I love Deadmau5. I think it was his Masterclass that was the final tipping point to get me to sign up for classes this fall.

I want part of my LOT300W to include some EDM-inspired parts. I was wondering, well, how did Deadmau5 do it? What is the pattern of kick drum and snare, etc. I found this video

…which was amazingly well done. The graphics were funny and vivid, and it was packed with information. I let out a holler of delight when I found out that Joel used Strobe2 (my latest softsynth purchase). Also hilarious — Joel’s source of handclap sounds. He smacks himself on the ass with a microphone.

I did find all the terminology used to describe EDM very confusing and complex. I’d like to get the taxonomy straight. I would benefit from taking notes on this vid and listening to a few more.

Meanwhile I stumbled on this

…an orchestral mix.

and this…

“If you want me to stay

I need you to know

You can never ever leave me alone”

I love how the singer repeats the words with different inflections, bringing out different shades of meaning each time. The repetition reminds me of a prayer. The lyrics were heartrending to me because I know someone who just came out of a dysfunctional relationship where one partner was destructively dependent on the other. The lyrics are a cry from the heart — “don’t abandon me” — but is this a healthy state of mind? Or a form of obsession? I know that different species can live in symbiotic relationships and in fact that is the only way they can thrive (ex coral and algae). But what about humans? Is it bad (harmful, hurtful) for us to be dependent on each other? To want (demand?) fidelity and wholeheartedness from your partner? I’m not sure — because lately I’ve seen it go horribly wrong. When I hear this vocalist’s plea, I don’t know whether to empathize… or to recommend a good therapist.

I remember times when I was dependent on another’s deep focus and engagement, and how anguished I was when these times of connection ended. I can relate to these lyrics.

In this song the rhythm moves along, like a car down a highway or the minute hand of a clock, or a heartbeat, marking off the passage of time. Floating over that unchanging rhythm is a human voice, hesitant, changeable, at times anguished and at times angry. It is a compelling combination.

I remember talking to one of my profs last semester — I mentioned New Age music and she gave a look of mild disgust. She asked — why listen to something so boring and repetitive when there is music that is so much more varied and expressive?

Because for me, the repetition is…meditative? Like a form of transportation (worm hole, time warp) into a different mindset? The format is familiar and so my mind goes down familiar paths — I remember other times I have lived / worked to this music — ex. painting the aviary while listening to “I Remember” and wondering about how a friend was doing at that moment in time. The music is a familiar companion, a mood-altering substance, a way of centering. “I remember who I was the last time I listened to this”. Usually working and moving, sometimes even dancing.

I remember “house sitting” a beautiful, near-empty house (the owners were in the process of moving their things out to sell it). I had my boom box with me, and was playing this mix from Paul van Dyk. The sound echoed, and the hardwood floors made the open plan rooms like a dance studio. I had the lights out and danced, looking out the sliding glass doors into the dark, with distant lights from neighbors’ houses shining through the trees. This feeds a part of me, the wordless part that exists in the present. It gets me out of the hamster-wheel of my usual thoughts.





Recent Fun with Finale

Ah yes, Finale. Drag and drop notes while banging your head on the desk.

I did make some good progress while working on a project for church. The goal was to make a version of “Thanks for the Memory” that was created to honor our former choir director. I wanted to keep the tune and rhythm as close to the original as possible, but I did have to make some changes. I got stuck several places, but because the project was so important I actually RTFM’d and searched for the answers online. Here’s some notes.


Quick way to add measures, one at a time


Get rid of an extra page



I want it to start playback where I was working, rather than going all the way back to the beginning.

This dropdown menu also allowed me to vary the amount of swing. I wrote the melody with straight eighth notes, but it did not sound that way when sung by Bob Hope!



I wanted to use piano rather than the cheesy Vox setting they gave me when I set the staff up as “voice”.