what is going on in your musical life

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I’m standing in on bass for one upcoming gig only with the 46th best Scottish band ever (other polls may present different results).

It’s helped prompt me to sort out my home recording set up to some extent too, so I’m actually enthusiastic about that at the moment too - results unlikely to emerge for a while.

Just need to stop coveting synths and guitar pedals for a while.

michaellambert, Thursday, 19 September 2019 05:17 (eight months ago) link

New single/video out today!

DJI, Friday, 20 September 2019 15:15 (eight months ago) link

Idk how it happened but I fell behind over the past week and only ended up with five days to write a 25 minute choral work for four choirs

I have been working constantly and subsisting on DUMPLINGS!, basically, having manic outings after 11pm if possible but otherwise a couch potato with a Rewire Piano Object attached to my right and a MacBook to my left

The process is basically I slow-improvise my way through each section of the lyric with my iPhone running and then transcribe it later

I got halfway through the piece and I got cold feet about “onslaught of new material” on the audience for 25 fucking minutes so I prayed to “The Drift” and I prayed to “Music For Strings, Percussion and Celeste” and said fuck it I’m done composing, now it’s time to start copy-pasting

The text is the final text of the suicide cult Heaven’s Gate and so I did it like Scott Walker and Bartok— it is just an ornery repeat of every section right from the beginning, like Scott does in “Clara”— you heard it once, now listen again, shithead— but also Bartok because there are so many elisions, we’re going back through it all. Not faster, just shorter, like a recipe you’ve gotten good at

At the end I have the full choir screaming triad slow-glissing from triad up to mediant-related triad and the words are a synthesis of Heaven’s Gate begging the reader to come down to Southern California and kill yourself with Kool-Aid to board the spaceship, synthesized with Jesus and his disciples telling the listener to come to Galilee and give up their life so that one might find eternal life under the shadow of the Father

So it’s been a lot of work and I look great, every morning I slice a lemon in six so I have six glasses of water to remember to drink. My body is not so good, no muscle on my calf anymore, just on my ass all day writing whatever this is

I snuck away for 90 minutes and had dinner with my friend and her new boyfriend. They were intimate with each other, with their hands, at the dinner table, in the restaurant. I was happy when the food arrived! but I would’ve been impressed if they kept their inside hands on each other while feeding themselves with their outside hand. Olympic level PDA. That’d be amazing to see

I’m walking home, I have my bike but I was a cigarette, and my boyfriend calls me. He misses me. He tells me so. He says, “I want my boyfriend back.” I don’t respond especially well. I say, “this choral piece sliced my brain in two.” I feel my inner thighs chafing. I feel bad and also bad.

I thought I could finish it in three, but it took me four. I finished it. I formatted it. I mailed it off. Then I listened to it, all 79 pages, 25 minutes, and I thought: this piece is strong, both conceptually and compositionally

And there’s a little mental solar flare that happens right when you finish the writing process so I’m documenting it here. Tomorrow I’m going to take my boyfriend to the park with the dog and take him out for Filipino food

fgti (flamboyant goon tie included), Thursday, 26 September 2019 07:39 (eight months ago) link

*stands up and applauds*

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 26 September 2019 12:05 (eight months ago) link

Best Music Writing 2019

brigadier pudding (DJP), Thursday, 26 September 2019 12:29 (eight months ago) link

Congrats, fgti

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Thursday, 26 September 2019 15:42 (eight months ago) link

one month passes...

Bizarre: a (probably cassette?) recording of a harsh noise gig I played with a friend as a late teenager in 1998 seems to have been uploaded to Youtube, unknown to me or the friend. I couldn’t remember if I ever had a recording. I actually remember feeling unsure and harried about the set itself but it was startling to hear it again. An interesting time capsule from when I did things like play harsh noise.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Monday, 28 October 2019 03:50 (six months ago) link

Last night, I sang in my first concert of the season:

Desenclos - Requiem (I had a "blink and you'll miss it" solo bit in the Sanctus)
Parry - Songs of Farewell 1 - 3
Schuman - Carols of Death

It was rad! We pretty much nailed everything and I can't wait to hear the recording.

brigadier pudding (DJP), Monday, 28 October 2019 13:31 (six months ago) link

Oh wow nice

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Monday, 28 October 2019 13:44 (six months ago) link

We're doing Bach Cantata #140 in my church gig's next concert, which has two baller soprano/baritone duets in it. I know I'm going to be doing one of them but I don't know which one yet.

brigadier pudding (DJP), Monday, 4 November 2019 20:51 (six months ago) link

Here they are, for reference:


brigadier pudding (DJP), Monday, 4 November 2019 20:52 (six months ago) link

damn, Dan that is so cool you're still doing that.

It is weird/amazing/so fulfilling for me now that I can play music with my sons these days...hearing them play instruments is a true joy of parenthood, but a whole other level when you start playing with them. And then an even weirder sensation when they start blazing by your abilities.

Joe Gargan (dandydonweiner), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 01:21 (six months ago) link

I have been working off-and-on for the past four months on a very involving film score-- 100 minutes of music, all orchestral, all very dense. The temp score was Copland, Nyman and Glass. One of the key moments used "Prospero's Magic" as temp-- it's one of my favourite Nyman pieces and it was a pleasure to write something to replace it, and I knocked it out of the park, it's a beautiful piece of music.

I was ignoring the Glass and replacing with completely different stuff and it was starting to work. The Copland was some of the super rhythmic weirdfun stuff, and the stuff I wrote to replace it was coming off all disjointed and terrific. It was shaping up to be the best score I've ever worked on.

Then they showed the MIDI demo cut to the executives. They like it. They want it to be more basic bitch. They want there to be a more unifying compositional tone. It all sounds like my own music but the distance between Nyman-style writing and Copland-style writing was pretty large. I decided that I'd have to rewrite the opening, write something that bridged the gap.

"How do I bridge Copland and Nyman" I asked myself and I slept on it. I woke up and had the idea. The answer was John Adams. Get that rhythmic minimalism and the dense fifths, keep the phrasing square, a more elevated pulse. I worked on the opening for seven hours straight. It turned out perfectly. It was textured, pulsing, unspooling. It sat perfectly under the dialogue and was audible and effective. The ending itself was thrilling. Even as MIDI it was just working terrifically.

I sent it to the director. He texted me, "I got chills". "YOU GOT CHILLS FROM THE MIDI" I texted back. I played the cue for my ex, and for another friend, and another. "You nailed it," they all said, "this is perfect". I felt so job-well-done that I went out to reward myself with a bowl of chicken vermicelli.

I got a call from the director in the Vietnamese restaurant. The producer vetoed it. I paced for 17 minutes in the Vietnamese restaurant. I talked very loudly. They want catchy themes AND they want it not to compete with the dialogue. They want recognizable textures AND they want it to be unobtrusive. They want it to be dramatic and optimistic AND they want it to not be overbearing. They want it to sound like the other cues. They want me to establish the theme in a space of 2.5 seconds before the dialogue enters.

They do not understand anything. They don't understand anything. I rode on the streetcar for 30 minutes near tears writing my letter of resignation. I have lost months of my real life to this film and years of my sanity. I did not send the e-mail. I love my job and I hate my job and I hate my job

that said, I’d prefer a single serving of you (flamboyant goon tie included), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 00:33 (six months ago) link

[Joni Mitchell voice]: I hate my job, I hate my job, I love my job

that said, I’d prefer a single serving of you (flamboyant goon tie included), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 00:35 (six months ago) link

Aw man - what a great story with an absolute shit ending. In a situation like this, do they own the music that you created for them but that they don't want?

At least you got that perfect moment out of it. Writing the shit out of something and feeling like you nailed it. Screw those paper-pushing dorks.

DJI, Wednesday, 13 November 2019 00:46 (six months ago) link

Nope, it's mine when it's rejected, and tbh, the opening cue is so good that I would literally just put it on an album even as MIDI. It's so fucking good and I'm so appalled and humanity is garbage

that said, I’d prefer a single serving of you (flamboyant goon tie included), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 00:48 (six months ago) link

thats amazing and maddening and i pray it sees the light of day

i'm not a government man; i'm a government, man. (m bison), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 01:12 (six months ago) link

Fucking film music, man
It’s a wonder the good stuff ever gets through
Still psyched as fuck to hear the stuff of yours that appears in the film and that appears reappropriated on your own thing

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 03:57 (six months ago) link

Have you considered submitting audio of yourself saying "fuck you, you assholes" slowed down 10000% over the Amen break, see if that's more their speed?

brigadier pudding (DJP), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 13:19 (six months ago) link


No language just sound (Sund4r), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 14:45 (six months ago) link

That's brutal fgti. :( I don't think I would have the stomach for it. I couldn't even take making beats for rappers, the model of churning out tons of material in order to have most of it casually rejected was not for me.

I'm sure you'll figure out a great use of the raw material once the sting wears off. Maybe an OST for a film that 'doesn't exist'?

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 15:06 (six months ago) link


brigadier pudding (DJP), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 15:54 (six months ago) link

I spoke to the director this morning and literally started crying on the phone. It is so frustrating to have to rewrite and rewrite and you feel (and all the people you regularly share your work-in-progress feel) like you did it already, you nailed it, and struggling to undo the thought and intention you’ve applied to the scene to come up with something brand new that will convince the admin body :(

that said, I’d prefer a single serving of you (flamboyant goon tie included), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 17:38 (six months ago) link

fgti I'm sorry to hear about your struggles, fuck the bosses

in my own musical life I started a few weeks ago with a new piano teacher who so far I love and is really pushing me in a way I wasn't getting pushed previously. Trying to sight read in both hands with a metronome is emotionally trying! But I can do it if I try! Slowly.

My teacher also quite reasonably observed that I should work on music I'm interested in playing even if it seems too hard so I acquired Philip Glass' piano etudes and have started working on the first one at 1/3 of the listed tempo.

Swilling Ambergris, Esq. (silby), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 17:43 (six months ago) link

Oh man those Glass etudes are SO HARD, good luck

To deal with the annoyance re the score, I took a break and went and got my ears pierced

that said, I’d prefer a single serving of you (flamboyant goon tie included), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 18:03 (six months ago) link

nice, and thanks for the well-wishes, I assume I will keep returning to them over the years until I'm actually advanced enough to play one of them

Swilling Ambergris, Esq. (silby), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 18:12 (six months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Cantata concert went great

brigadier pudding (DJP), Monday, 2 December 2019 14:56 (five months ago) link

That's great, DJP.

I was just offered a one hour ambient/improv/out gig at a nearby cafe this Friday. It seems like a good and exciting opportunity but also seems totally crazy to get an hour of solo music to a performance standard in four days. I said I'd confirm for sure tomorrow.

No language just sound (Sund4r), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 03:23 (five months ago) link

I finished writing the score and it's great and I'm happy now

that said, I’d prefer a single serving of you (flamboyant goon tie included), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 15:23 (five months ago) link


No language just sound (Sund4r), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 15:24 (five months ago) link

Just agreed to do the gig tonight. Going to try to figure out a set, sigh.

No language just sound (Sund4r), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 20:45 (five months ago) link

Er, not tonight. I agree this afternoon. The gig is Friday.

No language just sound (Sund4r), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 20:45 (five months ago) link

Eh, one hour will fly by! You did the right thing by agreeing. I think it's good to accept challenging invitations if they present themselves :)

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 21:57 (five months ago) link


No language just sound (Sund4r), Wednesday, 11 December 2019 03:53 (five months ago) link

I finished writing the score and it's great and I'm happy now
I finished writing the score and it's great and I'm happy now

fgti, how did you resolve this?

Una Palooka Dronka (hardcore dilettante), Wednesday, 11 December 2019 14:36 (five months ago) link

I just agreed to sing this in a concert next month:


totally unnecessary bewbz of exploitation (DJP), Wednesday, 11 December 2019 16:34 (five months ago) link

@ hardcore dilettante

I just finished it all. I was really not-feeling the opening cue, which I wrote under the direction of producers/director, and was unhappy with the result (they loved it and wanted to use it.) I was so frustrated with their decision, and enamoured with other ideas I'd written, that I was seriously considering leaving the project over it. It passed, I was being overdramatic. I have softened on the opening cue and although I don't think it's the best option, I do think it essentially works. I'm so happy with the rest of the score and think it (and the film itself) are an achievement and so I'm really in a happy place about it!

that said, I’d prefer a single serving of you (flamboyant goon tie included), Wednesday, 11 December 2019 18:08 (five months ago) link

in challenging invitations, i have accepted an invitation* to play a solo set (only 15-20 min) in early january, which means starting off my 2020 with 1) one rock band show and 2) one weird solo thing. YES PLEASE. I accept.

*invitation came from someone I don't know personally on facebook, so I was dubious at first, but then remembered my "always be growing/learning" mantra and accepted. i mean, i was invited. i can't say no!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 12 December 2019 16:44 (five months ago) link

Right on, you have some time to prep at least.

No language just sound (Sund4r), Thursday, 12 December 2019 22:17 (five months ago) link

I totally couldn’t do it otherwise! But with a little time I’m looking forward to seeing what I can put together. And also realizing that it’s just 15 min, not a big deal. Right??!!?

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Friday, 13 December 2019 00:04 (five months ago) link

Yeah, totally.

I was a little under the weather and took yesterday and today off work, which did give me a little more time to prep. Feeling ready-ish for tomorrow.

No language just sound (Sund4r), Friday, 13 December 2019 04:22 (five months ago) link

how’d it go?

Don’t Slander Meme (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 December 2019 00:58 (five months ago) link

Yeah how did it go??

I’m sitting in w a friend for an Alex Chilton annual bday thing. Should be fun!!!! Excited about the songs we’re playing :)

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 23 December 2019 01:19 (five months ago) link

Wow. Can you tell us what they are? No pressure ;)

Don’t Slander Meme (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 December 2019 01:30 (five months ago) link

My yearly Messiah thing went well even though the power to the organ went out two days beforehand and we ended up singing with Casio accompaniment

totally unnecessary bewbz of exploitation (DJP), Monday, 23 December 2019 02:41 (five months ago) link

Perhaps it was a problem with the blower? I hear that happens a lot. To organs.

Hereward the Woke (Ye Mad Puffin), Monday, 23 December 2019 02:49 (five months ago) link

Yes indeed I can! Most excited about You Get What You Deserve + Daisy Glaze, also I’m in Love...+ Give Me Another Chance but those are pretty mellow/not drummy

Daisy Glaze may be the craziest actual song I have ever played or attempted to play w other people.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 23 December 2019 03:24 (five months ago) link

Also newsflash I’m no Jody Stephens
It’s not for a few days and we will have rehearsed 2x. That’s enough right? I agreed to do this like 4 days ago.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 23 December 2019 03:28 (five months ago) link

how’d it go?

It went all right, thanks! The crowd was small and mostly there for the guys who put it on and played before me so there was a very small audience. It was fairly loose but I think the stuff came across all right anyway. Because there was less of a PA/sound system than I had anticipated, I ended up connecting my interface into the two amps of the guys who played first, which meant I kept trying to turn things down or adjust levels during my set. Still, I'd been hoping to put an album together for next summer so this got me to get pretty much all the material ready.

Un sang impur (Sund4r), Monday, 23 December 2019 04:10 (five months ago) link

Alex Chilton thing sounds super fun.

Un sang impur (Sund4r), Monday, 23 December 2019 04:10 (five months ago) link

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