One Plugs Away

The dead high school across the street from my building has come alive recently. I first noticed a difference one night when I was walking home and saw the lights all glowing yellow from inside. Seeing the windows lit through the rusting chain link fence from across the overgrown fields was eerie. Usually at night the building looks like a big hunk of dead brick lurking behind spooky purplish trees. That's eerie enough. Now, with the windows lit, it looks like it's alive. I almost jumped when I saw the silhouette of a policeman standing out front. The lady at the Thai place a couple of blocks down told me they're moving a bunch of New Orleans refugees into the building. I immediately felt sad for them. I couldn't imagine being displaced like that and then having to spend my days cooped up in a high school. It's good news in a way, because at least they're being sheltered somewhere. Also, it's kind of nice to know that they live across the street from me. Now, if I want to donate something or help in some way, I can just go across the street. Does that sound lazy? I've separated out some clothes I'd like to donate. As soon as I figure out where to donate them, I'll go over and deliver them.

Today I did some sketching on a new song for the IHML called What Were The Chances? It's about two people who meet at a ball. I only worked out part of the lyric. It will have a sprightly, kind of stride-style accompaniment in the piano which I haven't worked out yet. All I have are the chords and vocal melody. I took some of the material in the intro from a song called Why Isn't It You by Ivor Novello. That's usually how I do it. First comes the vocal melody, then the chords, then I fill out the accompaniment.

Speaking of stride-style (that's what the accompaniment pattern of old ragtime songs is called. It consists of the left hand playing a bass note alone, in octaves or tenths on the first and third beats of a four beat measure. On two and four the left hand plays a chord. Meanwhile, the right hand plays syncopated improvisations on top. Stride playing imitates the Boom chuck boom chuck of banjo strumming, or the bwhamp bwhomp
bwhamp bwhomp sound of a brass band. You know The Entertainer? That's stride), I mostly practiced one of my pieces for school today. I'm afraid I wrote over my head on this one. I'm doing an arrangement I made of But Not For Me. It's got all of these big honking chords and everything. I know you're thinking, why would you write something that's too hard for you to play? I don't know. I really don't. It's a challenge. To spend as much time practicing something as you spent writing it can be a bit daunting. But one plugs away. More later.