Tuesday 28, Day 8: My phone survived waterboarding save one app, its failure probably unrelated anyway. From 9 to 1 I worked on “The Wasp and the Spider,” heading over to Alex’s house (finally) and working out “Title Track” from 1 to 4. Back home, I practiced the new piano parts for “Dyschronometria” until 5. I had piano lessons again from 7 to 8, for a total of 9 hours today. Total hours to date: 57.5 out of 100.
“The Wasp and the Spider” in its current incarnation opens with a subdued 4/4 toy piano chord progression. After a cycle of that, church organ, accordion, and bass blast reverberations over it, drums doing a bit of time keeping. Then electric guitar and ukulele echo each other with a 3-note pattern as the bass and drums get funky, the organ/accordion duo not having dropped off yet. We manage to transition into the verses nicely with a bit of accordion riffing. The verse/pre-chorus/chorus sequence works out well, even leaving a way back to the verse key signature open.
At Alex’s, we went over the arc of the story and the archetypes of the characters. “Title Track” opens with a talented but uncultivated youth rapping for classmates; he’s brash, but not violent, profane, or insensitive — merely cocky.Enter guest speaker, in a mentorial role but with license to do things a hired teacher could not. After introducing himself in a maddeningly delicious set of bars, Sensei Xelvmvr calls up our youth to the front of the class. In a back-and-forth fashion, Xelvmvr introduces the kid to unconventional rhythms, rhymes, and other lyrical twists, verses separated by a few lines of dialogue between learner and master. Out of the blue, Xelvmvr calls out the backing musicians for conservative playing and coaches them through different chord progressions, atypical instrumentation, and alternate song structure (alternatively, he could cut the stock background tape and pull out some classmates to fill in more appropriately). After sharing a few bars against a new backdrop, Xelvmvr challenges the kid and the musicians to keep up as he begins to rap in different time signatures. We played with the idea of the kid doing something outlandish like freestyling in a different language, at which point the master would say, “woah, dude, that’s a bit much. You don’t want to alienate your audience,” to which the kid would retort, “I thought that was the point?” Prog is weird. We’ll wrap with everything spiralling out of control as the musicians, empowered by the avant-garde poetry, outplay the lyricists and evolve into a chaotic polyrhythm-riddled mess. Table sufficiently flipped, the classroom empties as the Rage-fueled Muse-blessed DreamTheater-infused Stravinsky-inspired sidemen outro with a vengeance. “Yo, we should start a band.” Story down, we started writing lyrics.
At piano lessons, I went over what I had and got some tips and pointers. We also talked about although I have a lot of material slated, and I will produce all of it in due time, what I should particularly focus on so that I have some of it ready by project presentation night. Realistically speaking, because the ball is rolling hard and fast on “Title Track,” “The Wasp and the Spider,” and “Dyschronometria,” I’ll definitely get those done. All being long songs, however, I’ll also get “Shut Up” done. It’s only 8 lines of lyrics and it’s a very short song that effectively opens for “Dyschronometria,” which I think is crucial to have done. Secondly, due to its duration, it’ll be one of the music videos I can put together quickly and have for project night. “Hole in Two” and “Found Song” are studio songs that would take a long time to write before scoring. “Hole in Two” mimics bird calls and needs to be scripted beforehand to sound good. “Found Song” just requires a ton of stuff that makes noise, stuff I have to take time out and collect. “Something Else” is so open-ended it could be anything so I want to save that track for when I know I’ll have something worthy and focus my time and energy on the other 4 of the 7 tracks.
What’s the 2.1 schedule? Score “The Wasp and the Spider,” record that and “Dyschronometria,” and write “Title Track” and score “Shut Up” when I’m not doing either of those two. Then record “Shut Up” and “Title Track,” then shoot a video, then make a poster board and present what I have so far. That’s roughly a song a day. I love it, but really, curse me for my overly-ambitious projects. First a musical in NewStages32, and now this. Good freakin’ lord.