Gods its been a while. Where to start?
Last semester was fantastic! I got to have music that I wrote performed publicly for the first time, and everyone (seemed to) love them! Best feeling in the world!
The holidays are always a kind of rough time, but they themselves went well enough. I enjoyed spending time with friends and family and got some really awesome shirts. They’re kinda like “men’s” dress shirts but shaped for a “female” body, complete with extra buttons to keep the shirt from puckering(?) around the chest.
And they come in flannel! For some reason I’ve found wearing flannel to be super affirming. I just love how I look and feel!
Then there was January. I hate January. All the cheer and excitement of the winter holidays is over and it’s just dark and cold.
January is when my father was dying. And even 22 years later, it still hurts. It will probably always hurt.
But I realized I’m not mourning him anymore. I was able to talk to Wakana about it completely dry-eyed… until I got to the impact it had on my relationship with my mother. Then I started crying.
Mom and I still don’t verbally acknowledge what time of year it is. There’s that kinda glance that we both know, an unspoken agreement not to talk about it. It makes me sad.
But we’ve come a long way and for that I’m incredibly grateful. She’s more and more of a friend, someone I can … maybe not quite confide in, but definitely talk to about things that are important to me. And she’s super supportive about the composing.
Speaking of, when I said “composing would be living” I was right! I’m absolutely loving it!
I used to watch movies and point to the credits when they list the composer and orchestrators and say “that’ll be me someday!” I thought it was a pipe dream, just a fun thing to imagine while working toward a “safe,” “stable” career.
Then the opportunity came to compose for an independent short film. It’s a shit ton of work for a student director under a tight deadline and it’s unpaid. I’ve never formally studied anything about composing for film, I’m just kinda making shit up as I go…
… and I’m loving every minute of it! It’s challenging and rewarding and so far the techniques I’ve been trying seem to work. (They’re probably not the most efficient, but hey, I’m learning!) I’m more confident than I think I’ve ever been about anything that I can make this score awesome. And it’s gonna be shown at film festivals, possibly internationally. People will hear my music! They’ll see my name in the credits! It could be the start of my dream career!
And you know what, even if it’s not, it’s a great experience. I’m turning out music faster than I thought possible. I’m almost constantly being inspired. I’m choosing my job over other potential activities because I genuinely enjoy it more.
And even as I’ve been sick with a horrible cold, I have my world-ending coughing fit and then pick up right where I’d left off composing. Honestly with all the classes and socialization I’ve missed, and just the distress of coughing so much and so hard (it’s physically forced me to start crying), I think this project is what’s been keeping me going. It’s something meaningful that I can do in bed between naps and feeling miserable.
It’s also teaching me to be less of a perfectionist because I’m writing for a client. He needs to like the music in order for it to be included in the film. So there’s not really much point to me making a piece perfect before sending it to him, just to risk him saying it doesn’t fit with his vision or whatever. It gives me permission to jot down ideas, try to express them clearly (damn notation is hard!), and get them to him asap. That makes it more of an open, collaborative process that enriches both our understanding of the film and our respective arts.
His last couple bits of feedback made my heart sing! It’s wonderful!