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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Orchestrating Tesla's Pigeon, Part 2

I took the day off today. Matt and I ran errands and visited Philly Electric Wheels to try out one of their new electric bikes I've been eyeing up to replace my old clunky 68-pound eZip*. I would like to get back into commuting on two wheels (hopefully without being physically attacked or hit by a car) because I am quite possibly the most unfit able-bodied person on the planet. Like, I test-rode the bike -- an electric pedal assist bike -- for maybe two blocks and back, and now my quads hurt. What.

This week has reminded me why I procrastinate so heavily before working on a composition. It takes over everything. I lost five pounds in five days because I forgot to eat and my brain was burning fuel overtime. I forgot how to interact with people. I slept poorly, woke early, and went straight from my bed to my office like a zombie. I neglected my husband. I let some of my plants die. I didn't do any housework.

Instead, I threw together a 55-page orchestral score. Thank god for Sibelius keyboard shortcuts; even as good as I am with them, the wrist on my mouse hand is sore. Yesterday I tried to take a break. Do something else! my body screamed at me. You cannot sustain this level of focus! What I ended up doing was cutting some 100lb paper to 10 by 13 inches in order to eventually print parts on them, and after about an hour of guillotining, I went back to working on the score.

Today I finally tore myself away, and now I don't want to go back for a while. But I'm seeing my teacher on Thursday, so I'm sure that will suck me back in to endless tweaking and formatting, and I'll have ECU tendonitis before you know it.

Speaking of Tesla, tomorrow I have to get up at the crack of dawn and drive myself and my long-suffering husband to the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan for the inaugural Tesla Memorial Conference. Tesla's star sure is on the rise, and it's neat that I'm apparently a part of that. I'm giving a short talk at the 5:00PM session, but I'll be hanging around all day. Hey, maybe they'll let me go in his old room.

Oh, by the way, there are some moments in the orchestration which I am REALLY REALLY happy about. The Wagnerian harmonies in song VII are going to sound so freaking boss on brass, and song VI was basically written for harp; I barely had to make any adjustments (although those adjustments took forever, because I had to remember how harp pedaling works).

Of course, the *real* reason I'm working this hard is because I'm procrastinating Ayn. Sigh.

* The Fast4Ward Edge, if you're interested. This would be the most expensive bike I've ever owned by a factor of 5.
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