Friday, March 01, 2002

I need to work harder at keeping my reason for being here in perspective. Although I don't write any less than I did as an undergrad, I could be devoting so much more energy towards composition. The various tasks and procrastinations I take part in aren't bad or unproductive for the most part; I just need to make sure they don't overshadow the fact that I'm here to study composition. All the other activities should really be secondary, and could probably be done at any point in my life after school. An aspiring composer who doesn't devote one hundred percent to composing is like a theorist who doesn't theorize or a nutrition major who doesn't eat.

I suppose that part of the problem is just the open-ended nature of all music-related fields. Practicing and writing are essential for improvement, and need to be a daily regimen. Unlike more tangible fields, these activities can't be "saved for tomorrow" or crammed at the end of the week. A day missed can't just be made up the following day: every single day with a below average compositional effort is one less day available for writing in your lifetime. The fact that there is no rigid structure to this gives music majors the illusion of copious free time, which makes it easier to falsely justify extra pursuits.

I've always had a mindset capable of pursuing many different tangents at one time. Recognizing the danger of devoting too little time to composing will probably do little to change my current agendas, but I think it does help, at least mentally, to take notice of it.

To help me learn MIDI orchestration, I've been re-arranging classic game MIDIs for the SC-8850. Here's the "Ghosts" theme from Ultima VII as originally written, and re-orchestrated for only acoustical patches, with a touch of controller modifying. It still sounds a bit wooden, but I'm learning how to more accurately reproduce a variety of performance techniques.

    Original (MP3, 684KB)
    SC-8850 (MP3, 657KB)

This iteration of the URI! Domain has now been around for seven months and over two thousand four hundred visitors. It's even scarier to realize that the site has existed in some form for almost six full years now. The first three years had a visitor count in the thousands, but I was unable to keep statistics for two of the six years. Summing them up, that's a lot of people with nothing better to do...

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