Barb’s Music Blog

Archive for October, 2008

Turning on a Dime

Have you ever had one of those moments when you’re moving along in one direction and, suddenly, your life takes a U-turn?

That happened to me last Friday. There I was, Supervisor, Retail Administration, with my four-person team comfortably ensconced in their roles–as was I–when the VP called me in to discuss a new opportunity. Six days later, the change was announced to my team. Monday I start in my new role. Then, as though I needed another shot of adrenaline, I received a single-song publishing contract offer for “Bright Red Convertible”!

I’m feeling somewhat overwhelmed. Or maybe I’m suffering from whiplash. How can one’s world change so quickly? Perhaps I need to pinch myself….

P.S. For those who are anxiously holding their breath to hear how I’m doing in my Film course, I’m happy to report that I figured out how to use markers, and I got the video playing.

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I’ve been thinking lately about learning, both the process and how our viewpoints change throughout the process.

You probably all know the “official” summary of the steps of learning a skill or task:

1. Unconscious incompetence
2. Conscious incompetence
3. Unconscious competence
4. Conscious competence

Obviously we feel great about ourselves once we reach #4. We know what we’re doing, and we know that we know what we’re doing! However….

I got to thinking about the excitement and enjoyment of the process–from the point where we first get the thought, “Hey…I wonder what it would be like to learn (or do) ___!”

For instance, I always thought it would be cool to be able to score music to video or film. I didn’t have a clue where to start or how to go about it. Five weeks ago, I started “Film Scoring 101″ at Berklee Online. Weeks 1-4 covered the history of film, film terminology, spotting for music, camera angles and actions, etc.

This week–ah, the excitement!–this week is about SMPTE time code, adding markers, and actually working with video. I’ve wrestled with time code and frames, offset time-code start, and successfully calculated absolute time. It hardly even looks like Greek anymore! I even imported a video into Cubase, using the right settings so that the narration (audio) track came along with it.

Now I need to figure out how to create markers, calculate tempo for the best fit with the video, and…. But I don’t have a clue how to do that! I can’t even get the video to play so I can watch how it lines up with the audio, for crying out loud!

But tomorrow’s another day, right? For tonight, and most of tomorrow, I give myself permission to bask in the satisfaction of what I have learned. I know that someday I’ll actually be competent. In the meantime, I intend to celebrate each tiny victory and piece of knowledge that I gain.

After all, the 611-page Cubase manual wasn’t written in a day or a week, and neither was my Film Scoring course. Why should I expect to absorb their contents in that time frame?

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This is what I wrote, orchestrated and sequenced as my final project for Orchestration (Berklee Music Online). It’s amazing how long it takes to sequence something…the hours and hours and days of working with the controller lanes and on velocities to try to get the right mix. Somehow, I’ve got to figure out how to work faster. That said, I do believe I have finally finished the sequencing on this song–at least until something bothers me enough to go back in and make more changes! In the meantime, I need to make the final changes to the score….

“Gethsemane” will be the overture to the Easter project I’m working on (three other songs for choir and orchestra, dealing with Gethsemane, the cross, and the resurrection morning). Mitch Townley of Knoxville, TN is working on the lyrics with me.

icon for podpress  Gethsemane: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Interview with Sunny 94

I was interviewed today by Sunny 94 radio in Lacombe, Alberta. DJ Kelsey Cross asked me to come in to talk with him about my submission to CBC’s Anthem Challenge (to find a new Hockey Night in Canada theme song). After he played “FACE OFF!” for the listeners, he said, “Now that’s hockey!”

This was my first radio interview, and I was a bit anxious about it ahead of time. It turned out to be the most fun I’d had in a long while. In fact, I was flying high on adrenaline all day! They recorded the interview for me, so I came away with a very special keepsake (“permanent memory”).

Thanks, Kelsey and Sunny 94!

icon for podpress  Interview with Sunny 94: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download
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CBC Hockey Night Anthem

This was my entry for CBC’s Anthem Challenge to find a new theme for Hockey Night in Canada.

icon for podpress  Interview at Sunny 94: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download
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