October 20, 2005
I’ve been spending most of the day for the past four days sitting in front of the computer, trying to write this piece for the SEC consortium. It’s hard. I listen to it over and over, trying to figure out if it’s completely wrong, or passable, or decent. I have no idea. It’s like when you say a word over and over again and it eventually doesn’t sound like a real word anymore.
Some of the piece is fine, I think. It’s a little bit of a departure, as it doesn’t really have a “tune” for the first half of the piece. It just grinds and scrapes away with dynamic swells in and out. The thinking is that when we finally hear the tune, boy howdy, it’s a relief. Not like an “I was getting sick of all of that noise — finally there’s a tune” relief, but more of an, “Ooooooh! That’s where we’ve been leading this whole time!” That’s what’s tricky — trying to make that moment both surprising and inevitable. And once again, it leaves me questioning whether I have the chops to write this piece as well as I want to.
The curious thing about the piece is that the first three minutes sound like something Newman would really like.
All of this intense work has left be fried and feeling quite antsy. I have to step away for a bit and go, yes, outside. I’m getting a haircut, in preparation for my upcoming residencies at Ohio State and the University of Michigan. I’m leaving Sunday on the big trip. That should be a fun change of pace, although 10 days away from home is an awfully long time…