Monday, November 26, 2007

Hump (the noun, not the verb)

So anyway, I'm stuck; paralyzed by a wretched combination of my own ineptitude, insecurity, and a highly refined sense of procrastination. It's right in front of me...all I need to do is start. So why can't I? Am I so rusty? Is the task that daunting? Is there some cosmic misalignment of the stars that's keeping me from diving in head first and just doing it already? I suppose a mental kick in the ass might be in order. But as has been the case with most things throughout my life, it would likely only serve to enhance my rage, bring about my general ire and disdain for said "kicker", and bring out my other highly refined sense of defiance.

I'm speaking of course, about writing something. Not just anything, but tackling that little annoyance that's been tickling the obscure, inner-most depths of my noodle for oh so long now; killing my white whale, if you will (you know, I still haven't read Moby Dick, but at least I comprehend the analogy). I'm talking about transcribing Section 8 from a band piece to an orchestral piece. For those of you that are now completely lost (which should be everyone but Brad), I composed this insane piece (no pun intended) called Section 8 for large wind ensemble with extended percussion section my last two years at Western.

It's not bad, I'm actually rather proud of it overall. The problem is that even most seasoned professional players would look at some areas and quip, "Are you fucking serious?!". Brad likes to subtitle it something to the effect of Horns Too Fucking High. It's somewhat of an exaggeration to be certain, but I'll admit, I think there are a couple of places where I transposed the wrong way. Dr. Mathews at Western took one look at the trombone parts and sort of chuckled, and then remarked, "Who's going to be playing this?!" To which I answered, rather boldly, "We are!" [Another chuckle...more of a snort actually]. To which he retorted, "Where do they breathe?!" To which, again, rather boldly I pointed out, "" (Just imagine a score in your mind with a lot of black in the bones). After a good belly laugh, he responded with, "Maybe in Chicago, but not here!" To top it off, our band director more or less chicken-shitted out of it after a couple of read-throughs (ok, so it doesn't maintain a constant time signature for more than a measure or two at a time - and most of those are odd meters).

I know what my problem is...aside from a genetic disposition towards laziness, it's that I know that as I'm going along, I'll have a million-and-one ideas for changes and/or additions. And quite frankly, the prospect is a bit overwhelming. I still have over half, no fuck that, two-thirds (minimum) of my repertoire to transcribe into Sibelius. But that's just inputting notes, i.e. little in the way of new creative output. Then again, one could argue (one being me, that is) that it's that "new creative output" that's putting me off to begin with. I'm cold (figuratively and literally - it's freezing in my basement). I've been "out of the game" as it were for so long that I honestly think I'm a little afraid that I've forgotten what I'm doing.

Maybe I need to set a goal. Goal setting in general is supposed to be productive for most people, although for me, in the past, it's included such dismal failures as "exercise more" and "get out to see Dad more than just on Memorial Day". Again, I'm back to mental ass-kicking. That's not an invitation to anyone out there, I'm just trying to use this post to psych myself feel free to fuck-off should the urge strike to throw in your 2 cents (relating is fine however). So I just need to get over that hump. Alright, what the hell, my goal is that by the end of the month I'll have made a sizable start on my transcription/re-orchestration/re-imagining (whatever the fuck you want to call it). Anyone want to get a pool going? How long before this whole thing goes down in oh so glorious flames of failure? And here I am claiming to be an incurable optimist! Maybe it would be more fun (an possibly more productive) to find all the typos (and what not) in this post...I can't feel my fingers from the cold at this point, I'm bound to have made a few...