Riding the waves of motivation

Shortly after I started this blog, my friend Adam started one as well, because I said he should. For a while he’d stopped posting frequently and I had to encourage him to write, but now the tables have turned and he’s the one telling me to get blogging again!

Anyway, I might have, kind-of, completely and utterly abandoned the A to Z blogging challenge soon after the half-way point, but I will not look back in sadness! It was super fun and I’m sure that if/when I do it next year, I’ll be better prepared for it.

Instead of blogging, I have, at least, been making music! I’m working on Song 7. You might say,

“I know you started out by writing 4 songs in 12 weeks, but I haven’t heard much since then. How come you’re at Song 7 now? Where did 5 and 6 go?” Where indeed.

“And I still haven’t heard two of the original four yet!” Well, maybe one day.

Song 7 currently has 88 bars of music, which means at a tempo of 130bpm (beats per minute), it’s around 2 minutes 42 seconds long. It has a beginning, a tentative end, and a middle that needs stretched out a bit further. I also – of course – need to write the entire drum accompaniment. Drums make me uneasy. I tend to leave them to the end. Song 7 has a provisional title: “Following Me In The Sunshine”.

I’ve composed the entire thing so far using my MIDI keyboard and my computer. When you write music on the computer, organisation is key. It’s really important to carefully keep track of all the bits and pieces of the song, otherwise things will get lost and mixed-up. I decided to completely reject the notions of “verse-chorus-etc” for this composition, so I had a bit of fun with naming the different sections:

intro
1: wistful daffodils
2: on the wind/below the wind
3: when everything starts to feel see-through
4: coming to light
5: unwinding the space on either side of me
end: wistful daffodils?

I haven’t actually written a fifth part yet but I thought “unwinding the space on either side of me” sounds awesome, and I want to add more to the song anyway. Maybe I should use it as an actual song title instead of the name of a fragment of a song; a mere organisational tool. I also really like “when everything starts to feel see-through”, although the music doesn’t quite capture the essence of that kind of feeling. Well whatever, it hardly matters.

Since I’ve slipped back into meaningless procrastination recently, I’m going to impose a deadline on this song. I’ll give myself a fortnight. Come back on the evening of Sunday 11th May (oh! That’s my friend’s birthday!) and you might just hear a new song!

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I, J, K are for I Just Keep forgetting to update my blog…

I wish I could say I’ve been busy. You could argue that I have been, but not so much so that I couldn’t write a short blog entry each day. So I’m taking the easy way out and combining the last couple of missing entries with today’s one, under a title which conveniently gives me freedom to ramble about anything, really.

What’s new with me? Here’s some recent events in my life: I had a burrito for dinner. My boyfriend and I went on a lovely trip to Glasgow on Thursday to visit my family and go to a gig. I started watching Suits and am convinced that Netflix is trying to eat up my soul, one TV show at a time. And I just found out the lease for my flat is being terminated in two months, noooo! (Don’t worry Mum, I’ll be fine.)

But let’s not worry about that, or the fact that I’ll be a penniless shop assistant for the rest of my life. I’ve been working on a couple of new songs recently.

One’s almost finished, in the sense that I have a basic skeleton of a song written, including drums and one and a half guitar parts. So what I should have said is that it’s actually no-where near complete. I’m pleased with what I’ve written so far, but it sounds like a backing track, so I’m working on making it sound more interesting. I think I’ll call it How To Become A Ghost, because that sounds damn cool.

As for the other song – let’s call it Song 6, as it’s my 6th effort of 2014 – I’ve only written about 45 seconds of music, and I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve heard part of it before. I think it must be an idea I’ve played around with in the past. I certainly hope I’m not accidentally plagiarising someone else’s music!

I’ll write more about my music soon, but now I’m off to practice my guitar and then watch another episode of Suits (but just one, honestly!). Tomorrow is a day off for the A to Z Blogging Challenge, but I promise I’ll use it to get my next few posts organised!

C is for Communication… and Cosmic Magnetic Fields?

“You know I’m bad at communication, it’s the hardest thing for me to do”

There are people who have something to say in every situation they find themselves in. I am not one of those people. Instead, I agonise over emails, I never manage to say what I mean in conversations and I take an eternity to construct a blog post or comment. But at least I can proudly say that I continue to struggle on! It’s not that I’m bad at it. I can actually be really quite good at interacting with people; it’s just a huge effort for me. I’m so shy!

As a new blogger, I’ve been wondering about social networks, and how much I should utilise them for blogging. I use Facebook to keep in touch with “real-life” friends, but what about platforms such as Twitter and Google+? Does anyone use Bloglovin’ to follow and find new blogs? What about Tumblr? I tried Instagram – even though I never used to take photos – and I think it’s great. Do you get the urge to sign up to all these different networks to see what you’re missing… or is it just me?

In other news, I’ve been offered a place in the shortlist for a mathsy PhD project to do with cosmic magnetic fields and turbulence and computer simulations and magnetohydrodynamics (a word which I think might be too long for me to cope with). It’s still not an actual offer, and it’s a different direction to the particle physics stuff I’m interested in, but I think it could be really cool! I’m just so tired of waiting and wondering and getting my hopes up about these PhD applications.

A is for April!

When I started blogging in January, I foolishly assumed that by April I would already be a blogging genius, writing regularly three or four times a week. That isn’t what happened. Regrettably, my blogging fizzled out almost entirely during March.

I brought this blog into existence with the intention to use it to chronicle a creative challenge that I set myself. That challenge was to produce a 4-song EP all by myself, in 12 weeks! It involved writing, recording, drum-programming, mixing, mastering… You can find out more about it here. As with my blogging, March wasn’t a good month for making music, and I’ve put that project on the back-burner for a while.

But never mind that: today is the start of something brilliant! I’m taking part in the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge, which means that I’ll be blogging every day this month! That is, with the exception of the four Sundays, to take the total down to 26 – that’s so that each blog entry can correspond to a letter of the alphabet.

So today, for the letter A, I chose April. It’s maybe a little uninspired, but it gives me a chance to introduce myself to anyone coming from the A to Z Challenge website, and to outline my plans for the month.

I’ll still be focusing on documenting the ups and downs of creating music, but I think I will allow myself to include reflections on things not directly related to that process. In other words, I don’t actually have a plan, and you’ll just have to wait and see! Well, so much for introductions.

See you tomorrow!