Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What's In My Head Wednesday

I've had a bunch of great songs in my head lately, haven't I? Instead of making it a daily thing, I've decided to share a song or two that have been in my head every week. That way I won't overload you all with awesome music.

So for this week...

I don't remember where I heard this song, but it immediately captured me. It's so meaningful. It's been stuck in my head almost all day.

Ah, but then this song popped into my head.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I Love...

These songs!

They've been in my head all day. Possibly all week. That may be due to the fact that they've been playing on the radio nonstop.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Soundtrack Saturday

This week's selection is the theme from Finding Nemo by Thomas Newman.

I love how lush and watery this is.

Listen closely. Close your eyes. What do you picture? Can you see the deep blue of the water, the sun's rays penetrating the water's surface? Can you hear the waves? Feel the current?

I sure can. That's why I love this. Music that paints a picture in my mind is the best type.

I don't own Finding Nemo yet (it's been on my iTunes wishlist for a long time) and I'll definitely have to get my hands on this soundtrack. When I do I'll be sure to post a review!

What do you think?

I've Been Tagged!

The Director tagged me... Again.

Let's see what I must do this time...

"List 10 artists you love, in no particular order {before looking at the questions below}."

All right, sounds simple enough.

  1. Matt Maher
  2. James Newton Howard
  3. Lecrae
  4. The Afters
  5. Third Day
  6. Kristian Stanfill
  7. Chris Tomlin
  8. Hans Zimmer
  9. Jeremy Camp
  10. MercyMe 

Then I...

Answer some questions. Looks pretty harmless, right?

What was the first song you ever heard by 6? 

Day After Day (I love that song! If you haven't heard it, go listen to it! Now!) 

What is your favorite song of 8?

Drink Up Me Hearties Yo Ho!

What kind of impact has 1 left on your life?  

His lyrics are so meaningful, they really make one think. I hope that counts as an impact.

What is your favorite lyric of 5s? 

Ooh, this is a hard one! Probably the first verse of Born Again:

Today I found myself
After searching all these years
And the man that I saw, he wasn’t at all who I thought he’d be
I was lost when you found me here
And I was broken beyond repair
Then you came along and you sang your song over me 

How many times have you seen 4 live?

Once (earlier this month, in fact). It was epic! Especially Light Up the Sky!  

What is your favorite song of 7? 

Umm... I can't decide between I Will Follow and I Will Rise. They're both really cool and for different reasons. I Will Follow is just downright catchy, but I Will Rise is just downright beautiful. I think I'll go with the latter for now. But I also really like Our God is Greater. (Oh, why did I have to put Chris Tomlin for #7?)

Is there any song of 3 that makes you sad? 

Umm... Not really, except Just Like You is pretty heavy, but I wouldn't say it's sad...

What is your favorite song by 9?

This Man! That's a no brainer (but only because of the story behind it... *glares at The Director*

How did you first get into 2? 

The Director, of course! I don't remember how exactly. Ah, yes! I had heard of him before, but it wasn't until this last summer when I heard the score for Treasure Planet that I really started listening to Howard's work. He's brilliant and I have learned so much just from listening.

How did you first get into 3?

It's all The Director's fault again! 

What is your favorite song by 4? 

*Scrolls back up for the zillionth time to see what 4 is* Ah. Light Up the Sky, of course!

How many times have you seen 9 live? 

None... But how I would love to!

What is a good memory concerning 10? 

(Oh great.) Umm... Well... It's a long story, but it has to do with Speech class and the school library... *headdesk* (Why number 10, why?)

Is there a song by 8 that makes you sad? 

Let's see... Nope, not really.

What is your fave song of 1's? 

That's one of the toughest questions I've ever been asked. Can I just throw a few out there? Christ is Risen is one of my favorites to listen to before bed, but I have a sweet association with Hold Us Together, but No Greater Love is just so catchy... But so is Your Grace is Enough, and As It Is In Heaven has a cool piano part. Did that answer the question? (And if you haven't heard any of these songs, go do that!)

How did you become a fan of 10?

Well, I knew about them and thought they were catchy and all, but I really became what one would describe as a "fan" during or after the happening in Speech class.

Great. That was all of the questions, it looks like. Now for the tagging part:

I tag...

Rebekah at Sidetracked Studies (Yes, dear. This means it's finally time to wipe away all those cobwebs gathering on your blog)

Jamie Joyce at Through Two Blue Eyes (Cuz I can!)


Friday, March 25, 2011

I got a new new computer!!!

I know, I know, I was excited about a new computer just a few days ago. Well, that computer is history!

That's right...



And now I have a new new one. I've never had a new new computer. They've always been old hand-me-downs from my dad and such.

But not this time, folks!

Just a couple of hours ago we went to the Apple store and I got my very own, super cool, (super expensive) MacBook Pro. And it's all mine!

Now I just need a spiffy name for it.

I'll post pictures at some point, you know, when we get it all up and running.

But for now, I am one happy camper composer!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Soundtrack Review: Flyboys

I'm not quite sure how I happened upon this soundtrack, but I'm very glad I did. Full of heroic fanfare and hopeful melodies, the soundtrack for Flyboys by Trevor Rabin is well worth listening to.

The score is quite different from his other works which include Batman, Armageddon, and National Treasure, which are noticeably heavier. Flyboys, on the other hand, is beautifully light.

What really caught my attention was the way Rabin presented the main theme differently. Almost every time it was used, it was played by a different combination of instruments. As you probably know, I dislike the overuse of themes and by using such a combination of sounds, Rabin was able to hold my interest throughout the entire soundtrack, not just the first few tracks.

I also noticed his sparse use of drums. When he did use drums, and he usually used snare, it was only when it was extremely necessary. He made me want to listen harder so that I wouldn't miss them.

I already shared the Main Title to you, so here are some of my other favorites. Listen closely for the different ways he presents the theme.

The first time I listened to this one, I didn't think I'd like it when it got all "battle-y" but it resolved and became one of my favorites. Really, it's hard not to like it because it's so exciting. But don't just pay attention to that! listen to all the different ways the theme is used! It's used in major, in minor, with low horn, with high strings, you name it! That's what makes this an especially noteworthy piece.

This is an ineresting one. Having not seen the movie, I can only imagine what's going on. The way the music swelled or dropped, went major or minor, helped me picture what could be happening. Again, but I didn't need to mention it, the theme creeps in there.

I'll admit, the first time I listened to the whole soundtrack, i thought the theme was used way too much. But over time, I've come to appreciate the different ways it was played. It has taught me so many useful things that I can apply to my own compositions. Flyboys is a brilliant soundtrack, and I hope you'll check it out.

Getting Organized

Remember a few days ago when I told you about my sudden impulse to organize my books? Well, it actually happened!

*insert applause*

Earlier today, my mom and I went to the Container Store and purchased three of these:

They stack on top of one another! Isn't that nice?

Here is what I did with them. I'm very happy with the result.

See the pretty labels I made?

I trimmed colored index cards to the size I wanted, labeled with markers, hole punched,  and simply tied them on.

On a side note, did I mention I got a unicycle? Well, I did. It's bright red! And I can even ride it! At least, yesterday I could. It's too rainy to ride it today. Even if it wasn't raining, I'm probably too sore to ride it anyway. Oh well... That's Oregon for you.

What have you been up to of late?

Monday, March 21, 2011

John 1:1-11 Visuals

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came as a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.

He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My New Hobby:

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.

Psalm 1:1-2

Okay, that's nice, but what is it?

This, my dear friends, is a visual diagram of Psalm 1:1-2. See?

A true work of art, if I do say so myself. And it was very easy! I used drawing on Google Docs to create it.

I'm also working on a series of these for Genesis 1, and another for Psalm 119. The one shown above was my first attempt.

I find that they're a great way to help with memorization as well.

I hope to share more with you in the future!

I'm Breaking My Own Rule

But I have a legitimate excuse, really! Basically, we tried and tried to reload Sibelius and my computer couldn't read the disk. Apparently it forgot it has a disk drive! On top of that, it's just been really, really slow lately and it's clear that there's no hope of it recovering, so I'm getting a new computer. For the past couple of days we've been busy saving as much from this computer as we possibly can and erasing it from the computer after moving the files, and seeing as my pictures and such are rapidly migrating, it means that for a while my posts will probably be relatively void of pictures.

It figures... I was so very uninspired to write up anything on Sibelius when I had the chance, and now that I have no access to it I compose brilliant works of art! The audacity!

But not all is lost. With my computer being all finicky, I've had nothing to do but tidy up and organize. Just tonight I must have cleared out half of my bedroom! I've also been sorting through my bookshelf in order to make room for everything. My bookshelf, you see, is was rather cramped.

But while sorting through my books I was reminded of how much I loved certain ones and of the fact that I hadn't actually read some of them, and suddenly I wanted to read or reread about half of my shelf.

So I began making piles. I now have one pile for library books, one for to-read, and one for to-reread. Not only that, but I have also put them in the order in which I wish to read them. I ordered them so that my shorter books are positioned right after my longer books, and my fantasies all have either nonfiction or realistic/historical fiction between them, because I can't take too much fantasy at one time.

But I couldn't help noticing the sorry condition of a few of my books and I thought how nice it would be to buy fresh copies, so I made a list of which ones to replace.

And while I was list-making, I made a list of books I want to buy, and another of books I wish to check out from the library.

But then another thought struck me: Where am I going to store all of these books (since they clearly won't all fit on my shelf)? I came to the conclusion that I'll keep my organized stacks, with a couple changes, and I'll get some sort of storage unit that will fit beside my bed. I'll have one for my "currently reading" (library books included), one for "to read", and one for library books to be returned that will probably fit nicely by my door.

I'm pretty satisfied with my plan of action. Let's see if I actually follow through or not.

I'm thinking I had better get organized in case I happen to win anything from this:

Castles, Quills, and Cameras

Seriously, The Director is giving away some great stuff (I've seen it with my own eyes). I want those pens! I'm in love with pens! Did you know that I walk around school with only one pencil and one highlighter but 12 pens?

Oh my. I digress...

So while we're on the topic of giveaways...

I've been thinking of hosting one myself. Now I can't promise anything, but I hope to have a crochet giveaway, and if that is to happen, then I must set to work!

Of course... I'm not sure if it would be worth it since as far as I know, only 14 people would actually enter. So if you read this post and would participate in this event, please kindly leave a comment. You don't even have to say anything, I just want a head count. Thanks!

P.S. I apologize for any typos you might find. I didn't proofread this post. I was too lazy. I don't normally write and publish posts this late at night.

Now, to find some yarn and a hook...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Soundtrack Saturday

My selection for this week is the Main Title from the movie Flyboys by Trevor Rabin (Review coming on this).

This score is very heroic sounding. I absolutely adore the use of a high wind instrument (I don't know what it is) along with a horn. And the drum? Don't get me started!

Then the strings come in to tie it all together.

This track especially is so uplifting and hopeful that it's difficult not to absolutely love it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

On Procrastination and Inspiration

I've been meaning to post on this topic for quite a while. I'm sorry if this makes absolutely no sense. I just needed to get my ideas out there. Try not to get too dizzy.

Way back in February, I composed.

I was at school, in science class. While reading Dandelion Fire, the second book in the 100 Cupboards series, a song randomly popped into my head, and it was brilliant! I wrote it on the only piece of paper available: the back of a library receipt. It was incredible (at least, in my head it was) and I couldn't wait to get home so I could write it all out on Sibelius. I was so excited that I told The Director that she had had had to write that series into a screenplay just so I could do the score for it. (Besides, they would make a pretty awesome movie if done correctly...)

But when I got home, I was uninspired, so I let the library receipt sit there next to my computer all weekend (Since I was out of town) gathering dust. I resolved to write it up when I returned.

Well things happened and I became overly busy. The school play was happening and it was the first week of the new semester. Needless to say, I forgot about composing all together.

Every few days or so it would pop into my head one way or another and I'd always tell one of my friends, "Oh yeah. I composed something last week and I haven't written it up yet. I'm going to do that when I get home." That never happened.

I was reminded of it just last weekend and I was all inspired and ready to go. I even had my chicken salad!

I got all ready to sit down for a day of serious composing, and...

My computer was, er, under the weather.

Alrighty then... I guess I won't be doing it after all.

So here I am almost a month later. That library receipt has made its way into my binder of ideas. Sibelius isn't working for me and I think we'll have to reinstall it. Same with iTunes (which I don't look forward to).

See where procrastination got me? It reminds me of Pharaoh and his reaction to the frogs that were plaguing his home. He had the option to get them out of there, to be done with them. He was asked when he wanted them gone. He said "Tomorrow."

Quite honestly, this whole thing is becoming a frog to me. I kept putting it off like Pharaoh did and now it's only giving me trouble.

Now, I've had this happen to me before. If you were with me a couple of days before the premiere of Pirates in the Suburbs, you know what I'm talking about.

If you weren't, then know this: I decided to put off composing the score until about 2 days before the premiere. That's right, I did most of the score on the day before and the day of! It was stressful, it was tiring, and it made me never want to compose again.

But it was entirely my fault for putting it off. I could easily blame it (along with everything else) on The Director, but I'm not going to. Actually, I'm pretty sure the only thing that made me finish was the deadline. If it weren't for deadlines, I probably wouldn't get much done at all.

But why do I tend to wait until the last possible moment?

Much of the time, it has to do with inspiration. Normally, there are only two times when I'm inspired.

1. Directly after an idea gets planted inside my head (normally the first hour or so)
2. Directly before a deadline (Again, an hour or two before)

There is a bit of a creative dry spell, a gap of blah, if you would, between the time a project is assigned and the time it's due. For this reason, I don't write papers for school until the night before. For this reason, I never practiced speeches until right before giving them. For this reason, I waited until the last possible moment to compose the score. In order to finish something, I need a deadline. I need the stress. Stress is what helps to inspire me.

Since stress comes with deadlines, I've settled on a way to make sure I get this song written up once and for all.

Over Spring Break, which is this coming weekend, I have made a personal commitment to, first, reinstall Sibelius, and then, I will sit down and compose before I even think about touching this blog. Hopefully by then I will have also learned how to add audio clips to my posts so you can all hear my masterpiece.

So if you don't hear from me for a while (my Soundtrack Saturdays are scheduled- they don't count) you can be sure that I'm working on something (hopefully) incredible and (Lord-willingly) awesome and epic.

Wish me luck!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Soundtrack Saturday

My selection for this week's Soundtrack Saturday is from The Prince of Egypt. There isn't much I can say about this except that it's wonderful and lush, heroic and hopeful, and I love songs like that.

Monday, March 7, 2011

For All You Music Fanatics Out There

With my mother in mind...

My photography teacher showed us this video in class today. It really isn't photography-related at all but it was cool.

And musical.

And this guy (I think he's about 16) composed and filmed this on his own.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Soundtrack Saturday

This week's selection is from one of my favorite animated movies, Tangled.

The score is absolutely incredible. That's really all there is to say. Way to go, Alan Menken!

I think it's the rhythm that really drew me in.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


The school play Zap had its first performance today! I think we did a great job and got many laughs. I found it interesting that the audience laughed at the times when I was least expecting it. Suddenly, things that had never before been funny to me before were all because the audience thought it was. I was rather surprised.

Here I am in full makeup. My character is Mrs. Hardwicke, an older English woman.

Don't. Laugh.

Beautiful, aren't I? This year's wrinkles are a huge improvement from last year's.

It's interesting though... My role in this play is almost identical to the one I had last year.

In both plays I was the only character with Mrs. in my name.
In both plays I had to wear wrinkles.
In both plays one of the lines is "Dead? Is this some sort of joke?"
In both plays there is concern over a bridge being washed out.
In both plays it is stormy.
And finally, in both plays I am strangled to death. Except I wasn't really killed last year.

I guess I'm just really good at this sort of role.