Parallel Universe

Saturday, October 15, 2011

After a period of quite a lull, I'm back to multitasking in full swing. Probably more stronger than ever. With Production for the English Stage Play, occasional bass playing with the western music society and full duties of department president (which includes taking hate messages on the board in college and replying back at it, almost daily). It seems like August-September again. Multiple auto rides, all weekends spent at college and coming home just to sleep. Balancing another society and union work is no joke. I can't complain, neither am I trying to. It's self imposed. My choice, I opted for this.

It's got to do with restlessness I've realised. Coming home after classes or say going out with a friend or so for coffee is not what I wanted and honestly after the birthday that's how my schedule's been like. It's funny how at some level I find it relieving to be involved in something and at other level I dig pleasures like comfort, peace and sleep minus any deadlines. Contradicting more like but that's how I am, a contradiction. Had another bass lesson and now that Dram Soc has kicked in and I'm finding it harder to give time to bass and anything to do with it.

One bass lesson a week was working out till last week till I had a lesson. This week production was thrown in along with a new Lecturer for Indian Philosophy which only meant block classes on three days a week adding to depression of attending classes. There is some sort of morbidity in attending lectures and it's become a pattern. To some people it's affecting them to this extent that they're breaking down in class (5 since last Monday). Call it travelling without moving or just boredom, classes have infact become hard. Can't blame it again considering this is final year honours syllabus. It had to happen. I mean, I can't compare it with my sister's syllabus and be sympathetic towards her (that she possibly expects me to be).

Dram Soc has been what I say a surprising new addition to the list of things I wanted to do and so far discovering it step by step. It's a fine process of creating something out of nothing- a screenplay turning to reality when you come and see them actors rehearsing each day. My work is comparatively easier- mixing tracks and background scores that script demands. Theatrical music is a lot different than what you do when you make music from the perspective of a musician. Not that musicians don't make music for theatre but when you're doing it from the point of view a production person for music you know your approach changes. I didn't consciously realise this until I happened to attend this workshop at the music institute (where I interviewed some brilliant musicians graduated from Berklee College of Music). The workshop itself was enriching and made up for no bass lesson this week. That's where I thought about how I'm drifting from the essence of making music or the point of what I do. I am just muddling down things and trying to take everything in hand making myself believe that I can completely handle it or say achieve it- be it bass playing, doing philosophy or even say mixing music for the Production. Which, I might add is turning hazardous for the sake of my mental health. Exhaustion and restlessness. might I add are making it dangerous.

Production's given me some insight into a completely different form of performing art. I'm growing out like a baby when they discover the joys of boiled potatoes after being subjected to the milk. You know how you have an image when you go for a play. It totally changed for me in last 5 days. I've realised it's easier to fall asleep looking at the takes than sleeping while watching it. Also, that it's very physically taxing to be there at the practice. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that WMS' practice is easy or that Dram Soc is exhausting. Work in itself implies exhaustion but that takes time to settle down. It's something like first 20 minutes of practice on bass, each day when I start off- first 20 minutes are the hardest. Maybe, by 15th minute I want to give up but by 22nd I'm more than happy to be playing it.

Which brings me to the highlights of the day or rather how shit happened when it ought not to have happened (Nichomachean Ethics, anyone?)

Totally went spaz on stage when the musicians from the institute asked the musicians from college to perform something and just jam and say improvise. Ofcourse, I had to totally fuck it by playing something diametrically opposite to what the drummer, guitar player and singer were trying to do (after the bass player there told me exactly what to do). I'm just obstinate like that or maybe I'm stupid. In real sense to not able to follow something as simple as, "we play G-C-D-C-D". Something as basic as that. I don't know why exactly did I fumble with the 5 string bass. I mean, it was an utter disaster and confidence kill for me. I don't know if others noticed it as much.

This is another thing I realised today. If I'm not able to achieve the line of perfection, I leave that midway. It includes something as basic as plucking the bass. I'm fucking not able to pluck it hard and the way bass players do it for a reason that is, it'll sound bad because it usually does. I wouldn't always continue doing it. I prefer not doing it than doing badly. I think I can trace the roots back to mathematics. Maybe it's just a mental block. Maybe, I need a shrink.

Did you know our play is called The Shrink Resistant?

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