I didn’t think music composition was a skill quite as loseable as, say, a foreign language, but today I got my comeuppance. While back in the old days I could have cranked out a whole minor piece in a day, I spent that much time just working out a few fragments for the score. (Okay, one reason is that I’m not all that great with the notation software and had a steep learning curve to climb; it’s really not intuitive in many ways, though I’m sure once you’re used to it it’s great.)
One of the most frustrating parts of today was that I got the first couple of things — a page of passages and sounds I want to sample from the haegeum player we’ve hired, and a short passage of evil music — but the second passage took hours and hours. This was for a few reasons: for one, I didn’t have a clear idea of the concept for that second passage, and it took me much longer than it should have to realize it should be a variation on the first passage, since after all it’s doing the same thing — creating a connection with some infovore from another reality.
But once I figured that out, duh, I still had to compose the damned thing three or four times. The reason for that was because, for some reason, the notation app kept crashing and crashing on me, and all my work was lost. It happened once, and so I was careful to save the second time, but when I finished, happy and pleased with the results, and closed the program, and then reopened the file to check it, the damned thing was missing all my work! I guess I’ve been spoiled by word processors that auto-save one’s work constantly — by default! — and auto-recover files that were accidentally closed (or crashed out) without being saved. This app doesn’t seem to have the latter feature, and the former feature is off by default, for some reason I can’t imagine myself.
Anyway, I won’t be doing any more music notation for a while — not till I can find a couple of manuscripts I have here and want to notate electronically so I can get them performed, or at least post them and pack away/store the originals — but I will be doing a lot of sampling and mixing of audio into spooky, ambient-sounding tracks for other parts of the film. (Some of the samples will be from the same haegeum recording session, which is scheduled for tomorrow; other samples will be gotten from noises in the neighborhood, around the house, and so on. I have five or six tracks to get done by next Friday, but I have a feeling these will be a lot easier to pull off.
But then there’s foley. I’m too burnt out for today to do any more work on this film, but tomorrow morning, first thing, it’s me with a notebook, and headphones, and all the attention I can muster, to figure out what sounds we need to add to make the audience really feel immersed in this story.
I can say this: having watched the film (not as many times as Miss Jiwaku, but a lot) I am not yet sick of it, and I think that’s a good sign… but it has me ever more eager to work on something even longer and more challenging.
I have some scriptwriting books coming in (via the library at work, supposedly anyway) next month, because I want to study up first. But that doesn’t stop plotlines rolling around in my head.