25 January 2013

National Choreography Month Recap, Days 21 - 25

Crazy couple of days around here. Last night the Oilers played the craziest hockey game I've heard in a while. Down 1-0 with just over a minute to go in the game and Nugent-Hopkins scores -- and then it gets called back due to a totally ridiculous 'goaltender interference' call.

And then with 4.7 seconds left, Yakupov scores. The game goes to overtime. (Or, as Jack Michaels called it: 'ooooooooooo-ver-time!')

And then Sam Ganger (remember him?) scores the winner.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Oilers-hating-referees. Way to almost cause a riot.


Last post, I had a just-barely-attainable goal on the National Choreography Month side of things: Finish Fly Eagle Fly.

So Monday morning (Day 21) I woke up, ate breakfast, then sat down and began composing. I worked more or less until six pm, then had dinner and went for Bible study in town. At this point I had five measures (phrases, bars, whatever... I'm a choreographer, not a musician) left in the song. Assuming I got back home at about ten or ten-thirty, I should easily be able to finish by midnight, giving me a full nine days to devote to The Dance.

So I went to Bible study, got to see a friend who'd kind of dropped off the face of the earth for nearly a year, witnessed a heck of a discussion on the work of the Holy Spirit within His people, accidentally threw a wrench into the 'college and career' program plans they've been working on for two months (because I'm just that talented), and got back into the rattletrap to listen to my RDA of White Heart as I drove the twenty minutes back home.

Two minutes out of town, the rattletrap overheats.

It's happened before, so almost on autopilot, I pulled over into the next driveway (thank you for the use of your driveway every three months when this happens, person with two driveways and the old country-style cottage surrounded by trees), shut the van off, and called my longsuffering dad to bring me some coolant (because for some reason the jug that had been in the back of the rattletrap was no longer there).

I hung up the phone and settled back into the still-cold seat in the strangely quiet van surrounded by the vast Alberta night sky. Literally thirty seconds later it hit me.

Fly Eagle Fly.

Oh crap.

It was already ten o'clock. By the time my dad got there it would be pushing 10.30. Then it was a twenty-minute drive back. I would have an hour to finish the dance.

Five measures (phrases, bars...) doesn't sound like much, but I had absolutely no ideas at all for them yet (and usually I have some vague vision in my head). It was the most difficult part of the dance -- I wasn't quite sure what I wanted out of this one little section, and thus had no idea where to even start.

But still... I had accomplished quite a bit earlier that day... maybe... maybe...

My dramatic self was on the verge of hypothermia by the time my dad arrived (why is it that when the rattletrap 'overheats' it's never actually anything close to warm?). The rattletrap behaved better with more coolant in it and we went home. I rushed down to my room and hunched over my little table with my iPod and my pencil, willing my brain to come up with something brilliant in the next hour... please...

And it did -- but only after it came up with something else first that I wasted half an hour writing and then had to erase. By the time I finished the dance and looked up at the clock it was 12.45. In the morning.

I had failed.

I had fallen short of my goal.

There aren't a lot of words to describe how crushing that was.

I had set a goal, and I had missed meeting it. I think the only thing that could have made it worse was if it had been the 31st of January.

But it was not and after much ranting about the rattletrap on Facebook and a few hours' sleep, I began working on The Dance.

It's going beautifully -- I'm quite surprised. I think it might be because last time I wrote a piece with more than three people it was the middle of December. After microanalysing every little thing that two people are doing for the past month and a half (to make sure they're complimenting each other but not doing the exact same thing), giving my brain six dancers to play with was like hearing your favourite band is getting back together. Or at least how I imagine it would be (*cough cough* notthatI'mtryingtotellyouanythingWhiteHeart *cough*). Add to that the ridiculously easy counting structure of the song (eights, all the way through), rather than the gorgeous-but-slightly-epileptic tendencies of Mark Gersmehl's synthesizer, and my brain is doing absolute cartwheels of delight. My problem now is keeping up with the notating, not getting ideas. And that is definitely a good problem to have in this line of creativity...

No comments: