Chaos has begun again…

So I’m back to spending whole days at the computer.

And it’s still 3 weeks until I go back to uni!

So why am I at the computer, you ask?

Some of you may remember this post from mid-last year, when I orchestrated the majority of a stage show in the 2 weeks before opening night (yay for volunteer/not-for-profit events :S).

This year, I made it clear that I would do as much of it as possible before I started back at uni, so I only have to do a handful of songs (if any) at crunch time.

I have finally gotten sheet music for the majority of the songs, so I’ve started orchestrating everything. I’ve got 3 weeks to get as much as possible done. Seeing as I did it in 2 weeks last time, 3 weeks should be plenty of time (famous last words? possibly).

I’m already beginning to see which songs I’m going to be really proud of, and which ones I’ll be SO SICK OF by the end that I’ll never want to hear the song again. Thankfully, it seems there’s only 2 of those so far (I’m still missing a few songs, so there may be more).

I should head to bed now, ready for another full day at the computer. I will definitely be including a trip to the gym though, or I’ll go completely stir crazy. Today I broke up the sitting all day thing with my food shopping.


NB for the record, after checking the previous post, I should probably mention that I am also doing signwriting again this year. I just don’t have any signs to paint yet. At least I can listen to lectures while I paint!

How do I end up doing this?

In the show this year, there are 27 songs.

3 of them don’t need orchestrating because we’ve done them before (24 songs left)

A further 3 don’t need to be orchestrated because they are acapella or using recordings (21 songs left)

Remove 1 more song because it is a mash-up of some of the other songs in the show, and therefore we can just cut-and-paste the orchestrations (20 songs)

Of those remaining 20 songs, I will have orchestrated 10 by the end of this week. I’ve also then got to transcribe 2 more of the songs and orchestrate them too. From youtube. Youtube has crappy quality sound, which makes transcribing an absolute PAIN.

The most amusing part? I said at the start of this year that I wouldn’t be doing any orchestrating or transcribing because I was too busy with uni. So it seems that instead of getting other people to do it, they just waited until I finished uni for the semester.

Keep in mind, opening night is next Friday.

So I have finished my uni work, only to spend another week at the computer orchestrating.

In addition, I seem to have (somehow) taken on the role of “primary signwriter” for backstage. Once again, not ENTIRELY sure how that happened, but I thankfully managed to drag in a friend to help with that. Thankfully, all the signs are now finished (including having to fix the most complex sign we have because it got damaged in transit from our shed to the theatre. If I ever find out who packed it I will ensure they get no chocolate all season).

I love you all, and I love doing the work, but how do I always end up doing so much? Surely I’m not the only person with these skills.



I did my Clinical Health prac assessment this morning, and I am now done for the semester!

Once again… this is my happy dance. Ignore the fact that it’s Elliot’s “I told you so” dance.

I missed a couple of things, but I think I did pretty well overall! I missed a few things because I ran out of time, I kept garbling my words and having to re-say things. I was more stressed about sticking to the time frame than I was about the content :S

I’ve got a month off from uni, but I’ll be filling the next week with orchestrating for the show instead :S haha so no brain break until next Wednesday at the earliest.



Music discovery

I have recently discovered a new band, called Lights & Motion.

In my slightly odd mind, I have labeled many of their songs as “Sunrise music”. Basically, if you could hear a sunrise, this is what I think it would sound like.

All of the music is gorgeously, majestically, hugely orchestral crossed with a good quality synthesiser – pretty much a wall of beautiful sound. You totally need to listen to it. This is one of my favourites so far:


Beautiful music…

Or at least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

I’ve been transcribing and rewriting music today for the show I’m doing… 

repeat ad nauseum

I haven’t actually counted how many times we do this bit yet… basically, this song uses the same chord progression for the chorus, verses, even the BRIDGE. The melody changes just slightly each time, but if I write out everything in full the music will be like 15 pages long. Done this way, it’s only 2 pages.

I had to play this song today at rehearsals too. I stopped reading the music after the 2nd time through the progression… Then the cast was like “Where are we up to”, and my reply was “No idea sorry, I haven’t been reading the music. I’m just following you guys!”. This was the point when I was informed that there was a key change for the last couple of times through. Woop-de-doo, now I have to work out HOW the key change happens.

How I feel right now… please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers this…

At least my A&P exam is done – it was WAY easier than I thought it would be, and that could mean that I either did really well, or bombed. I think I did pretty well though (I hope so, anyway!).

I’ve got a presentation on Thursday, so I’ll have to sort that out tomorrow, but it’s pretty easy (hello first-year boringness). I’ve got to talk for 3 mins about what sort of nurse I want to be, and what training etc is needed to get there. 3 minutes!?!? Piss easy. We don’t even have to hand anything in, or have a powerpoint, or ANYTHING. We just have to get up and talk for 3 minutes. We are purely getting marked on how well we get up and talk, and whether we describe what we want to do sufficiently.

I’d better get back to finishing this song. At least that will be 2 down off of the list.


New AVA album soon!

The rest of you probably aren’t quite as excited about this as I am… but there’s a new Angels & Airwaves album coming on on December 9!

Oh I can’t wait 🙂

I was a die-hard Blink-182 fan through school, so the shift to Angels & Airwaves in 2006 was natural… and I have not been disappointed yet.

I particularly love blasting the albums on repeat while I clean the house – good beats to keep you motivated, with some really awesome electronic/synth/weird instrument sounds over the top to keep things interesting. As a musician I should be able to articulate it better than that, but it’s been so long since I did any music critiques or write-ups, so I’m a little out of practice… Whatever, awesome music with fantastic lyrics.

Bring on the summer soundtrack!


Outlander obsessions…

I am distinctly annoyed that I will have to wait until APRIL NEXT YEAR to get any more new Outlander episodes.

APRIL. That’s 6 months away!

I hate these split seasons. I hated it when they did it for Dr Who, and I hate it for this. Why can’t they just do a full season run?

Also, because the last of the episodes won’t finish airing until June-ish, I won’t be able to get the soundtrack until then either. GRRRRR.

I have spent this week trying to put together a Spotify playlist that is somewhat Outlander-music-like. With mixed success. I wanted to just do a Pandora station, but it seems the Music Genome Project hasn’t gotten as far as Scottish/Irish traditional instrumental music – it’s only covered the folk & pop aspects (i.e. everything with words. I want INSTRUMENTAL music goddammit!).

However, I did have a bit of fun taking a break from study and watching the episodes while reading Bear McCreary’s analysis and descriptions of aspects of the soundtrack. It’s always interesting to see what the composer is thinking of when they put the music behind the show. That’s the music nerd in me coming out 🙂

Now, I should really get back to studying for my exams.


Things that seem to go together

It’s rather interesting, there seem to be a few things that just go together well. One of those things appears to be music and med school. Maybe it’s just the people that I’ve personally encountered, but there seems to be a lot of med/premed students who are good at music. VERY good. It makes me wonder what the connection might be, because I also fit into this “box” (as such).

In high school, I not-so-briefly flirted with the idea of becoming a high school music teacher. I had very high grades in 2 instruments (flute & piano), grade 6 theory, and formal vocal training. But because they changed the requirements for music degrees a couple of years before I graduated, they no longer considered high grades in multiple instruments to be equivalent to a freaky-high grade in a single instrument. So my abilities were not enough to get in anywhere, and that threw me for a six. Because I hadn’t considered that I might not get into Music somewhere, I had let my classroom grades suffer slightly to concentrate on my music. So there I was, 17 years old with no back-up plan and having just been rejected from every music school I had auditioned for. I ended up starting a Bachelor of Arts the following year anyway (because it was the only thing I could get into with my overwhelmingly crappy high school marks), but it’s taken me a long time to get past that failure and work out what I wanted to do.

I still do music. A lot of music. I’m the rehearsal pianist for a musical that runs every year (and synth player for the actual shows), I train the kids that come through the show as best I can so that they are singing well and don’t ruin their voices. Up until recently, I also did a second musical every year, as well as being involved in a university choir. I had to let those things drop for the sake of my health though. While my piano was living at my Mum’s place I was also teaching C how to play.

Then somewhere along the way, I realised that I don’t really want to do music as my job because I like it. I want to be able to play what I want to, when I want to, and not have to play things I don’t like. This isn’t always possible with doing musicals, but they don’t take up so much of my time that I can’t also play the things I want to.

This realisation then left me a little adrift, as I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to help people, but I really had no clue HOW I wanted to do that. So I went back to basics – what fascinates me? Science. How things work. What happens when things don’t work how they should, and how to fix it. And brains. I am fascinated by how such a small lump of goo could do so much, and WHY things happen how they do. I want to know how it all works. Enter Bachelor of Psychology – and the realisation that psychology is an awful lot of talking and not a lot of “how things really work”. Realisation that Oliver Sacks is a psychiatrist (his books are fascinating – if you haven’t read them, you need to. Particularly “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat”), and with a bit of further research, deciding that Psychiatry is actually where I want to be. Or possibly neurology, but I think psychiatry is more my thing. I’ve got a few more years yet to really decide which of those two I actually like better.

Has anyone else noticed this music-medicine connection, or is it just me?