I said it. I feel like I’m a pretend artist, like I’ve painted a picture it’s impossible to move into. When I actually sit down and write, however, the notes often flow freer than my thoughts about them.
The anticipation of what others will say, and my own perceived lack of ability paralyze me.
Last March Alan Silvestri, one of the most celebrated film composers, visited us at Berklee and shared with us how he is terrified before every film he scores. This is the guy who scored Forest Gump, Back to the Future, and Cast Away, and is now working on Captain America. This both shocked and exhilarated me. None of this is new to me, my fear of my own ability, but since being here in LA for these few weeks, I’ve re-confronted my thoughts about this field I’m venturing into.
It is so fast, and so few make it. We have workshops with successful industry professionals as we go along here, and they are more concentrated, small versions of what often takes place at Berklee. I feel so intimidated by the mountains they place in front of us and say, “You’ll have to climb this or find one of the rare ways around it.” I continue to get the sense, however, that what I will be a part of is a new thing, and something totally led by God. One amazing thing resulting from this crazy season of my life is I am clinging for life to the promises of God.
Whatever doors he opens I will walk through. They might be small, big, or unexpected, but I shall walk.
If only I can convince my brain to follow this truth and live in it.
Here I present to you my latest school project which left me asking, “Am I really making this right now?” It was a lot of fun. I got my husband Ryan in on the action as the voice actor for all the characters.
This was my final project for my class Digital Narrative Theory and Practice which coincides with my video game scoring minor at Berklee. (Hence the video game themed choice of project) It’s been an enjoyable time as I revisit topics and ideas I studied heavily in my previous Bachelors Degree.
This short film is what is called machinima which is something I knew nothing about until this class. It’s footage from actual Nintendo 64 game play which I ported onto my computer and then edited together. Add Ryan’s hilarious character acting ability, and you get this: a moderately well done, amateur, short film.
It was amazing revisiting the video games of my childhood…
Here is a project a recently created for a class I’m in called Digital Narrative Theory and Practice. The class has been so much fun for me and often touches on topics I studied in my previous Bachelor’s degree at Florida Atlantic University. We speak a lot about what ‘new media’ is and so this project uses just that. We had to present a classic fairy tale in some form of new media. It was a fairly open ended project and this is mine; the story told as if each character had a Facebook page. Cinderella was always my favorite…
My brother Corey visited us recently, and on this trip Andrew Bird happened to be doing a workshop at Berklee. Since Corey looks so hipster, getting him in the door was no problem. I’ve always liked his music, but didn’t really know what to expect from him as a person. He played songs and then began to answer questions from the audience.
This post isn’t really about Andrew Bird, it’s about the culmination of some thoughts of mine. Andrew said at one point that songwriting is always there like your old friend… and that we should never have an excuse to be bored. He marveled that his job was to be creative and daydream. I forget to marvel through all of my music schooling. I have projects to make and checklists to check off. I feel like an inferior musician, but forget to realize that’s because I’m going to one of the best music schools in the world. Of course there are way better players than me, I’m trying to learn how to write!
What I loved about Bird was that he also went to music school. He used what he learned and came out on the other side with his own agenda and his own specific skill set. I’m just frustrated sometimes as I try to navigate being creative, and becoming a professional musician, and learning all of these things at one time…
Ryan and I are about to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary on Wednesday. (aaaawww) We went to the cape this weekend on a little getaway thanks to Ryan’s Mom (thanks Mom!) There was much revelry, romance, movie watching, and beaches. Here’s a little slice of our trip…
In other news…
School at Berklee is good. I am studying music theory constantly.
I’m working a newish job at my school where I am a media content assistant. I am doing fun things as well as getting the chance to learn some new software like photoshop, dreamweaver, and final cut.
I’m trying to strike the balance between being a great musician as a writer and a player/singer. I have been focusing so much on writing and learning the fundamentals in my classes that I am trying to swing the pendulum back toward practicing more, and playing more excellent.
The hole in my heart where worship leading once sat has been growing increasingly large lately. I still feel it is a part of my calling, and the longer I am at Berklee, the more I realize how important worship is. Music for no purpose, or selfish purposes is so fleeting.
I am trying to use this summer to get my large rear back in shape, so we’ll see how that pans out.
So my chronic problem of comparing myself to others has morphed into a different sort.
Dang it I thought i was rid of this embarrassing problem.
Now that I am a part of this music school filled with many talented people, I see what they are doing and feel, I don’t know if this is the right way to put it, but left out. I see a lot of my new friends/acquaintances/classmates gigging a lot and getting involved in sweet ensembles and such. I need to keep reminding myself (also why I am writing this so I can continue to convince myself) that I am here with specific goals that are not going to manifest themselves immediately or even when I’m here. Film scoring is something I think will take the rest of my life or until God tells me to do something else. I’m not here to become a recording artist.
I’m weirded out by the whole performance thing though. Playing in churches for so long is so different from ‘performing.’ I’m finding that I have a lot to work on in that area and thus am not going to be as prepared for it nor should I be, because again it’s not my goal. I’m referring to singing and guitar because I have been playing a lot of cello lately which has been really cool. My wise peer adviser Karim gave me advice about comparing myself to the people at Berklee. I just need to let it drive me forward and not hold me back. It’s like this strange vice that holds me and has, in some form, always held me. And honestly it is good sometimes. I would be a slacker and mediocre otherwise.
The Soloist. How I have been anticipating this film. I was first drawn in by the preview and the cello playing. We went on Friday night and I was not disappointed.
The Soloist centers around the daily life of a newspaper reporter in Los Angeles, Steve Lopez. Steve encounters a homeless, schizophrenic, street musician, Nathaniel Ayers, and through a series of experiences with him becomes friends and both change because of it. (I won’t reveal any more of the plot)
Camera shots = very good. There were some artsy fancy shots in there, but it wasn’t the entire movie so you didn’t feel like you were watching super indie, artsy flick. I loved the close ups on the side characters. My interest was peaked at these characters. The director gave you just enough so you wondered about their life, but you never knew them beyond their screen time. Some very funny moments with them as well. Music = splendid. Of course the music was going to be good. There were great renditions of some really famous pieces by classic composers. The visualizations of the music really brought it to life. I especially like the scene where the orchestra is playing a Beethoven piece and the film keeps cutting to this scene of two doves flying about the city. The director wisely chose Dario Marionelli (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement), the master of writing original scores that sound old, for this film. His music seamlessly wove into the classic pieces to form a more solid movie score. Brilliant. I love him.
See this movie.
It feels like sitting on the beach with a Slurpee or curling up on a leather couch in flannel pajamas. It reminded me of when feathers leak out of my throw pillows and I play with them in my hand, or when the moon is huge and orange.