The final week has passed. Tomorrow is the performance, and boy it's been a ride. But lets jump back to where I left you last Thursday.
Last Group Practice minus Nathan
Due to Jake's busy schedule we were unable to meet up with him until Tuesday. So off to the coast we went again, only to find out an hour later that Nathan couldn't come due to a family emergency regarding their cat and fair bit of money. This was unfortunate, as we had hoped to implement the effects he had been working on over the weekend for his horn. Instead we spent the time cleaning up the composition and running through it as many times as we could to make sure Jake was comfortable with it, and we had it as bulletproof as possible.
Turns out no Horn Effects. Or Wii.
As you know, through my blog posts my main experimental idea was using the Wii for effects. I had managed to get this working on my computer and those at school, but for some reason Simone's computer fritz'd when I try to sync the Wii remote to OSC (a program Nathan and I bought for this performance). We have tried numerous times to get it working, and only succeeded in crashing her computer. The internet provided no answers, and time was of essence-- so it was scrapped.
Nathan's effects also turned out redundant though I can't remember the exact reason. Instead we hooked up some parameter controls for his sustained chords on his midi keyboard, similar to Simone's set up for the introduction which is replacing the Wii. She also managed to get her launchpad working, which helped a lot with her drums.
In truth I am quite disappointed with this turn out, though it's only one of many regrets I have.
Performance and more Practice
Come Thursday we performed for the class, without a singer. We were not the best, and while I wouldn't call us the worst due the fact worst implies we didn't do well, our level of achievement fell quite below of others. This came from the fact they had a lot more experience and tools at their disposal to achieve quite avant garde stuff in some cases; or maybe just more willing team members to go in that direction. There are a million excuses to why we weren't and aren't that level. But excuses do nothing, so all I can do is practice more and do the best with what we have.
These experiences are all about learning, and if I'm to avoid making the same mistakes in the future, I have to take on board the sins I did in this project and one of them was noticing warning signs, and dismissing them. If some one says 'don't worry, I have this'-- they don't always do. If an element of your piece-- no matter how big or how beloved by a member-- is tied to your feet like a cement block, then you have to cut it loose. If members are scared to try something new, sometimes you have to push them by presenting work in a manageable way, even if it means taking on more of the load yourself.
If you're in a situation that's dragging you down, you need to be stronger and better. You have to find a way to make it all work. And though I tried, I put that much needed extra effort in far too late when the noose was already dropping over our heads.
Next time, I have to act faster and learn to push the members of the team in an efficient way (a far more practical thing then taking it all upon myself) that may antagonise my self in their mind, but bring out the best in them in our work.
It's tomorrow night, and I am scared. I know my part front and back, but that is only one variable out of hundreds that implicate the success of our performance. I worry for our singer, who I know can be great, but is yet to demonstrate in practice something concrete and moving. I worry for my health, as this night falls on the worst night in the month for me-- if you catch my drift. If you don't. Just know, I am in a fair bit of pain. And if the panadol wears off moments before I walk on stage...
But there's other things too that are so unpredictable that all you can do is hope for the best, and prepare for the worst just like with anything else.
While this piece may not be at the standard I hoped for, it is something I created with friends, and I do want to do justice to what we have made. This may be our final performance for our university, but it is a far cry from the closing night of our lives. And if everything is to go wrong, at least one good comes out of it -- I get to play on an awesome grand piano!