The Kiss of the Muse

On Tuesday evening, I left the all-night restaurant alluded to in my most recent post, convinced that I’d somehow managed to hook up with a very talented batch of like-minded Writers.  I gave each of the six other participants a copy of my Scene One, and received from each of them a chapter of the novels they’re currently writing.

My main reservation is that I’m the only playwright in the bunch.  Also, since I’m a musical playwright, there are song lyrics as well as dialogue and stage directions strewn about my manuscript.   This differentiates me even further from the novelists in my midst.   Moreover, they all seem to be writing fantasy or science fiction–which of course is to be expected.  But my work is intended to deal with social issues such as classism, and to paint a picture not often seen of the Homeless Phenomenon in America

However, this doesn’t mean that their feedback will be of no value to me.  It only means that I’m afraid to receive it.   After all, our commonalities are greater than our differences.  I look forward to receiving input on plot, character development, clarity of content, and the like.  What I dread is that someone might object to some of my lyrics, without being aware of the type of music that accompanies them, since they won’t be hearing the music, but only reading the words.   This has happened before in the past, and it has put me in an awkward position.

kissofthemuse

Still, they’re all very intelligent, highly motivated people.   I’m sure that whatever happens at our next meeting, the fact that I’m finally convening with others of my ilk, and no longer hiding from the public world in stubborn isolation, is bound to reap more benefits than detriments in my creative life.

Otherwise, I’ve been busy with work and church (which in my case are very closely related, since I work at a church).   I’ve also been engrossed in some personal matters for the past few days.  So, while I did succeed in finishing Scene Four, as reported in this post, I’ve not yet begun to take a stab at Scene Five.   But I can feel it starting to simmer within me, somewhere down there. It’s a vague but very real sensation: an undeniable sense that I’m about to burst into another creative binge.   It feels as though something inside me is “percolating” — or, more accurately, incubating.  It’s almost as though I can feel the Muse approaching.  If I’m lucky, maybe she’ll kiss me, as she did the similarly exhausted Writer in the charming little picture up above.  Well — here’s hoping.

Writer’s Guild

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been feeling the need to find a writer’s support group in order to help motivate me to finish the musical script I’m writing.  A couple people suggested I contact the professor who teaches the undergraduate playwriting class.  He replied very cordially to the email I sent him, but told me that the class was filled up to capacity this semester, and that he also did not think he could help much with the “musical form.”  

Although his suggestion that I contact the School of Music was a logical one, I really am not in need of support on the musical level.  The music and lyrics to this show are essentially complete, and I’m pretty happy with the score.   It’s the script that continues to concern me.  

I last reported I had made it up to p.53, then reached an impasse.  Since then, I’ve made it up to p.58, which is almost to the end of Scene Four.   I could probably write a couple more pages this morning and wrap up the Scene, more-or-less sloppily.  But at this rate, without a support group to sustain my motivation, I probably won’t finish the script before the Second Coming of Christ.

guildIt occurred to me that there might be a Meet-Up writer’s group in the area.   With very little online research, I located one that happens to meet this very morning at ten.  They call themselves a Guild, and this morning’s meeting will take place exactly one block from my apartment!  So I’ll be there at ten this morning, either with the first four scenes completed, or ready to wrap them up on site.

The facilitator of the group also informed me of another writer’s group that meets at a bookstore also located fairly near my place of residence.  That group includes another playwright who prints out his scenes so that other members of the group can read the different characters.  In addition, there is another meeting of the Guild taking place at a restaurant this Tuesday evening.  While the meeting this morning is “write only,” the Tuesday night group will provide, according to the facilitator, “valuable feedback on plot and story line.”  All three of these resources could prove invaluable.

So – I think I’m on the right track if I can only relax about this thing a little bit.  The process of writing music is much more enjoyable for me.   The process of playwriting is arduous and annoying, but it will be worth it in the end if I will have produced something of value to offer to the world.

Unknowns

I feel like I’m a little too stuffy when I write in this blog.  I keep a personal journal online that is password-protected so only friends can read it.  Naturally, I’m less self-conscious when I write there.  Somehow, the idea that anybody at all from anywhere can read what I’m posting here makes me just uptight enough, that I suspect it affects my writing style for the worse.

So here’s what I wrote in my personal journal last night:

Unknowns

My depression lifted temporarily when I realized that I know exactly what to do from the bottom of p.53 forward, for several pages to come. Then I veered off and corrected that part of The Royal Rhapsody that bugged me. I hear another part that bothers me in the same section. All these annoyances have to do with a sense of something dropping out, some kind of eerie ethereal support that is created by the string section, or other instruments capable of extending tones over a number of measures.

But enough of my stuff. I noticed I felt extremely focused while working on the Rhapsody, so I might go back to that. Depression and anxiety seemed far from me. That music production process is just something that rivets me to it. With the script, even knowing what to do, I still rack my brains out over little things – tiny little mini-unknowns that crop up in the midst of the Known.

Bottom line is I’m dog tired. Not sure why. Ran really well yesterday, and obviously faster than usual with the Nanospikes. Maybe that’s a factor. Whatever, I saved a cup for the morning and I’m gonna crash out after a snack. I’ll run in the morning, and probably have a decent day tomorrow. These three day weekends sort of throw the Sunday night vibe onto Mondays. Can’t wait till morning.

10:47 p.m. – 2017-01-16

If you like that style or manner of delivery better than the way I’m writing here, feel free to let me know.  Or, if it appears to be the same style, or even a worse manner of presentation, clue me in.   I won’t be offended, though I can’t promise you I’ll be able to readily change.  We O.G’s have a tendency not to flex as easily as we did back in the Day.

A Week Off?

I have a week off.  I don’t have the wherewithal to take a “vacation” — and this is a good thing.   I’m thinking that the time will better be spent mostly staying at home, not only working on my musical, but in personal solitude and reflection.  For although I have been happy to have broken the Writer’s Block that had hindered me for three years, there has been something unhealthy about the way I’ve been proceeding.  I think it’s time I take a deeper look at this.

For one thing, I’ve been assuming that outside of food, rest, work, and exercise, the writing of this libretto is the only thing I should be doing.  In the process, I’ve all but abandoned the scoring of music that I used to do religiously, six days a week, with my  music notation software.  This has thrown me off balance.  As I’ve mentioned numerous times in this blog, the process of composing, arranging, and sequencing music with this software is therapeutic for me.  If I make it a daily practice, there’s something about it that benefits me spiritually.

So, I turned my attention to a rearrangement of my piece, The Royal Rhapsody.   The first arrangement was too empty for me; the second too overwhelming with the string section.  I think this third take strikes a more pleasant balance.   It’s more listenable, in my opinion.


I’m hoping that, as I resume the practice of scoring music for two to three hours each day, the rest of my life, including my work on the musical script, will come to a better balance.  I think I’m off to a pretty good start.  I hope you will take a few minutes to listen to the piece posted above.  It was scored and sequenced entirely with Finale software.  I’m actually rather proud of it, and I hope you enjoy my work.

A Sense of Mandate

I’m creating a blog post primarily for the purpose of justifying the fact that I just spent $2.46 on a large coffee at a cafe, rather than continue to isolate inside the darkness of my dreary abode.   If I can get out of this cafe knowing that I accomplished something other than yet another unnecessary monetary purchase, it might do my soul a bit of good.

So to continue the ongoing progress report here (if use of the word “progress” isn’t stretching the definition too far), I did accomplish something after I wrote the previous entry.  I wrote about three or four more pages of dialogue between the male protagonist and the female antagonist.  I’m not sure I can use any of it, but at least I wrote something.   I was trying to “just write” (as many have suggested.)  The reason I stopped was because my “just writing” was leading to immoral areas.   I was beginning to get off on the evil of the evil characters.  Another good reason to leave my room.   Things like that tend to happen more behind closed doors when we don’t think anybody’s watching.

In general, this playwriting process is so inherently annoying compared to the more fulfilling process of composing music; I wonder sometimes why I am even bothering.  I’m getting older; I’m not really looking forward to spending each day for the rest of my life wracking my brains out.  It’s just that at the rare moments when I feel like I have something on the ball here, the sense that I get within myself is that I know  I have something on the ball.  It’s not just a feeling anymore.  It’s not just a hope, guess, conjecture, or speculation.  It’s a certainty.   It seems to come from somewhere outside of me, beyond me.  

Then, it incurs a sense of obligation – of mandate.  I simply have to keep working on the script, for the single reason that I know it to be potentially positive and powerful.  Otherwise, hell yeah I’d give the damn thing up.   I’m pretty sick of the fact that the process awakened a buried resentment regarding a failed forty-year friendship, for example.  But if it hadn’t have aroused that particular negativity, it would have aroused some other negativity.   And it has, in fact, aroused many such negativities.

Why?  Because it’s a process that I hate.  I don’t enjoy writing theatre of any sort; I’m doing it because of this sense of divine, cosmic, or extraterrestial mandate that doesn’t permit me to stop working on a project that I love, even though it involves a process that I hate.  Now if that isn’t twisted, I don’t know what is.  

Standstill

It’s been two days since I posted that last, most exuberant announcement, regarding the Creative Upsurge I so enjoyed for a time.  Rest assured that the Upsurge has all but desurgified, and that there have been no creative juices flowing per se except for a few nagging senses of a paralyzing insistence on performing multiple instances of pure perfectionism.  Specifically, I continue to get the sense that everything is at a standstill until I correct these relatively random musical errors in my already submitted work.   Not the emphasis on the word “submitted.”

It is of relevance to me that the work I must now be so laboriously readjusted is work that I have already released via social media as well as a few very vociferous email blasts.  On checking my rarely visited  SoundCloud, I find I’ve gotten 15 hits in the past twenty-four hours – the norm usually being zero.  So people are eagerly soaking in this prematurely released version of my work.  This has me uneasy, and just as eager to get the new reincarnations of these pieces into their possession.  But that runs counter to sound creative doctrine.  Best I relax, and get it turned in at its natural rate; say, around this coming Saturday or so (today being Monday.)

This will however virtually necessitate that I once again do not venture upon untraveled textual terrain, such as attempting to complete a script or libretto or lyric set, or anything along non-musical lines that may be related to any of my projects.  I cannot so venture, because my absorption in the musical aspect of everything is so exclusive.  I need to see myself through this travail, musically speaking, before anything is considered in any other area of life.

Creative Upsurge

There was a huge creative upsurge instigated last night at maybe around ten. At that time, feeling totally creatively dry and dismal, I decided to simply *listen* to my most recent playlist.   As I was listening, my creative juices started flowing again. I started randomly tweaking my “Ode” piece, and at a moment of particular satisfaction decided it was time for bed. I went to bed feeling quite fulfilled, but awoke two hours later, at around ten-thirty, with an unusual hankering to get back at it. So I stayed up till about three-thirty working on “Ode.” Then, finally, I went to bed again (or, more accurately, yoga mat on three layers of cardboard on hard wood floor.) I was up and at it at eight-thirty.

About an hour or so ago, I finished the Ode to my ultimate satisfaction. Then I pasted it to where it’s supposed to fit into my Urban Pathos sequence in show context. (This causes the “Urban Pathos” sequence to now reach 17:37 in duration.) But before I did all that, I had an insight. Also, right when I was done, I had a second, related insight.

The first insight was that, while I often am very concerned with the balance of fitting in my writing music into an overall, broader and more general, positive spiritual picture; I have been less concerned with something that I should be *more* concerned about; and that is, how my writing of music fits into my overall writing as an Artist and a writer. In taking a look at this, I have found that I have been neglecting all my other creative writing because I’ve been writing so much music.

So, I determined to finish this “Ode” and then, since I could tell I was going to finish it early in the day today, I figured I would work on one of my scripts for the rest of the day. Then I decided it would be the Winston Greene script. I’ve just gotta get that thing finished, and out of the way. And then, the second insight came, right after I finished “Ode.”

The second insight, in brief, consists of my now knowing where to proceed from here in that script. I had just reached the state, several months ago, when half of the Kids were going to defect and split off with the charming hustler Howard Trout, whom Winston discerns is actually Benzo Diablo, his nemesis, in disguise. But I didn’t know what to do next, except for that I had to bring in Cynthia Morales, but that I didn’t want to bring her in awkwardly or with too much of a sense of arbitrary contrivance according to convenience unto deus ex machina. But now I know how to bring her in boldly, in a way that will encapsulate the main character conflict between her and the protagonist, in a clear and timely manner that will surely engage the audience.

Ode

“Ode to the Universe” from Eden in Babylon.
Copyright © 2016 by Andrew Michael Pope.

All Rights Reserved.

So – all this stuff has come together for me, all at once. Now I need to run with it.

A Manifestation of the Divine

Because this blog is supposed to be about the creative process and how it fits into my spiritual perspective, I must report that I had another mysterious experience of affirmation and synchronicity that validated, for the time, my path.

As I probably have mentioned many times, I wrote a number of tunes “in my head” while I was walking about the notorious college community in which I once attempted to live.  I had no computer in those days, and I’ve never been very good at writing by hand.  So I kept track of all the different parts in my mind and resolved that when I was better off I would obtain a computer and notate the music using my Finale software.  One such song is Bubbles Taboo.

If you bothered to click on that link, you no doubt noticed that it led to a song of standard studio length, approximately three minutes long.  But it was supposed to involve both a lengthier introduction and a substantial instrumental break prior to the recapitulation of the main theme.  I just hadn’t gotten around to sequencing those sections at the time.

The instrumental break involved many modulations – so many that I had never even bothered to count them until tonight.  Their number is twelve.  Observe:

C  – G – F – C – Bb – F – G – A – G – D – G- C

See?  Twelve separate keys.  (Now some of those keys might be more majory than minorish, but since they’re all bluesy, I left out those details.  If you’re a musician, you probably understood that statement.  If you are not a musician, you probably aren’t reading this blog.)

Not only did I have no idea how many modulations were involved, but I also had no idea what key I was going to wind up in.  But look: I wound up in the same key – C – from which I started.   Now what are the chances of that?  Since there are twelve tones in the chromatic scale, the chances are one out of twelve.  In other words, the odds are eleven to one against it.

If you don’t believe me, check it out.   The break with the twelve modulations takes place between 3:50 and 5:00 on this 5:36 clip. 

“Bubbles Taboo”

Copyright © 2016 by Andrew Michael Pope.
All Rights Reserved.

See?  It lands on the same key it started on, the key of C, after all those modulations.  Ir could have landed on any other key – but it landed on C, against the odds.  But that’s not all.

What are the chances that the number of keys in the break would be the same number as the number of pitches in the scale; that is to say, the number twelve?  Or that the mystic-laden break would end at exactly 5:00, for that matter?  Quickly, things becomes astronomical.

Although there is a chance that it is all a coincidence, isn’t there a far greater chance that this was on some level the process of elegant unconscious creative incubation, or – better yet – a manifestation of divine principles?   I hold the latter to be self-evident.  Music, as I will attest to my dying day, is a Manifestation of the Divine.

Urban Pathos

On general spiritual principle, I promised myself I wouldn’t work on Sundays.  If I succeed in resisting the almost irresistible temptation once more, this Sunday will be the third day in a row when I haven’t worked on my music.

The previous week had been terrible.  I worked on the project all day that Sunday, thinking I was “behind” — as if, at this point, I had any deadline to meet other than death itself.  Then I easily lost two full days during the week over a personal situation that had me too distracted to focus on my work.  I connected the two: my working on the day when I wasn’t supposed to work; and my not being able to work on the days when I was supposed to work.

But that’s silly, really.  It’s superstitious.    When a person decides to take a full day off each week, isn’t it supposed to give him an opportunity to conserve his energy, so as to start out afresh each week, and possibly even get more accomplished in the long run?  I need to remember that spirituality is not about superstition. It’s not even about “religion,” for that matter. It’s about each person cultivating healthy and beneficial, purposeful patterns of life practice. Each one developing what works best for the particular individual — but bearing some general guidelines in common — such as not working seven days a week, 24/7/365 like a workaholic.

Frank Zappa was a workaholic.  They say he never took a break.  Whether one likes his music or not (I personally do not), it has to be admitted that he was extremely prolific.  But where did it get him?   To an early grave is where.  The prolific Frank Zappa died an untimely death of prostate cancer at the age of only 52.

zappa
Zappa

Still, I was just paranoid enough that if I didn’t meet my project goal that week by finishing the Urban Pathos sequence, the temptation to work on Sunday would be irresistible. It would keep nagging at me until I wrapped it up. So, as a result, I stayed up till 2:45 in the morning cranking it out like a madman, never taking breaks. By the time I finally turned in, I figured it for done, but everything sounded like crap. Then of course I woke up in a total fog before church. Didn’t get a chance to listen to it till after church, but when I did, it sounded surprisingly all right to me. Not as strong as my Royal Rhapsody, but strong enough to move on.

 Urban Pathos

Copyright © 2016 by Andrew Michael Pope. 
All Rights Reserved.

The Call

I have again experienced something akin to the phenomenon of reassurance that I struggled to describe in my previous post, All to the Glory to God.  I had been disillusioned about one of the musical numbers in The Word from Beyond, the piece provisionally entitled “Adytum.”   I put it down last night, deciding to “sleep on it,” and when I awoke realized it would function best as only a small part of larger number, The Call. Though I’m still not perfectly satisfied with the way the two numbers tie together, I’ve received a new assurance that I’m on the right track.  It is largely because of this assurance that I feel I can move on, and get a draft of The Word from Beyond finished by the 90th day, as has been my oft-stated objective.

The sense of reassurance, in this case, was based on something very simple.  I decided more-or-less spontaneously to use a major chord at the end of The Call, even though the song had been tending toward a minor mood throughout the entire second half of its five minutes and twenty-five seconds.  The way that I voiced this final chord was a bit ambiguous, in that it could be interpreted either as a tonic or a dominant  To use it as a dominant would suggest hat a new tonic would be soon to follow.  (That much is academic — it’s in the job description of “dominant” to lead up to a “tonic.”)

What was uncanny was that the tonic to follow just happens to be voiced precisely like the tonic that begins the title song in this show; that is, the song called “The Word from Beyond,” named after the title of the show itself.  However, this voicing was not in the key as it is currently scored in Version 7-N of “The Word from Beyond” on my Finale file, a key designed for my own, basso profundo voice.   Instead, it was in a far better key: the key in which it ought to be scored, if it is to be sung by the protagonist, Winston Greene, in his intended, leggiero tenor range.

This pleasant new segue gave me the final bit of motivation I needed to remove the song “Clarion” from the show.  The style in “Clarion” is too far afield of the general style in The Word from Beyond, since I wrote it much later, after a substantial break during which I composed no music at all for several months.   Though the final measures of “Clarion” led into the title song quite nicely, they only led into the key in which it had previously been scored, which (as I said) was not the correct key for Winston Greene’s voice, but only for my own.  Now, on the other hand, I’m leading up to the right key for the song “The Word from Beyond,” with the critical difference being that the lead-in emerges from the song I initially had placed before “Clarion” since “Clarion” has now been removed.  That song, happily enough, is The Call. 

Another neat thing is that the text of “The Call” leads up to the text of the title song, “The Word from Beyond,” quite smoothly.  So both text-wise and musically, there’s a pleasant flow taking place — as there has been from the beginning of the project, till now.  This validates for me my next move should be to score “The Word from Beyond” in its more appropriate key, a full perfect fifth higher, while continuing to seek a tenor who can sing the part of Winston Greene in a way that I, as a bass, cannot.

And a certain rain was falling
Where it wasn’t supposed to fall.
Though he thought he knew his calling,
He at last had heard the Call.

The Call

“The Call” from Eden in Babylon.
Copyright © 2016 by Andrew Michael Pope.  All Rights Reserved.

All to the Glory of God

The function of “incubation” – being the second of the four stages of the creative process as posited by Graham Wallas – is amazing in the way that it validates for the Artist that he’s on the right track with his work.

For example, I knew that, in order for “Sirens of Hope” to come across like the opening number of a musical or light opera, five events needed to take place:

(1) There had to be a certain extension of the theme. It had been exposed, but not sufficiently developed.

(2) There had to be a certain type of modulation involved in this extension; otherwise it would seem both boring and unnatural.

(3) There needed to be a certain change in instrumentation toward the end, not only to give the number more variety, but also to give it a “grand sense of finish” — as befits an opening number.

(4) It needed to “rock out” at the end. It had rocked a bit earlier — now it needed to rock harder and longer, in order to honor that “grand sense of finish.”

(5) It needed to end in a certain key, where it could segue most gracefully into the next number: “Bone of My Bones.”

What I did not know was:

(1) The instruments that were logical for the change in instrumentation would happen to turn out to be the instruments that would “rock” the hardest, as needed, for the end of the number.  So I was able to accomplish two purposes without compromise, even though I hadn’t planned it this way. 

(2) The modulation that was most logical and natural — that is to say, the least forced or contrived — turned out to modulate into the exact key which I needed in order to segue into “Bone of My Bones” most gracefully.

The first five events were a function of my conscious intention and choice. The second two events were, according to the Wallas model, a product of unconscious creative incubation.  As such, they were “given” to me as unexpected gifts that, for me, validated that I was on the right track artistically. Moreover, because I am a Christian; and I believe that all good gifts are given by God, it validated for me that God is supportive of my project. After all, it is written:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
— James 1:17 NIV

The Wallas model interprets such gifts as a function of the second stage in a four-stage process. I fully accept that model. I also accept that, for a Christian whose aim is to glorify God in his work, this stage of incubation is the work of God. My own process may seem completely chaotic, haphazard, and random. But it is God who can “make the crooked paths straight.” (Isaiah 42:16) 

bach
Johann Sebastian Bach

What is even more astounding is that, even though I haven’t written any of the lyrics to this piece of music, I can “hear” the lyrics “Glory to God” fitting into a logical place in the melody line, having the same meter as “Sirens of Hope” in a different verse. This is further evidence to me, in a very frank and flagrant fashion, that God intends to be glorified in this piece.  I wonder if an experience similar to this is what was felt by the great composer, Johann Sebastian Bach.  I wonder if it is for reasons such as these that Bach was moved to inscribe, at the bottom of every piece of music he wrote, the words: “All to the Glory of God.”

 

Another Round of Fear

As you may or may not know, I have been without a computer for almost two months now.   Finally, two days ago there arrived my new Dell Latitude E6410 with 8gb RAM, a  500gb hard drive capacity, and an Intel 5 dual core 2.4ghz processor.   It’s a cute little computer with a 14 inch screen and DVD drive, very sturdy, with good speakers and internal microphone.  Perfect for my kind of work.  I’m running Windows 7 Professional, and I’ve successfully downloaded Finale 2014.5, Audacity, and Free Studio.

One of the first things I did was to open up the Finale file of the most recent piece I was working on before my last Dell Latitude had an unfortunate incident that led to its soon demise.  Be that as it may, I was honestly amazed at what I heard.  To be truthful, it surprised me how much I enjoyed what I was hearing.  It was as though the “feel” that is appropriate for this particular song, having been lost, was now regained.  For I remembered thinking that “Another Round of Fear” was hopeless, having no feel whatsoever.  The memory  of a former appreciation of the piece was dim and useless. Yet I knew that when I was first writing the song two years ago, I distinctly enjoyed its feel; and in fact I passed that same feel along to friends of mine who enjoyed it as well.  Thus a small but substantial audience had already verified for me that the song was worthwhile, and yet I was about to trash it, for I could no longer recall its feel.  So I dropped it, because I had come to hate it; and subsequently dropped the laptop itself hard upon the pavement, when I failed to zip up my backpack one day, and the laptop came flying right out of it as I swung round a corner at top speed — while walking, by the way.  Not even on my bicycle!

Only now have I been able to muster up a new laptop.  Thus, on the similar but noticeably improved new device, I have listened to the piece afresh.  Far from feeling empty or devoid of feel at all, it instantly conveyed a sense of honky-tonk frolic with a slight note of mockery, giving it an undue frivolity, and an almost gleeful irreverence.  That, I could rock with!  So I worked on it for three days incessantly.  Just last night, taking a walk in the midnight heat, I decided it was good enough to post on the Berkeley page of this website, since the notorious city of Berkeley, California, is the place where this all went down (no pun intended).  I’m going to forge forward to the next song in my 14-song project now, having been encouraged by this most promising start.

Oddly, I also received the bulk of the lyrics to this tune Friday night when I was merrily walking in the evening breeze.  I thought this odd because I had really hated the song.  Also, that was before the computer came, and before I had a chance to check out the file to find out, to my surprise, that I actually liked the song.  Somehow this is meaningful.

A New Season

I’m over at the North Berkeley Senior Center, where they have a nice Yamaha U-2 console piano, one of my favorite non-grand pianos.  I don’t quite understand why two of the other pianists here prefer the Baldwin.  To me, it plays like an old Hamilton workhorse.  The keys can’t take normal rough pressure in the least; they keep breaking on me.  Well, this one hasn’t yet – but I feel it’s about to.  And the other pianists caution me to go easy on the keys.  It’s true that the nice nuances of its action come at a much softer range; but still, where is the tone?  The Yamaha, notwithstanding that for me, its action is far more subtle, precise, and superior, sounds like a damned Steinway in places.  It’s just a sensational piano – like the C-3 baby grand that I played for all those years at Gulliver’s.

I played a couple of my very newer tunes, then for some reason drifted into my standard New-Age improvisations around “Feed the Birds.” After that, I more-or-less dared to play three songs from The Word from Beyond that I really have only hitherto played in my head, those being “Adytum,” “Another Round of Fear,” and “Rosy.”  title: These songs reflect a spirit more consonant with the current phase in my life than the earlier music from Eden in Babylon, which was mostly written between 2010 and 2012.  Although by and larger their tone is more romantic and passionate than my earlier work, the most recent song that I’ve written, “The Very Same World,” has a very upbeat, optimistic feel to it, almost bubblegum in places.  As I played it, two of the guys working at the front desk tuned into it, and seemed to perk up a bit.  When I was done, they both asked me: “What was that last song you played?”  So  I explained everything, and linked them to this web site.  

It’s not that I don’t want to finish the very nearly completed script of Eden in Babylon, and finally tie it all together.  It’s just that I see no reason to rush into it, even after five years, and plow away at it as though there were a deadline, thus compromising its integrity at some point.  There’s a right script out there in the Universe, and it will get dropped down upon me at just the right time–just like everything else, in Art, and in life.