It is a season of endings, and tonight, I had my very last session at the Berklee Film Scoring studio. It’s pretty much the closest I’ll get to ever going to Hogwarts because we use wands (batons). With any luck and divine providence I will get to keep doing this with my life.
I am feeling incredibly blessed, exhausted, and relieved after a massive project.
Huge shout out to my engineer Scott…That guy has gotten me through a large amount of projects in my Berklee career.
Now I am one step closer to admitting that I must pack up my entire house to move. Isn’t it easier just to throw all this stuff away?
I love remembering the small details of large events
I clutched my grande Starbucks coffee and arrived, needlessly, at 7AM. I laughed to myself, knowing this would happen. The perpetual punctual lady had found herself, yet again, in the throws of Berklee’s administration [de]organization. By this point that aspect of Berklee had become endearing to me, and I just sat in my robe and absorbed my caffeine with contentment.
The best way I’ve found, recently, to describe my last 3 years of Berklee is that it taught me things I didn’t know I needed to learn. In that way it made me a new and different person. I hadn’t known before what to study, learn, or do. What was before just a whisper has now become a full fledged burning passion. I just knew what I loved and that was the entry point. Berklee taught me how to participate in what I love in an unparalleled way. It was so strange to stand and wait on that cement floor with my dear friends and film scoring compatriots. Anything would have felt strange because I never expected how I would feel. Continue reading →
This has been one of my favorite projects I’ve ever done at Berklee. First of all, the game is so endearing it wasn’t hard to write cute, fitting music for it. The hand drawn art design of the game is a very inspiring world to live in. Secondly, it was refreshing to get outside of the orchestral world I’ve been trying to fit into for so long. I feel that writing orchestrally is a life long journey, and yet I have found how useful it is to stray away from that path sometimes.
This was my first time writing for solo trumpet and accordion. My friend Conor played a beautiful trumpet part. In an effort to make the music interactive I wrote multiple versions of the same track so that when the player enters the same environment again they don’t hear the same entrance over and over. I had Conor play his lines in multiple passes with different mutes. In mixing it I even combined them all into one track which created a terrific quirky trumpet sound.
Writing for accordion was a learning experience. I brought my accordion playing friend Donny into the studio with a part that was basically just notes and dynamics. He sat and showed me all the possible ways of playing with various stops in and out. I couldn’t believe the versatility of that instrument, and when I write for accordion again I will be able to notate more of what I want in the score.
I searched for a long time for sounds that would feel like they match the Steam Punk style of this world. I wanted actual steam which was easy enough to find and put in, but finding the right metal sounds took a while. I finally landed on using a sample of a prepared piano. A prepared piano is an instrument that has been altered on the inside to create something that sounds nothing like a real piano. There are metal pieces added to the strings, hammers, and innards. I quickly discovered that a prepared piano is sound design gold. The metal scrapes and boings are far more interesting than a simple metal anvil sound or even a knife clink. Because most people aren’t familiar with a prepared piano it is not easily distinguishable as one when it’s a part of a larger piece. I look forward to using this again in other scores that call for an industrial, metal sound.
There was no better project to end my short Berklee Video Game Scoring career. This was one of those complete successes where I did what I set out to do and even exceeded my own expectations. Here’s to hoping for more and more REAL projects like this one…
I am excited to share with you my latest project in the long stream of exciting projects I get to work on at Berklee. I am currently in the Advanced Video Game scoring class with Professor Michael Sweet. These classes are great, in particular, because we choose our own games to work on. This allows one to fill out their reels and get a sense of what it’s like to work on different genres that might be of interest.
Me explaining to my violinists that they should play “like their fingers were spider legs.”
Buffalo, NY: Last day of the road trip back to Boston
My Berklee classes start tomorrow and thus ends the Glorious Summer Adventure that was this past 4 months. I have found myself wondering over and over how I get to live this life? As sad as I am to say goodbye to my summer freedom, quiet contemplation time, and general state of being free, however, I am thrilled about my high level film scoring classes, and the incredible teams of people I get to collaborate with this year. Through jobs, and volunteering I find myself working with some of the most talented and competent people I’ve ever met.
I was just talking with Ryan tonight about what a blessing my communication degree, previous to Berklee, has been. I feel so equipped to shape organizations, teams, and projects from within, and effectively work with groups of professionals. What a privilege my education is. I am astounded that only 25% of American adults have a bachelor’s degree and I’m working on number 2. (maybe someday I’ll get to that master’s!) I feel an overwhelming peace in the busyness.
I relish the rich work and friend relationships I am blessed with. I am gearing up to write the best music I’ve ever written this year.
Last year as a Berklee student. Maybe my last year in Boston. Maybe my last year not being a parent.
This year will be the end of things, and hopefully filled with the best of things.
We have been in California for a few days now, and in a few short hours, I will be at Bear McCreary’s studio starting my internship.
We have been blessed beyond measure by our trip. It has brought many adventures, new things, arguments, excitement, and a sweet time of marriage building. It’s great to spend 4 days driving with your husband and be more in love with him at the end than the beginning. Our days were spent listening to Harry Potter audio books, searching for BBQ, chewing bubble gum, and singing the song Running on Empty by Jackson Browne.
California is a great place. The west coast does have a different rhythm and feel. This summer is all about us learning and growing more, and trying to see where we will live after I finish Berklee in a year. We’re still considering here as a possible home for a few years. We’ll see…
I am not taking my opportunities lightly and I feel incredibly blessed to be on such an adventure, working for an amazing composer, and seeing another part of the world.
This photo was taken yesterday as we happened upon the premiere of the movie Kung Fu Panda 2. We saw Brad Pitt, Anjolina Jolie, Seth Rogan, Danny McBride, James Hong, Dennis Haysbert, & Jean Cleade Van Damme!
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…
Ok the nights are creeping later and later, and writing this now isn’t helping, but I’m on an interweb roll this evening.
Tonight I had the privilege of producing a song for the first time. I got to work with the incredible Felix Peikli. I recently began volunteering with Jazz Revelation Records, Berklee’s student run jazz record label, to gain valuable experience. It’s been quite an adventure being thrown into the middle of a recording whirlwind, but I’m experiencing great things already.
I’m also procrastinating making a website which I know I am starting to need more and more… one of these days I will buckle down and do it.
I have my interview for the LA Internship program this Friday! Exciting times….
This has been one of the most difficult seasons of my life. The end of the fall colors into the colder temperature marks the point where the light at the end shines a bit brighter while the light outside shines dimmer. This semester feels like I just finished running two simultaneous marathons. I don’t even know how I’m a person right now. I’m not even done yet, but I’m feeling like I’ll be able to muster the strength for the last push of finals, proficiencies, music memorization, recordings, and being generally tested on many forms of performance. It’s a pressure I’ve become strangely used to and also strangely appreciate for its benefit.
When I complain again could someone please sit me down and remind me of these few months and tell me how good I have it? God bless Ryan for carrying me, and God bless it being Christmas time! My favorite time will only bring added joy. The welcome distraction of visitors over the last few weeks has been great, and as we get ready to say goodbye to Mark and Noelle tomorrow, I’m ready to buckle down.
I’ll see you on the other side…. that is, if I make it.
In one week I will have begun my first day of the new fall semester. I am looking forward and yet bracing myself for what should be one of the busiest seasons of my life. I reflect on this summer and realize that I haven’t done all the things I said I would do, but Ryan and I have had the summer of our lives. I’ll take the good with the bad. On the note of not following through… I am trying to move into a season of life where I finish what I start, do more or less of something when I say I will, and overall being more faithful to myself. I let myself down and am not consistently disciplined. I’ve wrote and thought about this a lot before, but this time I’m trying to attack the root of the problem. I’m realizing that it has to start with the Spiritual Disciplines. Staying in the Word, Fasting, and Actively engaging in community even when it’s uncomfortable. Every time I try to get in shape, practice / write music more, or even something silly like keep up with my photo albums, I fail miserably because I’m not grounded and disciplined enough in the ever important love relationship with my God.
So here’s to finishing what I start, using my gifts, serving others, being wise, and longing for eternity.
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.
I’m in a contemplative mood today so it is quite convenient that I found this nook at my school’s Cafe 939.
It is quite adorable and contemplativy.
I’m sitting here with my coffee, relieved that a huge project is turned in, and talking to my Dad on the phone. I think I’m genuinely one of those people who doesn’t take their families for granted. I might not talk to them as much as I should, but I sure know how blessed I am. I truly cannot believe I have them. Every moment with them is an extra blessing and there are so many who don’t have the same time or the same number of breaths…
I also spoke with my sister Sara about the song of hers I arranged for school (hence the turned in project). She wrote great lyrics and I rearranged the music. I love her so much. She is so grown up and loves the Lord so deeply. I feel as the older I get, the more I learn from her than she from me. The roles of childhood are so often reversed. My little brother Corey is a giant man now who beats me up and bosses me around, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So I settle into my new roles in the family as we all are in the morning of our adulthood. The distance is excruciating, but the love is increasing. At least for me it is.
I go home in a few short days. I’ll miss Sara, but I’ll see the rest of them including the giant puppies who I also deeply miss…. even the stupid cat.
Drew will make me giant lattes
Katie Bug and I will do a beach trip
and I’m sure there will be many other shenanigans and late nights…
I am in the middle of many final projects, scoring a film, starting a new job, trying (and failing) to get back in shape, and seeing Ryan every now and then… and why am I blogging?
I don’t know, maybe so you won’t stop reading? Maybe I just can’t get certain thoughts out any other way.
First day on the job at Berklee City Music today and it has been going well so far. I am the media content assistant which consists of many things all involving the internet :0] If you’re interested in what Berklee City Music is, check out the website here.
I am a water drinking failure… In every way. There have been at least two days this week when I looked back and realized I had not drank a drop of water.
Also I am an exercise failure… I had a whole plan to implement and now I feel it falling apart. Losing this last 10-12 pounds is seeming like an impossible goal. Pilates and running should not be that difficult, but for my lazy bones apparently it is. I’ll get back on the bandwagon and try again. It’s not even the weight on the scale that is my frustration, it’s just that weird ”my jeans don’t fit correctly” feeling.
I’m so excited! My orchestra, Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra is performing tonight. It should be a great show. I’ll be posting an update with pictures later :0] If you’re in the Boston area you should come out to First Church Boston at 8:00 pm…. Laters…