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Belltown/Seattle, Washington, United States
I'm a guy who used to write lots and lots of music. My lack of success became a little troubling, so now I write about Belltown and photograph squirrels. You got a problem with that?

Project 300 - One Year Anniversary

I just noticed today that it's the first anniversary of the end of Project 300. After the agony of Mackris v. O'Reilly, I was determined to keep things light, breezy and short. The whole gist of the project was to write a new piece for brass ensemble every day until I hit 300. Why 300? Well, let's just say I had a lot of time on my hands. I started in mid-April 2007 and finished in early March 2008. Yeah, it really did burn me out, but I wrote a ton of very nice music, and I think the final time count is over 13 hours. That's a lot of music. Like with Mackris v. O'Reilly, I thought this project would lead somewhere. And like Mackris v. O'Reilly it didn't. But it served as a wonderful technical exercise that proved that I could write good music very quickly. And to this day, I'm proud of the massive effort I put forth to complete it. I'm not sure where the will to get it done came from.

A year has passed, and what a difficult year it's been. I put Project 300 behind me, moved on to other things and seldom revisit it. Heck, after my music hosting site went TU, I didn't even bother to find another one and repost, so all the links are dead. But just today I gave a listen to a few tunes - some of which I don't even remember writing - and I still feel that same satisfaction in my work. You know, I've recently been experiencing this extreme crisis of confidence in nearly everything I do. It's led to a kind of creative paralysis. I have ideas, but I can't realize them because I encounter this wall of hopelessness. I think about all the ways that the piece won't succeed. Where the hell has my optimism gone?

I guess the only way to write music again is to force myself. And to convince myself that the only way to go is to write another large piece. Listening to selections from Project 300 is inspiring, but it's like listening to somebody else's music. That's how far I've gone away from last year's friggin' glory. But if I was able to do it then, I can do it again. I've always said that in order to write music, you have to induce some form of mental illness. I think my current problem is that everything looks so bleak that the last thing I need to be at the moment is slightly crazy. Yes, I suppose insanity is the key.

Well, once again, happy first anniversary, Project 300! I hope that your second anniversary finds me in a much more conducive frame of mind.

18 Seconds of Not Much RIP

I'm not sure whether anybody reads this blog or not, but by the frequency of postings over the last few months, you can probably tell that my zeal for 18 Seconds of Not Much has waned. Boy, has it ever. When I first started the series, it was fantastic; I needed only to look out my window and I had a subject. I used to go out for walks and come back with 6-10 new little films. Matching it up with music was really fun. There were always so many choices I could make! I could either set the grainy visuals literally or completely independent to the action taking place or a hybrid of those two. From May to July, everything breezed along nicely. The way things were going, I expected the final total of the series to number in the thousands.

In mid-July, I got a job in Pioneer Square. You can tell that because the subjects shift from mostly around Belltown to the Pioneer/Occidental Square area. For a while, once again, this was very fertile ground for footage. It was summer and lots of things were going on. But then I found myself seeing the same things over and over again; pigeons - check, traffic - check, ships on Elliott Bay - check, rain - check, random street scenes - check, construction - check, dogs - check, etc. If I could have come up with additional visuals, I'd still be working on this project, but alas, I just simply grew tired of doing the same thing again and again. Don't get me wrong - I really do love this project and I feel like I've done some very good work here. But I feel that I've taken it as far as it can go. I find myself finally yearning to do bigger projects. And yes, I remember that my one huge undertaking, Mackris v. O'Reilly, just about killed me. But that fact is no longer a deterrent. Although by that way lies madness, at least it will probably be a familiar madness.

So let's bid a fond farewell to 18 Seconds of Not Much.

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Seattle snow, 1st & Virginia, looking down at Western Ave.

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Police horse and pedestrian on Occidental Ave.

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The arrival of the monorail, Seattle Center.

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On and off ramps from the Alaskan Way Viaduct, from Alaskan Way.

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Elliott Ave., from the Olympic Sculpture Garden.