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My Journal

I'd like to welcome you to my journal, whether you found me randomly, through a friends page, or because we know each other outside the Internet. My friend's list is made up of a variety of people, running from Internet-only people I've never actually met to people I've known more than half my life, so this blog will cover a wide variety of areas relevant to me. Usually I post when there's something I want to tell more than one of my friends, and it's easier to just blog about it than wonder if I've told a particular person an item of news/interest.

All entries are subject to discussion, that's why I post them on the Internet. If I didn't want to talk about it with my friends, why would I bother? I invite anyone and everyone to comment whenever you wish. If you have my number you can call or text me too. :)

I'll try to put long and/or personal items under cuts, to spare your friends page, and because I imagine if you are, say, a gaming buddy or a friend of a friend, you probably don't want to read five pages about my innermost thoughts, or my views on The Universe and How It All Works.

I invite you into my humble virtual abode. Comment on this entry if you would like to be added as a friend.

Come and relax now, put your troubles down,
No need to bear the weight of your worries, here, let them all fall away.

Lots and Lots of Bitching

I hate Pro Tools.

Well, that's not true. When manipulating audio, it is a very comprehensive piece of software, and the interface really isn't that bad - it's just complicated because of all the features.

I hate using it to sequence MIDI. HATE.

I have spent two weeks struggling to write something that in other piece of software, would have taken me about 12 hours. Yesterday morning, I wrote a short theme in Reason; it took me about 4.5 hours to do 25 seconds of music, which is very reasonable in my opinion. I have used Ableton Live to do similar things in similar amounts of time.

So why am I using Pro Tools?

1) I am doing music for a 90-second movie. So I need something that can import/export Quicktime movie files.

2) I need to use Kontakt, which has the best orchestral samples of all the things I own. Kontakt is solely an instrument, which means it doesn't do sequencing, any more than my violin carries its own sheet music.

If I could somehow use Reason to control Kontakt, that would be absolutely wonderful; I like Reason's interface a great deal. But Reason doesn't use outside synthesizers. There is a probably a very complicated method for using Reason to control other synths while both are instantiated in other digital audio workstations, but I can't think of it quickly and figuring it out would take a lot of time (even if all I did was figure out it is completely impossible.)

That leave Pro Tools, Logic, and Digital Performer. I spent half of my wasted time last weekend trying to figure out routing in DP (unsuccessfully) since it does have some very nice film scoring tools that I DID figure out how to use. I've never used either DP or Logic before; it is probable that I might pick up a book on DP to peruse over the holidays, since that's the next time I'll have time to teach myself yet another piece of software. That doesn't help me right now, sadly.

Stupid, stupid Pro Tools. I am never, ever doing another predominately MIDI project in you again. Ever.

Also, I rather wish facebook still functioned the way it used to regarding networks. I'd really love to be able to post something to the Berklee network, perhaps about needing players or asking a question about software, and knowing that someone would actually see it and respond.
It looks like I'll be returning to school to finish my degree this fall, one way or another. Preliminary moves have been made towards both Berklee and UMass Boston.

First, about UMass: I got an acceptance letter yesterday, so now I have to a) find out what credits might transfer, and thus how many I have yet to take. I also have to find out what the instrumental performance requirements are for graduation, as well as final project requirements might be. Their music program looks solid, for a college of liberal arts. Which basically means that as far as my specific career goals go, I'm going to be more or less on my own. It looks like the majority of music faculty simply have a solid classical background. BUT it will be significantly cheaper than Berklee - student loans will more likely cover everything.

Also, in order to amuse myself, I'm looking into their honors program. Why not?

About Berklee: WANT. I pestered the Professional Music chair's assistant yesterday on changing my major (Professional Music is Berklee's "Make Your Own Major" program.) The chair himself is out this week, but I'm getting an appointment to speak to him some afternoon next week. The assistant was really helpful but I had specific questions like "I need an academic advisor. Here's the career path I want, who do I pester about advising me?" She didn't know specifically how and who, so she recommended I talk to the head of the department. She also pointed out I'd end up with 20 extra credits and that we should see if I can shoehorn it into a double major somehow (which I had actually originally planned to do, back in the day, before the CWP department kicked me out for sucking at jazz arranging.)

I didn't realize the major required more private lessons; I might be taking more violin lessons! They have a harp teacher now! I might be able to take harp lessons and play harp in an ensemble! The string department placed all their proficiency requirements online, so now I know what to aim for! Also included in the string department handbook was their grading policy, which made me feel so much better about myself; I averaged a solid B in private instruction, which the handbook tells me "Focuses on weaknesses and makes progress" and "Shows improvement of instrumental skills and musicianship" and that is nice good to hear. I worked as hard as I could, given that I was a writing major and had insane stage fright. I mean, crazy stage fright. The first thing I am going to ask for help on with my next instructor is how to deal with performance anxiety. Uncontrollable shaking is not fun AND makes it hard to play, which reinforces the anxiety.

And now there are so many AWESOME electives in Electronic Production and Design, even aside from the game electives. (Indian Music Concepts in Electronic Production! Mapping and Curves in Sonic Arts! SQUEE!)

On a depressing note, unless I can get work-study, or additional loans, I may not be able to get enough financial aid. We'll see.

I am now going to retreat into a creative, hyperactive fit of giggling. Hopefully I can hold still enough to make notes in my music notebook. (I'd like to thank Tashari again for the gift... it's small enough to hide under the papers on my desk when someone walks by!)

Because I Haven't Posted in a While

I apologize for the meme instead of an actual update, but much of the stuff I would like to post about isn't suitable for public consumption and I am reluctant to post it unlocked. However, it appears that half the people I WOULD like feedback from are on facebook, and half are on livejournal, and I don't trust facebook's privacy settings terribly much, so I'll just have to settle for discussing things with people face to face. Even if that means repeating myself (sigh.)

I blame spacegirlkateCollapse )

Spring!

First: this freaking spring weather has got me seriously restless. I either want to do something incredibly brain-numbing to dull the feeling, or something incredibly exhilerating to amplify it until I fall over from sheer exhaustion, no matter how much adrenaline is flowing. Either way, sitting in a cubicle is driving me NUTS. Sigh. At least it's cold enough at night to encourage me to stay inside and work on stuff.

Second: NPR interview went really well, I think! I also got positive feedback from my professor, so WIN. There was only one thing that bothered me: the interviewer asked me if I felt scoring for games was "settling" for something less than scoring for film. I hope I managed to sufficiently articulate the two problems with that view - a) games have enormous parts that aren't cut scenes, and those parts will need a slightly different skillset than film scoring (not to mention that the work environment itself is totally different, seeing as how game developers are different than film directors) and b) WTF? Why would I, as a hardcore gamer, want to work on films when I could be working in a section of media I voluntarily prefer over movies? I hadn't ever even thought of looking at it that way. Gah! Does the rest of the population really consider working in film more prestigous than working in other media??

I'm also at a loss as to why someone would choose to live in LA when they could live in Boston. I also hear that the culture of Seattle is quite nice, as well.

First Foot

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-Foot

Okay, I need a tall dark guy to visit me tomorrow carrying money, bread, salt, coal, and booze! Any volunteers??
You are trying to write a baroquish piece of background fluff. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT see how many ways you can reharmonize over the same cello line.

Love,
Me

Check!


Hot like the sun, wet like the rain
Green like the leaves, life is a game.
Stars in my head, shine moon shine,
Everything's cool and I feel fine.

Can you touch the root that feeds us?
Can you hear the words that I say?
Can you feel the music move you?
Can you feel alive today?

Strong like the grass, tall like a tree,
Free like the wind, eternally.
Nothing to lose, nothing to gain,
Just running wild, again and again and again.

Can you touch the root that feeds us?
Can you hear the words that I say?
Can you feel the music move you?
Can you feel alive today?

Humble bees and blossom, lonely trees and me,
Humble bees and blossom, lonely trees and me.

I just finished Stranger in a Strange Land. I know, I actually did something on my to-do list! And it only took 11 years! You can stop gasping in shock now.

Dear Self,

Dear Self (and anyone else to whom this applies!),

You are abssolutely ridiculous. Merry Solstice! Life is good!

Love, Me

EDIT: Okay, the radio just turned on the terrible "Billy Mack" Christmas song from Love Actually... AWESOME.

Sexting

I think I've figured out how sexting will peak as a phenomenon and then decline.

Today's teenagers didn't grow up with their *parents* on facebook.

But in 5 years or so, we'll get a bunch of youngsters who DID grow up with their parents obsessively posting pictures and status updates and embarrassing anecdotes online.

Who wants to bet that this will make it easier for THEM to realize just how fast embarrassing photos can shoot around the world? After all, if Mom could post that naked photo of you in the bathtub at 3 years of age, so her friends can coo about it when it happens, and your classmates are STILL mocking you about it six or eight years later, I bet that will drive the point home early and well.

Just sayin'.