I am the sort of person that, once i have something fixed in my head, it overwhelms everything else in my life. That’s what happens when i ‘crush’, so to speak. I can safely reveal to you that this sort of attention is rarely paid to anything resembling work. When i’m at work i can become so focused on something that i’ll skip lunch breaks and leave later than expected, and i have been known to grow so engrossed in writing a paper that i forget to sleep or use the bathroom. However, the way crushing works is that it subverts other intended activities — and getting the records organized at work never crosses my mind when i’m working on a decent logic puzzle in the same way that writing a paper usually doesn’t distract me from writing a song.
Having spent all that time setting up what doesn’t usually distract me to no end, now let me (predictably) contradict myself: in the past week an official job i have has superseded everything else i could possibly be doing: working, sleeping, eating, spending time with Elise, and even getting near Blogger. The job, as it were, is to arrange Lisa Loeb’s “Stay” a cappella for eight or more women’s voices so that everything about the song – guitars, drums, harmony, et al – is represented in full by the singers.
It was not easy. In fact, looking back over the last week i would say i’ve easily spent upwards of fifteen hours on this barely three minute song with its half-octave of lead vocal notes and its five essential chords. Fifteen hours in front of my computer playing back the same collections of three and four measures back over and over as i first change a sixteenth note to an eighth note, and then from a major fourth to a major third of harmony.
Almost a solid day’s worth of arranging later and i have suddenly realized that Drexel had managed to teach me something, because i couldn’t do any of this three years ago – or even two. Possibly not even one. I haven’t mentioned it lately, but i’m currently in choir. Yes, choir. Singing in a group of over twenty people, some of whom are very highly distinguished singers who have been in such groups for well over a decade. I, by contrast, have been in such a group for going on five weeks. I start each session frazzled and rigid and end each one relieved and smiling and ready to belt out just about anything.
Conclusion? Some things do change, but the most basic of things always wind up the same.