carmillamurray: (Default)
2012-12-04 07:00 pm

The Journey of a Thousand Miles

I have as of today launched my first Kickstarter, I hope you'll check it out here:

If you're the type who's nervous about clicking links let me tease you a bit. It is a documentary/instructional video for an Intergenerational improvisational orchestra where composition and performance are created based on altered ASL [American Sign Language] cues.

Want a little more?

What if you could compose live music with a few simple gestures?

What if all you needed to do was point, and you'd get a sound?

In the Semiconductor Orchestra, professional musicians and hobbyists, seasoned veterans and children, compose and perform musical pieces on the scale of a chamber orchestra.

Always different, always interesting, always impermanent. No performance ever matches another, no instrumentation in the ensemble is ever the same.
No pre-planning...
No working it out...
No notes on the page; you point...
And you have music.

(Go check out the Kickstarter for more details about the project, what the teeny tiny amount of funding is going to, and samples of the music.)

The ensemble has intrigued me for years since my dad joined it, at first my reaction is this is weird, but then as I had more exposure to it I became fascinated.

In previous degree attempts, I had pursued a music education degree, I wanted to teach kids how to play music and continue the joy I had for multidisciplinary/multigenre music in another generation the way I had grown up. I've played viola off and on for (christ I just realized how old I am) 20 years. I loved playing in orchestra, loved repetoire, and hated practicing. I grew to hate playing music myself for a while because it became a chore. Something I had to do rather than liked to do.

But I wore it proudly as a badge when people would say "OMG music is so hard, it's amazing you can do that!" or "Wow, I can imagine that one would get exhausted, I couldn't even stand playing guitar/bass/drums etc for a year and you did it for XX years?"

And then a few years ago, come to think of it around the time my dad joined Semiconductor, he brought home a ukulele. And while the majority of available learning music for uke is tinpan alley stuff, and it wears thin, the uke was a delightful instrument and easy to play.
And once you get past the tin pan alley stuff is very pretty, or funny, or serious.

A few years down the road, I picked up a ukelele, started playing, loving it was an instrument that I could be in really bad posture on a couch, on the floor, standing, and it didn't impact the sound, loving that pop tunes I'd always wanted to sing but had nasty chords for the guitar were now really simple. and I could play for a few minutes, set it down and play a few days later.

I discovered I had a voice, a singing voice that stunned people far more than my viola ever had, I also discovered that swan lake on the uke is pretty, but hall of the mountain king makes me giggle.

I started singing, Live, in front of people, Sometimes I'd freeze in the uke playing but I'd Sing through, and it was wonderful.

I started realizing we put all these strings on making music, we turn it into this priest[ess]hood thing that only the selected who collect the blue flower from the north face are able to do...

And then via Neil Gaiman I first noticeably encountered Amanda Palmer, and I loved her music. And then she and Neil did an interview with another person I admire, Kevin Smith, and they Discussed this idea that anybody can and SHOULD make art.

Amanda released her "Ukulele Anthem"

...See what happens when you muzzle
A person's creativity
And do not let them sing or scream
And nowadays it's worse 'cause kids have automatic handguns
It takes about an hour to teach someone to play the ukulele
About the same to teach someone to build a standard pipe bomb
You do the math

So play your favorite cover song, especially if the words are wrong
'Cause even if your grades are bad, it doesn't mean you're failing
Do your homework with a fork
And eat your fruit loops in the dark
And bring your flask of Jack to work
And play your ukulele...

Then Amanda said "stop pretending art is hard”

I had a meeting this weekend, with Aaron Kerr, the organizer for semiconductor, where we discussed that my goal is to convey how easy this is, that Art's Not Hard. and he agreed, the only requirement for joining the ensemble is that you have to be able to make a sound. That's it and you can be a part of music making.

My dad says it makes him think about how to use the instrument differently.

And I'm going the similar route with the filmmaking process. I don't need a huge panavision camera to shoot this, I don't need RED or Arri Alexa, I need a couple Nikon DSLRs, plus some small supplemental cameras [GoPro, flip, and possibly nikon point and shoot]. I have a planned set up that all I need are camera babysitters and I'll get my footage.

Art Is Not Hard.

And I aim to prove it.
carmillamurray: (Default)
2012-07-19 07:28 pm

(no subject)

I've spent the last six hours trying not to cry...
I can't afford school and life without this job...
But the job can't give me a schedule so I can do the school I most need to do, For this next immediate semester it's not the end of the world, I'll take the evening classes I can...

But if I can't get everything spring semester as an evening class I will have wasted thousands of my own out of pocket money, plus racked up my student debt load more and worthlessly, because I will have to Take EVERYTHING I'VE TAKEN IN THE FILM PROGRAM AGAIN.
carmillamurray: (Sherlock)
2012-07-11 09:42 pm

The wonderful thing about the internet...

Is if you have any sort of google-fu you can find anything…

Like a picture of a friend you haven’t seen in ten years.

A picture of that friend when he was healthy, accompanied by a wonderful story.

It almost can erase the mental picture of that friend bald and dependent on oxygen.

The crappy thing about the internet is it can slam it home real quick that it’s already been 10 years and it was tough to even find anything about him.

But there are students at the U of M who get to be students easier because of him.
carmillamurray: (Default)
2012-06-29 05:00 am

The Dream Is...

Of course that "This" will take off. Whatever the "This" is of the moment one hopes. (In the current time for me it's being a successful documentarian.)

The problem with the dreaming is that during enforced down time (my subject for the doc doesn't perform again until Decemberish) is that I can dream beyond my means.

"Of course let's rent a RED camera!"

"We'll pay all the crew!"

(We haven't even thrown up the Kickstarter yet to determine if we're going to have enough for renting gear and compensating me and the doc subject yet.)

The problem with the downtime is it's easy to get lost in minutiae too, To get overwhelmed. ("Even just renting it's gonna cost me almost 2 months of my salary from my day job. what am I getting into?" "How do I pick a good 2nd operator, or worse yet how do I pick a 3rd person to operate cameras so I can be director?" "what if no one funds the kickstarter?" "what if it's just me and the ensemble and the ensemble's family, can we come up with the $XXXXX.XX needed?")

I need distractions. I feel a little like the movie making equivalent of Sherlock.

"I need a case!"
"You just Solved one by harpooning a dead pig apparently!"
"that was this morning, when's the next one?"

I just want to be making movies for a living... that's all.
carmillamurray: (Default)
2012-06-11 05:12 am

(no subject)

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

carmillamurray: (Default)
2012-06-07 09:27 pm

(no subject)

 sooo I got a box that could be labeled 


Gwyneth Paltrow's Head?


Go Pro Hero!

A new toy rented for the weekend as an experiment. 

carmillamurray: (Sherlock)
2012-06-06 09:02 pm
Entry tags:

In memorium

 Dear Mr. Bradbury, 

I am sorry that this comes too late for you to know the impact you had on me.

I’m sad that now, there is no chance I will ever be lucky enough to meet you, even if only for the brevity of a signing. 

Your work, and you to some degree, have been there for me from the beginning. Your stories were read to me in utero. My Grandfather, Father and I shared an enormous love for your stories. My mother too. 

The routine as driving through the great plains of this country, on vacation to adventures was mom in the passenger seat reading from S Is For Space, R Is For Rocket or the Illustrated man as the prairie grasses waved outside the window. 

The Foghorn, is a story that evoke feelings of both comfort and fear; reminding me of warm days in the backseat, My mind drifting before the bright realness I could see, and the cold, lonely night as a creature I’ve never laid eyes upon seeks companionship. 

The Flying machine, about not as some might think the failure to see a marvelous object as such, but the fact that there are such remarkable accomplishments, way out of time and place, and fear overrides everything. 

The story I can never remember the title of but sticks with me so strongly, about a man who builds a rocket in his back yard, and takes his kids on a journey to Mars via imagination.

Of course the big stories are important too; Fahrenheit, Martian Chronicals, the other collections, all shaped me.

The thing I will be most grateful for will be your love of the Midwest, My Midwest, that smells of Summer and rain, and Autumn and dreams.   Mr. Dark, one of the scariest villains ever.  A writer who made my home feel as exotic and wonderful as Mars. 

I wished I could have met you, talked to you, said thank you. I wish I could have told you how shocked and joyed I was when people compare some of my writing to yours, something I never thought would happen. 

The wonderful thing for me though, is there are still plenty of stories you wrote that I have yet to read. And each reading even when I have read before, is just as wondrous as the first. 

Goodbye Ray.  And thank you. 

carmillamurray: (Laugh)
2012-06-04 09:18 pm

Salmon Fishing In The Yemen

Has just about everything A girl could want. 
Ewan McGregor playing a Scotsman (fancy that, eh?) Fly fishing, Being sweet and awkward and sarcastic and snarky, and playing viola da gamba. (other than the most naked we see him is swimming in skivvies it's an almost perfect movie.) 
It's funny and sad and brilliant and beautiful. 
carmillamurray: (Default)
2012-05-30 06:45 pm

(no subject)

 Day two of diet redo. 
currently calculated at 241 calories below consumption goal, Didn't eat my whole dinner that I entered... 
But I know I'm going to eat my 2nd chalupa later tonight so I'm not subtracting those calories from my consumption total. 
Over 2 days I have averaged 100+ calories under goal/day. 

If I keep this up I might actually lose weight. 
carmillamurray: (Default)
2012-05-29 07:17 pm

(no subject)

I had some woe is me today... 

As I said in a different blog:

Very disappointed and upset with myself, Not only have I not lost weight, I've gained back everything previously lost and then some. I have a new "highest" weight.

It's very upsetting, because every time I do this I swear it's going to be the new high. and then a few years go by and I reach a new "peak" weight.

And then I lose some weight, usually about 20 lbs, and I "plateau" and then I give up. And then one day I notice clothes don't fit like they "normally" do and I weigh myself and I'm at a new high weight.

I'm 5'4" and I weigh more than my 6'2" father right now. My arthritic, asthmatic mother can do stairs better than I can.

When will I finally hit rock bottom?  when will even I say, I can't take this anymore?

And before people jump on the Think positive band wagon, I weigh 311 pounds. 
If I lose 50, I'm Still in the BMI range that's morbidly obese. 
If I lose 100 I'm overweight/obese
If I lose 150 I'm still in the overweight category based on my height. (not very much) 
It's incredibly daunting, and when I'm feeling shitty about it I don't want people telling me to be positive. I want people telling me I'm right, it's overwhelming. 
I want people to understand it's not "just a few pounds" It's a whole fucking person. 
I want people to understand that When I can't do a flight of stairs I feel like shit and I know losing this weight will help with that. 

But Until I can do a flight of stairs, wait for me at the top, but don't look bored when I finally get there. Don't praise me like a fucking toddler either. I should not feel like the greatest accomplishment on the planet is ascending a flight of stairs. 

I'm going to cry and be moody. I'm going to be that way because I'm having to give up my stress coping mechanism. It's not you, It's me. 
If you see me eating something "Bad" don't chide me, Maybe I've budgeted my whole day for that as a treat. If you see me eating it for a whole week, then chide me. don't tell me, carrots, diet soda, Sugar-free gum, water, rice cakes, don't tell me to try substitutions, I've probably Tried everything, I've been on diets off and on since I was 15. I can almost guarantee I've been doing this longer than you. 

I know, I need to burn more calories than I take in. 
I know everything I need to do. But it's like an alcoholic looking at a bottle, or a junkie looking at a hit when I look at a menu. 
The difference is my addiction will kill me slower than theirs. 

carmillamurray: (Default)
2012-05-22 08:25 pm

I may be on the side of the Angels

 But don't think for one second that I am one of them. 

I'm seriously starting to think this would be an awesome Tattoo. 

This is mostly a gratuitous icon post... 

Even Benny is sad for the Wait. 
carmillamurray: (Sherlock)
2012-05-19 06:29 am

So Because I've been voting with my pocketbook...

And it was ridonkulously cheap on Amazon when you paired it with the preorder of season 2 I ordered the DVD of season one of Sherlock. Which includes bonus stuff. (what I was hoping for. If It had just been the episodes I would have probably pitched over it to my mom/dad, mom who likes the show but doesn't do the internet and digital media, dad just doesn't buy anything.) 

Other than commentary tracks... 

Probably the best thing on there is the "pilot episode" a 1 hour version of a "Study In Pink." 
As a writer  it's wonderful to watch because it becomes clear, the lines that worked, were the lines that WORKED from day one, the lines that weren't quite right were changed, and  the pacing was changed as needed too. 

Plus it had this weird feeling like being a fan film, only starring (almost) all the real people. 

And playing drunk Sherlock is cute... 
carmillamurray: (Default)
2012-05-15 07:24 pm

It's that time of year...

 Where when my brain isn't on motorcycles, I have my strange compulsion to be all girly* and wear dresses.  I am currently coveting a couple of loose floaty summery hippie type dresses from Torrid.

Though there is one that while very much a summer dress, would not be loose floaty and  hippie dress. it's a fat girl equivalent to an Irene Adler dress. And apparently I broke so I can't show it to you. (ooh website fixed its self.)

I also want this, and this and this

*Please note this is a relative term for me. "all girly" means it's not pants, usually not All black, and genuinely no way it'd be anything other than a female garment.**

** I just realized... I should totally buy myself a utilikilt. 
carmillamurray: (Default)
2012-05-13 09:03 pm

(no subject)

Moffat and Gatiss, can we go back to funny sexy Sherlock?

Scary Sherlock is scary... 

Seriously SHIT yourself scary. 
carmillamurray: (Default)
2012-05-03 08:40 pm

(no subject)

 I should be doing script edits... But I'm now terrified of breaking it. "But but it's awesome right now and changing the opening location changes Beats and I know how the beats work when they're contained in one building..."
carmillamurray: (Default)
2012-05-02 02:38 pm

(no subject)

 crap... I've got two serial killers just sitting and talking in front of me. 
carmillamurray: (Default)
2012-04-13 02:09 pm

Deep thought for the day...

Every once in a while the odds I am facing of "success" are presented to me...




But every once in awhile those figures are presented with the reminder that "success" has innumerable meanings, and it is solely on me to fight for it.


In a completely unrelated matter, I figured out that Benedict Cumberbatch would be the perfect person to play this character I'm writing... 
carmillamurray: (Default)
2012-03-10 09:18 pm

Hello subconcious...


You're trying to write a happy ending for "Silent Running." No you won't be able to do it. The five year old who was first made to watch that should let go and let the grownupish brain write the dark stories. 

"And then Freeman Lowell Got a pony.... the end."