Grades are in!

I finished my first 2 classes at Berklee School of Music. The classes, instruction, materials, information provided and my classmates were all top notch. I’m very happy with the experience and I’m extremely excited to dive in to my degree in earnest. This is going to be a great ride. 

I did well in both classes, too! Bonus. 

  • Developing Your Artisty : A
  • Film Scoring 101 : A-

I’m going to count on this momentum to continue. 

Moving Forward

I’m using what I learned in class. Novel concert, I know. But, I’m moving toward the goal once again. I’m collaborating, networking and doing everything I can to get a little bit more, a little closer to that dream. 

I can taste it again. Let’s do this. 

A New Song

I say things like, “I haven’t written anything in forever”. But I don’t really mean it. What I really mean is that I haven’t sat down at the computer, turned on Sibelius and composed a song from beginning to end. What I’m not saying is that I’ve been practicing guitar and piano and tinkering around with melodies on both. And while I have nothing that I would feel comfortable sharing, I have in fact added a few tunes to my library.

On the other hand, I have actually written a short song in the aforementioned requisite format for me to consider it “writing a song”. It’s a short track that I wrote while showing off for someone. She was appropriately mystified at my gift of music. Truth be told, I was too. It was composed without editing or correction of any type, save 2 measures. There is something about writing a song out like this that creates an unearned yet undeniably strong attachment.

Melancholy in C Minor

Only 16 Measures To Go

I’ve spent the last 3 days scoring the first episode of Princess Zolara and all I can say is [EXPLETIVE DELETED] YEAH!

Thanks to Armand for allowing me to stretch myself on his project. He created a film that shouted at me with audio imagery. “PLAY THIS! RIGHT NOW!” it screamed in my head. And I just had to. This score really breathed life into itself. And it is, today, the work I am most proud of.

Not only am I extremely happy with the resulting body of work, but I am also thoroughly satisfied with all the learning I had to do to make this possible. I have never used hit points and the film score plugins in Sibelius before. I have to say that they are pretty slick; easy to learn and powerful. I may have to take a class or ask around on some of the higher functions of these, but for now, I’m pumped to have learned so much in 3 days.

I don’t have a preview of the music, as it’s getting very close to the final project which will debut at Phoenix Comicon in 2 weeks. I don’t want to tip my hand. You’ll just have to come see it!

Movies and Scores

Armand and his ace team of actors and technicians has finished shooting the dailies for Princess Zolara. I’ll start scoring them very soon. Probably today. I’m getting excited all over again.

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Sure it’s only been a few days since I’ve cracked open this particular project, but it’s nice to come back to something that is so fresh and new and exciting to me. I loathe to call it “work”, because I’m having such fun on this project. Everyone on the project has such a great attitude and responds so well to each other in terms of support and creativity, that it feels more like just a bunch of buddies doing something fun. Which, I get, was Armand’s intention all along. Well, goal achieved, Good Sir.

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I have yet to look at the dailies, but when I do get the chance to see them, I’ll be working on giving emotional depth the the piece. A scene might need loneliness or rage; neither hard to do per se. The problem, if it can be said to be a problem, is in doing it in such a short amount of time, both in the project and on the screen. We only have 2 weeks to complete this short, and the film itself is only 5 minutes.

Having only 2 weeks to work on the project is a curse and a blessing. On one side, it keeps me focused and diligently working every day for the next week, or however long I have before music is due. Longer projects have a tendency to lose momentum; this one won’t. On the other hand, 1 week to score isn’t much time. Sure it’s only 5 minutes (we’ll talk about the issues that raises later), but come 1 week, no matter what I have actually completed and polished, I’m done. That’s it. No time to go back and edit. When it’s “done” it’s done.

Let’s talk about the brevity of the film. 5 minutes seems like a short time, and it is, agreed. But, often times, these quick projects present the toughest challenges. When I have 3 or 5 minutes to convey an emotion i can create music that builds and takes the listener on a journey. But in a film that is 5 minutes in totality, I may only have 30 seconds to do the same thing. Likely I’ll have less.  So every idea has to be condensed into it’s purest form and presented without preamble. This isn’t impossible, but it is definitely a deviation from my typical method of easing the listener into the emotion I want him/her to experience.

Challenges are what make all this worthwhile to me. Perhaps I should say, it’s one of the things. If it were easy, I’d have lost interest some time ago. All I can do is forge ahead on each project, keeping in mind the obstacles, and devise clever solutions around, over, or even right through them.