Yet another Transition from the opera The Boats. Transition IV? Don’t make me turn this car around! Value for money. Seven years? Re-purposing and foreshadowing. Sounds are hard to catalog. Fitting the pieces of the puzzle.
Roger CortonLast time you said we were almost there. So is this really it?
JCHDon’t make me stop this car! I’ll do it, you know!
RCWow. There’s a video game for everything. But seriously…
RCIsn’t it time to think about wrapping this thing up?
JCHIs that what yer bugged about?
RCWell DUH! Why, what did you think?
JCHI thought you’d be bothered about value for money.
JCHWell, you know. A whole chat just for a forty five second snippet. I figured you would feel gypped.
RCWell yes. No. I think we all want you to get back to the Prog, man. I mean, what’s left to say about this thing?
JCHI told you this would happen! (laughs)
RCEnough. Back to our show. This just sounds like something from the overture.
JCHOr maybe the Overture was pulled from this? HAH! Didn’t see that one coming, now did ya?
RCWhatever. Last time you talked about re-using material as a way to organize the whole thing. How is that different from, you know, ‘filler’?
JCHFiller? Well I never! Harumph! I’ve tried to say that one of the major ideas of opera is that the orchestra tells a big part of the story–whether the audience gets it or not.
RCFine. So what is this forty five seconds supposed to tell me?
JCHIt’s not supposed to tell you anything. It’s supposed to tell the Supers Supernumeraries–basically the ‘extras’ who are used for crowd scenes. that they have forty five seconds to move their collective arses and get ready for the next scene. (laughs)
RCThis may be the shortest rant ever.
JCHNow, now. This is the bridge from the overture. Whereas the verse and chorus are rather ‘chirpy’, this bridge is the approaching storm. Haven’t you had moments in yer life where everything is going along great, but there’s this nagging little thing off in the distance that you catch out of the corner of yer eye?
RCNot really. But I’ve had a less ‘interesting’ life than you. (laughs)
JCHTouché But this is a theme that telegraphs to the audience that there’s a storm on the horizon.
RCOK, so it’s not just you filling up space re-using the same idea?
JCHWould I do that to you? (laughs)
RCUh huh. So then where does this fit in the show?
JCHNot exactly sure at this moment.
RCWhat? See every time I almost buy into your B.S. about ‘structure’ and ‘organising’ stuff then you pull something like this and I figure: you’re just making this up as you go.
RCYou know how you’re always going on about ‘let the music speak for itself’? Not caring about an artist’s backstory…
RCAll your classical B.S. is just another form of that. You’re putting on airs–acting like you have this whole ‘master plan’ when you really don’t. It’s just a different way of doing it.
JCHOnly now you’re figuring that out? (laughs) But seriously ladies and germs, I try to have as much ‘organization’ as possible. But you gotta understand. It’s not like a putting up a building. There’s a lot of trial and error. Even after I think I’m ‘done’ I step back and listen to how things fit together and realize that everything is out of balance. Or-and this happens a lot–I have some lovely idea in one place and then I end up yanking it out because I realise that it doesn’t connect with anything else. I kill it because it isn’t part of the plan. And that just kiiiills me.
JCHBecause the chances are like 100% that I’ll forget about that and never get back to it again.
RCWell don’t you save those ideas?
JCHDo I save them? Of all the ridiculous questions. Sure I save them. Have you ever tried to remember what all your MP3s are about?
RCOh, I get it.
JCHThe real drag about music and computers is that there’s no way to catalog your ideas so you can go back to an idea like from two years ago. I have hundreds of WAV files with really helpful names like “Watery Bridge Of Green, Number Eighty Three Dot WAV”. I remember a melody, but the file name which seemed so self-evident two years ago now conjures up nothing.
RCWhat about writing them out?
JCHThat works. But again, there’s nothing nearly as fast as the way you can scan through a thousand pictures in a few seconds. Music is about time. Sometimes that’s not a plus. Anyhoo, back on planet Earth, the thing I’ve learned about the wonders of ‘me’ is that I can feel that I’ll need certain bits. But I’m not sure why. They’re like pieces of a puzzle. I can tell which pieces go with the puzzle–and which don’t. But then there’s the process of dicking around figuring out how they all fit together. That’s where I’m at now. I have all the pieces and now I’m going through that process of getting them all to fit together gracefully.
RCOr not so gracefully?
JCHYou do know me (laughs). Where’s that ball peen hammer? I will make them fit together.