Friday, October 07, 2005

daily vitamins...

So, I play the violin. Sometimes, I even get paid to do this, which is pretty great. Recently, I completed the most time consuming job I've ever done for a friend of a friend's wedding, where she wanted me to arrange pop songs (Radiohead, U2, Coldplay, Pink Floyd, and my personal favorite, Ben Folds) for a string quartet. I knew about this months in advance, which is benefitial, because it was going to take A LOT of time to do all of this.

Well, approximately two weeks and one half before said wedding, a....change in plans forced me to call on the services of three new arrangers to get 12 songs done before the wedding. I had to use some of my money I was making to pay these extra folks, and due to time restrictions, I had to buy piano books for all this music myself to use in extracting string parts, which left my net profit at -$2.34, and three new lines under each eye. Is it too much to want someone's big day to be perfect, complete with music prepared ahead of time, plenty of practice time (for the musicians who've never heard of Coldwha? or Radiowho? but can play Mendelssohn upside down with their eyes closed while analyzing the latest Philip Glass piece and checking for 12 tone composition patterns). In reality, time restraints left little time for creative freedom (and accuracy) in the arrangements, no one wanted to practice the music but me, and the final piece was handed to me about 1 hour before we left for the wedding.

Things went pretty well I suppose, but for the future I will know to charge MORE money, and to make sure that I have arrangers with plenty of time to help, and musicians as passionate about the project as I will be.

Vitamin Records is a label that produces instrumental versions of lots of popular bands. Strung Out On OK Computer was a birthday present and my introduction to this label. Now, this isn't Muzak that you hear in elevators or chair committee luncheons, these are REALLY REALLY good arrangements, and they stay true to the original songs. At least the Radiohead cd did. As for Rush, Sonic Youth, Kanye West and the cornucopia of others, I can't say, but I can only imagine that they're well done, too.

I tried to contact these peeps before this wedding to see if they had any info about these glorious arrangements already being available for purchase, and when my second inquiry was met with "I've forwarded your inquiry on to someone who can better meet your needs...." I came to the conclusion that Vitamin Records, though great at spitting out these little instrumental pieces of heaven, are elitist, self centered people who sit and laugh over their hummus and zwieback toast at my infantile request. ...Actually, I'm sure they get tons of email, and it's hard to keep track of it all, but still! Couldn't they see that MY request was OBVIOUSLY really really important?! My friend Eric tried emailing them again today (more than a month after my initial request) and he, of course got a reply back within the hour which was more than helpful, and directed him straight to the arranger himself, Doug Munro.

Oh, Lady Justice, why hast though forsaken me?! And for a boy!!

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