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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. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Massive update...

I've neglected to post a few fun things that I've done in the past few days along with a few general updates so I thought I'd write something.  The weekend was a busy one, between work, working on the score for the sci-fi short I'm doing, and a tiny bit of socializing, but also, Sunday was jam packed with musical stuff. 

While I did not sing for the Brooklyn Unitarian's Palm Sunday service, I did attend and it was well worth waking up early.  They sang selections from Handel's messiah with a full string orchestra, trumpets, tympani and harpsichord (played by my multi-talented choir director Bill Peek).  The piece, while known for being performed in religious settings was actually conceived as an oratorio.  Written in under a month the piece consists of three movements and, interestingly, was composed for a small ensemble at first and only later adapted for the large orchestras we're so accustomed to hearing perform the piece.  So Sunday's performance seemed fitting as it was a small choir and a small instrumental ensemble.  But the piece still moved me and felt powerful enough.  Sidebar, I'm not really religious in the traditional sense, so I can't say it was the subject matter of the piece.  The Hallelujah Chorus from the end of the second movement, though it's probably one of the most recognized choral works in the traditional repertoire, is still profound.  I think hearing it with such a small ensemble in such an intimate setting makes a difference too. 

On top of all of this, I'm proud of the Unitarian Church's choir, because they sounded amazing.  It's times like this that I wish I had all the time in the world to do everything.  I wanted to be up there singing with them.  To me, music is definitely a serious career but indeed, it is also a hobby.  And I wish I could always have opportunities to treat it as such.  Getting paid to write music is an amazing feeling and I've worked hard to achieve it.  But, rehearsing with an ensemble and performing beautiful music for the sake of it is something that I always will need and want in my life. 

After leaving church, I was headed to the Village to catch the extremely talented Tania Stavreva in a production of The Tempest put on by the Onomatopoeia Theater Company and my friend Thomas Gordon.  A friend from church was headed that way as well and agreed to have lunch with me.  She even suggested a place that happened to be right next to the Player's Theater where the performance was taking place.  It was called the Olive Tree Cafe. A great place with really great art on the walls, silent films being projected (Charlie Chaplin while I was eating there), and tables that could be drawn on with chalk.  Mostly Mediterranean food but it was good and it was good catching up with my friend before the play.  Since it was right next door, too, I was able to take my time with lunch.   

The performance incorporated modern elements (most notably casual nods to the setting, an office instead of a desert island, complete with references to the king of Mahattan and the Duchess of Brooklyn instead of Naples and Milan respectively) and music, performed by Tania Stavreva (some of it composed by her as well).  It was a lot of fun and the cast was great. 

Incidentally, as I was settling into my seat and the play was starting, someone popped into the door of the tiny theater room that I did not expect to see at all.  An old friend from graduate school, Rachel, who lives in Washington Heights now and whom I hardly ever get to see.  She knew someone in the play apparently.  So, that was really great getting to catch up with her after the show.

Part of the reason I came to the show was to finally give Tania the score to my new piece that we will be performing on May 10th at Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO at this show.  I'm incredibly psyched about that but also somewhat nervous.  It's going to be a logistical nightmare but if we can pull it off it should be rewarding.  As I may or may not have mentioned, there's going to be some pretty complex electronics for the piece.  Complex only logistically speaking.  I'm going to be looping Tania and she's going to play over top of herself.  In addition, I'm going to be performing triggering samples of her earlier performance, which I decided to capture at a rehearsal and not during the actual performance.  This will give me time to edit the samples and morph them however I see fit and then map them to my MIDI keyboard.  There's a program called Max/MSP that I used in graduate school that I could probably use to achieve these ends while performing live but I'd either have to program a patch myself or borrow someone else's patch.  For a later performance of the piece I may go this route.  God knows it'd be fun to delve back into Max/MSP, considering I haven't used it since the graduate school days.  Even then, I could barely program using it and was borrowing patches here and there.  I have a program by Native Instruments called Reaktor that is sort of similar, at least in some of its functionality and interfacing but in fact, very different, that I could also use but, to be honest, I've been so slammed lately that I've barely had time to learn how to use the latest piece of MIDI equipment I've bought, the FCB1010 MIDI footswitch.  I'm even writing a blog for the main webpage about the damn thing and I still haven't even finished that!

So, it's becoming clear to me that I need about 6 more hours in every day to fit in all the things I want to do with my life and my career.  Meanwhile, I've been plugging away at the score for the sci-fi short, having just finished the first set of ideas to pitch to the director to see if he likes where I'm going.  That means I get a little respite this evening because there's no point in working anymore until he's responded and let me know I'm either on the right track or way off.  I'm also meeting with the documentary filmmaker who's asked me to score her 90 minute documentary on trailblazing nuns.  That's tomorrow at 6pm. 

And on one final note, related to voice over, I finally got some more attention from voice123.com.  Someone asked me today to resubmit one of the auditions that I sent in yesterday.  They were looking for two more takes because the first, while they thought it was a good read, was a little flat to them.  Now I wait for their response to my resubmission.  Wish me luck with that.

When this is all over at the end of May and I have a little extra money in my pocket, I'm seriously buying a new desk chair because the one I'm currently sitting in as I type this causes me to slouch something awful and I have to deliberately tell myself to sit up every five minutes.  I'll leave you with this, though, the most recent fruits of my labor, the official Youtube release of the opening scene of the pilot episode of "The Life," complete with music by yours truly.  Good night for now!

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