If I can possibly give you an idea of how many times I had to delete a version of my song The Very Same World and replace it with a more evolved version, please know that I routinely save all previous versions of everything I compose or arrange, and that the version posted as of 11:20 last night was Version 2-G.
This means that, beginning with Version 1-A, I must have created 33 different versions of the piece before posting the one that remains. Thirty-three equals twenty-six plus seven. That is, I went from Version 1-A to 1-B all the way through the 26 letters of the alphabet, then added 7 more till I got to 2-G.
How do I know that it’s done now? Because I started working on 2-H and burned out on the notion. You see, I can always think of something to adjust, to make it better. What I can’t always do is decide that it’s not worth it any more. Once I make that decision, I am done.
I actually did not know that this quote was first attributed to Leonardo before I ran a google search on it a while back. I had heard it from Marcel Duchamp, and also from E.M. Forster. Whatever its origin, the idea seems to find common credence among certain kinds of Artists, myself included. While I may not always easily reach the point where further obsession on perfecting the piece is no longer interesting enough to motivate yet another revision, this is still easier than having to decide that the piece is ever good enough to be released for universal inspection by all eyes and ears. In short, it’s easier for me to eventually burn out on making it any better, than it is for me to ever believe it’s good enough.
So the criterion for completion has changed hands. In lieu of my ever being motivated to come up with anything better, the Thirty-Third Version is where it stands.
On perhaps a more progressive note, it looks as though I may have found a female singer for this demo project. I’m not exactly certain yet, but a couple different people suggested I approach her. She’s a barista at the local cafe. I had asked the entertainment manager there if he knew of an easy way I could track down a decent female singer for a recording project that would involve little or no financial recompense, and he told me to talk to “Cooper” or to “Aubrey.” Cooper being a musician might just know of a singer, and Aubrey? Well, it turns out that she is herself a singer – and a rather good one, at that.
I knew it even before he said so. You see, I had overheard her singing — in something akin to a musical theatre voice — when I came in for coffee the other morning. But when I naturally queried about this intriguing activity, she merely brushed it off: “Oh! In the shower, maybe. Just make believe.”
Then I quipped:
“But isn’t the whole genre of Musical Theatre founded on make-believe?”
That got a grin out of her, but I still wasn’t thinking of asking her to sing for the project. That didn’t happen until the other two other people suggested it, the one being the entertainment manager, the other being the young woman’s boyfriend. Both of them characterized her singing as “fantastic.” They both said she would be shy about a live performance, but probably down for a studio recording. I myself am also shy about such things, as evidenced in the fact that I am even writing about it without having taken any pertinent prior action.
Still, I never cease to revel in that I have somehow found myself in a community where the faith is high, and there’s a sense that Artistic projects will always find the support they need in order to get themselves to happen. So all of this is a step in the right direction. I’ll talk with her Aubrey soon; and I do have the young man, Josh, from downstairs as well. If I can find one more female vocalist, I can probably just teach the parts and even use my own space here for the recording. The hardwood floor provides good acoustics — I’ve already tested them.