squarely on time. All that fuss and everything still worked out.

There's a lesson here I think. Barely anything will go as planned. Not to diminsh the importance of planning, it's probably also a good idea to know how to improvise.

Simultaneously, the film score is coming together quite nicely. Tonight I just saw the first piece of the film, an opening scene. Ideas are pouring out of my head and can barely write them down fast enough. Most of them revolve around taking the Oud performances and sampling them and layering them in the background along with other ethereal sounds like sampled vocals from the Muslim call to prayer we've been using for the full piece. But also, I'm considering some music bed for the opening scene I just saw which centers around a press conference held in 2015 about the new law that is put in effect requiring all Arab Americans to be registered with the government. Soon we will have the animation timeline that follows and at that point we'll start to see the whole thing come together. We may or may not need another studio day. I'll keep you all up to date on it.

For now, I have to work on getting all those ideas in print before they disappear.

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