Musings (Day 131/365)

Minimal activity today: after I printed out the orchestral score of Milky Way on Friday, I noticed that the title was wrong. Since I had used Sun and Moon Circus as the template for my orchestrations, Milky Way still had that title, both on the first page and as headers subsequently. So today I’ve gone through to doublecheck all those files so that an incorrect title won’t be a reason for me to have to print out a score again. Didn’t take long, which leaves me time to consider other items.

For example, I’m thinking the tabloid paper (11×17) I used is not going to be big enough for a conductor’s score. The notes were tiny. However, the tabloid setting is the largest that Finale seems to handle. I guess. I haven’t installed the 2007 version yet. I have trepidations.

The good news is that last night I got an e-newsletter from Gary Garritan, he of the Garritan Personal Orchestra sounds that have been giving me such trouble computer-memory-speaking-wise. He was letting us know that the German company who makes the Kontakt Player has updated that program to work with the new Intel Macs, and that he would have his stuff re-coded by the beginning of the year. This is a Huzzah, folks, because it removes any qualms I had about sinking huge dollar amounts into a new laptop. We’ll see what Apple announces in January.

Since we’re beginning to move forward in a definite way on William Blake, the need for the new laptop becomes real: I need reliable sound-making for demos and for rehearsal CDs and such. Also, orchestrating the remaining big pieces won’t be such a big hairy deal.

However, I also am going to need a big ol’ laser printer at some point to print the conductor’s score. Those are even more expensive than the laptop, and I cannot justify that expenditure at all.

In other news, I have watched two videos in the last week or so that have really inspired me. One was Uncommon Sense: the art and imagination of Nancy Willard, a short 2003 documentary of Nancy Willard’s artwork. She does these beautiful, unsettling assemblages, the people and creatures which inhabit her writing. (Yes, she has the Inn, and I’m thinking we need an exhibit of her work to accompany the premiere.)

The other video is on a DVD which includes Powers of Ten, a film by Charles & Ray Eames, the husband and wife design team. The other film on the DVD is 901: after 45 years of working. Made by the couple’s grandson, it’s a tour of the studio at 901 Washington Boulevard in Venice, California, which Ray had decided should be shut down and dispersed in the event of her death. Before this happened, the filmmaker documented the space and the materials and the work.

Both videos show what truly creative people can do given the necessary freedom. Willard does hers on a small, personal scale, while the Eames’s work was international in its scope and impact, but both involve the assemblage of disparate elements in often surreal but always striking ways.

It occurred to me that this is the environment we need to establish to work on William Blake: a studio of resources, both personal and material, that will feed the creative energies of the company. Easier said than done, of course. Both Willard and the Eames maintain huge stockpiles of stuff, the raw materials of their dreams. We have no place for that. Any storyboarding/flowcharting we do has to be stowed before we leave and put back up the next time we work. That’s going to hamper us in small but definite ways.
What we need is a storefront somewhere we can use for the next year or so to get this thing ready. Yep, that’s what we need all right.

2 thoughts on “Musings (Day 131/365)

  1. How ’bout that. I, too, have seen the Eames films. Very inspiring and exasperating. Either you are a tinkering and collecting lifelong polymath or you’re not. Power of Ten seems like it would be a great mindblowing film for school kids of a certain age: you should get it for your library. As far as the assemblage of stuff goes, I also like to use the work of Joseph Cornell as a reference point.

  2. I actually bought Powers of Ten for a lesson at school, and I intended to donate the DVD, but the 901 film is so engrossing that I’m keeping the whole thing for myself. Powers of Ten was always a favorite of mine anyway. I used to show it all the time when it was available (new at the time) from the State Film Library.

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