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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 20, 2013

Doldrums...

Yes, it's summer.  Yes, there's a heat wave.  Let's get that out of the way.  I've been so exhausted I barely have any energy left to rant about how it's just now occurring to me, after having a ceiling fan installed in my living room, that the A/C unit we have is just not powerful enough to cool this apartment.  It reads what I think, or must assume is, ambient temperature and currently it says 89 degrees.  It feels slightly cooler than outside in here so I don't understand where it's reading that temperature.  I round up and that says 90 to me.  At this point, I really can't even have a sheet on me in my bed because it's so so hot in my room.  The situation is that the A/C can only be plugged into one outlet due to the old wiring in the apartment.  One breaker is wired just for the room where the A/C unit is and the other breaker is for everything else.  We found this out over a year ago the first time we tried to toast and microwave at the same time and I had to tumble down 4 flights of stairs to the basement to trip our breakers.

So, that's where I'm at as I come back from Manhattan at 2 in the morning and start thinking about trying to sleep in this.  I know it happens every year but it just sucks.  And I know I'll feel different when we hit that week where the temperature drops to the teens in January but we've got autumn between that and this so I'm not thinking about that right now.  I am thinking about another A/C unit with a higher BTU than our current.  And the great music I just saw tonight at Rockwood.  Mieka Pauley again.  I think I'm in love...or something like it. 

But, that's not what I want to talk about tonight.  I'm finally writing again.  For a film that the director I worked with last year just sprung on me.  At the moment all I'm doing is developing a theme for the main character in a quirky dark comedy with nothing to go on but the script and a few youtube links with music he'd like it to sound like.  I'm struggling with something though. Often, as a film composer, or a composer in general, I get asked to compose something that sounds like [insert style, genre, specific song here].  My question is always "how do I do that and still be original?"  Don't get me wrong.  I can emulate with the best of them.  Comes from having experience singing, piano-ing and guitar-ing in a very wide range of styles and having a freaking masters degree in music composition.  But some days I just want to write what I want to write and have the director say "yes, that!  Keep that shit coming! More of that Tim Daoust signature shit!" Instead of having them say, "can you make it sound like [insert style, genre, specific song here]?"  

It makes we wanna shake them and say, "let me do my freaking job for Chrissake!"  But I know that would be unprofessional and that I should really center myself and ask, the question I just posited in the last paragraph: "how do I do that and still be original?"  I know I can do it.  I did it here with the help of the inimitable Crystal Bright on the accordion.  A director wanted accordion music à la the Amélie Soundtrack for his production reel so I picked this song to sort of model it after.  And I think I did pretty well plus I put my own rock edge into it (listen around 1:28).  So, now I need to figure out how to do something along these lines for the current project.  And it hit me the other day, that yeah, I can do this so stop being such a sour puss about it.  It's a challenge in its own rite and if I put myself in the right mindset, it could certainly be a worthy one.  I don't always have to be working on a project where I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing. After all, this is all work for hire stuff.  Of course, to some extent, I'm going to have to bow to the desires of whomever I'm working for.  And it may be years before I meet a director who likes my stuff and seeks me out for it instead of just liking working with me and knowing I can emulate what they want.

It does sort of bring me down sometimes though.  I get to thinking, "am I ever going to get to where I'm writing film music that's highly personal and unique to me if I keep writing for people who just want it to sound like their favorite music?"  I'm sure every film composer in the history of film composers have asked this question, on down to John Williams himself (sorry, I just went with one of the most recognizable film composers there).  I'm sure he had to compose a bunch of stuff that wasn't unique to him first before composing the stuff he's known for and, in fact, probably sought out for.  Or did he?  I'll have to ask him sometime.

Anyway, it's late and I'm rambling and I wish I lived alone so I could sit down at the piano right now.  As it stands, it'll be a few days before I can do so again.  So much work, plus Lacy and I are gearing up for the great city of Philadelphia next week.  More on that later.  Good night kids!

1 comment:

  1. Never give up on your dream of being uniquely you and true to yourself. I believe in you!

    ReplyDelete