WISE – Flying By (A Quick Update)

As my project nears its final stages, progress is flying by quickly. I’ll do my very best to capture and document everything.

First and foremost, the orchestral piece is complete (see timeline). More specifics about the piece itself are soon to come.

The piece was completed just in time for the first planned rehearsal with the orchestra, and the first rehearsal went quite well. After the first few minutes of shaky playing, the orchestra ran through the rest of the piece much more smoothly than I had expected. More to come on the first rehearsal as well.

Now it’s time for me to make revisions/edits to the piece using the feedback I received during the rehearsal and prepare for the second one.

WISE – Learning from the Best

There’s no doubt you’ve heard this theme somewhere at some point in your life. I don’t remember the very first time I heard it, but I do know that Zimmer’s music from Pirates was one of my biggest early inspirations in starting to compose music.

Years later, I still come back to the piece because it’s such a great research material. It’s short and sweet, making it the perfect length for me to quickly analyze the structure of the piece. The two themes presented in the piece flow seamlessly together thanks to a masterful transition, and the upbeat tempo, along with the masterful orchestration, makes the piece sound epic all the way throughout.

Most importantly, this is the kind of feel that I’m hoping to emulate with my orchestral piece. I’m no Zimmer, but we’ll see what I can do.

WISE – Two Tramps in Mud Time

There’s a poem we read in WISE class a few days ago called Two Tramps in Mud Time by Robert Frost, one of my favorite poets of all time. There’s a passage in there that sums up what my WISE project is to me:

My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.

 My hobby of writing music has now become schoolwork. In a greater sense, I hope to one day make my passion of composing into a profession, to “truly do the deed,” as Frost put it.

WISE – Kind Words

Here are some kind words from one of our wonderful librarians that read my WISE blog:

I just cruised through Joon’s blog, and it’s really good: informative, lively, good links. I don’t know what his product will be–?–but his writing is very good, and as his student reader noted, he’s very organized. I want to hear some music, is all–is there a way he can share a short composition, or a cover?

I also used his links to the other student projects–great use of the blog form!

I wonder if he will be able to keep up as senioritis sets in–the entries are shorter, more cursory, recently.

There are a few different things of note here:

  • I like to use links. I will continue to do so as it seems to be a positive addition to my posts.
  • I added a small addition to my WISE page that hopefully makes it clear to the reader what the product of my project will be.
  • Because of my composing process (pencil on paper) it’s difficult for me to share snippets of my compositions aurally, but you can see snippets in visual form here.
  • It’s not Senioritis, I swear. If it’s anything, it’s my decision to spend the time I have composing rather than blogging about it.

WISE – Rehearsals

My mentor and I spent the majority of our last mentor meeting discussing two things: my progress on the piece I am writing for the orchestra, and scheduling rehearsals. As you can see from a glance at the timeline, rehearsals have been planned. The dates of my composing have been broken down to reflect those rehearsal dates as well.

The piece itself that will be rehearsed by the orchestra is coming along. I’m not spot-on with the deadlines that I set for myself in the timeline regarding the different sections of composing (structuring, developing, orchestrating, etc), but with diligent work each day I should be able to meet the deadlines that have been revised to reflect the rehearsal time.

What Friends Are For

I love having friends who are musicians.

After a great hibachi dinner with friends, I spent the better part of yesterday’s evening jamming to some great funk improv. A talented pianist, an energetic tubist, and myself had an absolute blast playing some Chameleon, House of the Rising Sun, and Never Forget from Halo 3, all with our own unique spins on it.
Daniel rocked the keys, Istvan held down the bass section with some trombone and tuba, and I dabbled in alto sax, piano, and guitar.

This is what friends are for. No doubt about it.

Trust Yourself

Learning to trust myself was one of the biggest lessons I learned from being a musician.

I took out my tenor saxophone for the first time in months today and did some noodling around. I started off with scales to familiarize myself back into the instrument, and things came back quickly. After jamming to some pep band tunes (my comfort zone), I decided to improvise with the tune Amazing Grace. I’d never really thought to improve on my saxophone before, since I’d always thought I “wasn’t good enough.” But lo and behold, with a little bit of faith, it turned out quite all right. With that boost of courage, I moved onto Ellington’s Don’t Get Around Much Anymore and improvised on that as well.

With a little bit of trust, I did something that I didn’t know I could do, and I had a lot of fun doing it. That’s music for you.

Maybe with some more practice, I’ll record some of these spontaneous practice sessions.