Monthly Archives: December 2012

I feel like I’m floating, floating, and lost sight of the ground.  It’s amazing, but at the same time, I keep worrying what will happen if I fall…I don’t know whether the ground is even beneath me anymore.  Does the old me even exist anymore?  I feel like the old me would know what to do.  Or not do.  Well, I guess every struggle like this brings with it artistic inspirations…I can already imagine drawings in my head…

It’s not quite like that with music though.  When I imagine particular feelings or emotions or struggles, I can’t directly translate that into music.  I feel like it’s harder to make that sort of direct association.  Yes, on a basic level, I can make “sad music” if I’m sad, but that’s so much less direct of a connection than if I were to draw something about the particular -kind- of sadness that I feel.  I think that’s one of the things that interests me about visual art.

I feel like with music, my songs “speak more” by themselves.  They have their own sort of emotion embedded within them that appears, or is discovered.  I’m working on a song now that started off as something sort of “interesting”, and a little pentatonic, with a slight asian flavor, perhaps.  But then the song just erupts into this soaring, soaring, soaring piece, and that wasn’t me at all–it was just the song and what it wanted to do.  And of course I’m not going to fight against that at all, that would be silly.  My only job when I come into contact with the “feelings of the song” like that is to let it express itself as best as I can, and to give it the right structure and means to express itself.

I think a lot of that is my OHC training and just the way that I’ve learned to make music.  I think it’s possible to draw that way too, but I don’t know if that’s better or worse, or what that would feel like.

When I release my social dance album, of course I would want lots of people to come to the release party dance, and to have fun, and enjoy themselves, and think that the music is really awesome, and I want my music to spread and be played at other events, and everything like that.  But I think, past all of those shallow wishes, I also wish very music for my music to be understood.  I realize that my music probably won’t be understood to have the same meaning that I understand them with, and that’s okay.  It’s a little sad, but that’s okay.  As long as it’s still understood.  After all, who am I to question it if someone derives some equally valid, equally meaningful feeling out of my song that happens to be different than the one I feel?  There are certain songs that I feel like I would want to push my own message on, like Together, because it’s really important to me.  But for other songs, there isn’t a need for me to do that, and besides, I wouldn’t be able to anyways.  I can’t make you feel the same way that I can when I hear my songs, I just can’t!

I feel like when this dance does happen, I won’t actually dance a lot of the dances.  Some of them, perhaps, but most of them probably not.  The feelings that I get out of just sitting there and listening to the music, I think, is just more than what I would get out of dancing to them.  I don’t want to worry about dancing and moves and partnering and all that.  I just want to listen to my music, and watch you all as you experience it too.  It’s me sharing it with you.  It’s different than the relationship between performer and audience because I’m not performing the music, but in a way, I prefer it, because you’re not judging my performance, you’re just judging my work.  It’s the same as looking at who I am, rather than what I’m doing.

But god ^$#@, I am going to make it happen.  These songs are too beautiful not to be shared.

I know they call it the “real world”, but sheesh…it feels so surreal sometimes.  My life seemed more grounded back before I graduated, I think.  I guess it makes sense though.

It’s so =dangerous= though.  Having all these things that I feel like could slip from my fingers.  I think just, not having a “reserve buffer” makes me feel inherently uneasy.  That’s not the only thing that stresses me out though, not at all, because I know I’ve also been stressing out about just being a better person…

Somehow I feel this nagging sense of IMPENDING DOOM or something.  And I don’t mean the 2012 thing.  I think I’ve just got too many things on my mind.  Being sick, work xmas party, Ludum Dare, drawing due Thursday, FF6 google+ hangout, FL remix gauntlet on OCR, Ludum Dare prep, work stuff, xmas present deliveries, shopping?, sewing machine, school loans, 9-bit winter album, collab project…

I don’t know if the right thing to do is to just not think about anything and clear my mind, or to knock things out so that I can feel more composed.  I guess it’s not as simple as either one of those, but more like both.  I think my plate is just more heavy than I would like to stand…I need to either clear some things away or actually eat them.

I guess, I should really just be careful, not to put so much stress on myself.  For everything.  Heh, it’s sort of genetic, I guess, but that doesn’t mean I can’t try and fight it anyways.

All the pressure really just comes from myself.  It’s fun to say that wow, why is everyone expecting so much out of me, but in actuality, they aren’t…it’s just me.

Let’s just take it a little bit easier.  Just a little bit–that’s all!

=====

First off, music is awesome.  That it can have the emotional impact on me that it does is just wonderful.

Drawing, if you grossly, grossly oversimplify it, can be divided into 2 parts, imaging and imagining what you want to draw, and then transferring that image onto the medium.  So, sketching from a reference would involve much less of the former than simply drawing up something new.

I wonder if you can apply the same (gross oversimplification) to music?  I mean, of course you can.  You imagine, hear, and think of what you want, and then you create it out.  Of course, in both drawing and music, sometimes it’s not such a separate process…sometimes the process of creating is used to inform the image as it’s coming into shape.  I don’t really get that “sense” as much in drawing (though I know it happens), but with music, I definitely feel that.  It’s maybe even more so with music, since I don’t start with any overall conception of the song, any guidelines or rough imaginings.  It’s as if I were to take a pencil and start at the upper-left hand corner of the page, and then draw a certain shape that I have in mind, or shade a certain texture that I am thinking about.  And then somehow from there I know what to put next to it, and then next to that, and eventually the whole picture is created.  Yeah, that would be a weird way to draw, though I guess it could be interesting.

Watching the video of me doing my latest OHC is actually just super interesting for me.  As I’m writing down the solo line especially, I really liked watching that part.  There’s never any stopping to think or anything, the music is just playing and then I’m putting down the notes, and the music is playing and I’m putting down notes…it’s pretty awesome!

“There is no such thing as integrity when the measure of it is relatively absent and irrelevant to morals and ethics. What is integrity but a word?  Sadly, many believe that to get ahead, one must abandon ethics and morals for a letter and a number.  When conscious choices are made to only get ahead by any means necessary, there is no need for a sense of self-worth because there is no longer achievement by diligence or hard work. There is no worthwhile meaning to self any longer.  A false sense of accomplishment accompanies these faux successes we call grades that we mistaken for learning. That is the true tragedy of American education, that students are no longer learners but simply people of a habit who have compromised potential, innate drive, and real passion for a letter that they think validates their worth and future. Even those who aspire for what they think is learning, unless they can try to espouse their actions to their speech, are only cheating themselves. They have bought into a lie that has told then that grand futures lie at the doors of admission and acceptance to prestigious universities and colleges. Truth be told, happiness lies much closer to home than they realize. Truth be told, freedom from the worship of the established lies right at their proverbial doorsteps. Truth be told, success is not the measure of what you can put on your resume but how comfortable you can be with the decisions you have made.  But they refuse to pay attention to the obvious and go for the vague, ambiguous thinking that  the air of mystery gives them an aura of intelligence. Ah, poor misguided souls, you are the one who lies to yourself.  You have sold your own sense of discovery  and traded it in for a number and a grade. You now have so many that if they were to be on a belt loop, you could probably circle the globe. But of what use is that when you are so bound you cannot see what the world has to offer?  You worship at the shrine of the established and you will find an unlistening god someday.  I cannot say these people are my people.  I miss the days when I know students try and try and try to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and succeed.  They may not go to the most prestigious colleges and universities, but they are real with themselves.”

From my favorite teacher.