Saturday, November 10, 2012

Try to Find Balance...

Latigo Point, 3-4', South, South West 
What does this have to do with composing music?

Those who know me, know that a close 3rd after my love for my family and music, is my passion for surfing.  

I woke up this morning to a beautiful West, South West Swell - the first in weeks.  I am allowing myself just 1/2 an hour to write about it this morning before paddling out.  Let me know if you find any egregious typos as I am so excited to get into the water that I am not even going to edit what I write.  Fingers are flying in anticipation!

When EĆ­mear and I moved to our little Malibu apartment (2007), we had no idea we were moving into a community of creative surf addicts off a semi private world class break, we just wanted to see what it was like to live in a shoebox on the beach.

The day we moved in, I met my friend Darren while sitting in the hot tub - yes, very Malibu.  After our introductions he asked the question, "Are you are you here year round?"  After determining I was not a transient, he asked, "Do you surf?"  

replied, "I tried to when I was in college, but was never able to really get the hang of it."

Darren took this as a challenge, declaring, "Well, you can't live here unless you surf."  With that he forced me to paddle out with him the next morning.  He put me on a board he calls "Caltrans" because it's as big as a bus.  He waited for the perfect moment; pushed me into the wave; I caught it, stood up; and was hooked!

Although I have not been surfing in weeks due to travel and weather, ever since that day Darren forced me into the water, I have done my best to surf every day, if just for 1/2 an hour.  It's my only real exercise program.

I truly believe surfing has saved my life.

Composing for films and TV shows has increasingly become a profession of the walking dead.  This is what happens when you take wonderfully creative people, who love the art of creating music so much that they will forgo just about everything in their life just for the privilege of getting paid to compose music.  They sacrifice their health and sanity against ridiculous deadlines and shrinking budgets.

Don't get me wrong, I believe it is absolutely a privilege to get paid to create music.  I cherish that every day!  I dream about music at night.  I am haunted by the themes I have yet to write.

But I won't die for it anymore...

On October 27, 1975, we lost a great talent in Oliver Nelson.  Nelson, at the time had a dream gig composing and orchestrating for the hit show, "The Six Million Dollar Man."  As is often the case, according to legend, because of the production schedule, Oliver had to work 36 hours straight and then conduct the recording session.  He died that night - at just 43 years old.

I also remember the day I heard that Miles Goodman had died -  August 16th, 1996.  He was one of my favorite composers.

The day before he died, I remember seeing him on the cover of one of the music magazines being lauded for both his film work and his new found career as an award winning Jazz composer/producer.  At 46 years old, he was on top of the world - 40+ films, TV, and absolutely everything to look forward to...

I remember looking at his photo on the cover and saying to myself, "Man, if I could only have a career like that..."

With all due respect to his great talent, I no longer want Miles' career - not at that cost.

I could go on, and on about the friends and talents that we have lost prematurely to the "film-score reaper," but I only have 5 minutes left to blog, and a huge set just came in - shaking the sand.  Dude!  It's looking Gnarley!

So to all my composing students and friends out there, I implore you to find something that you love, that gets you out of your chair and makes your body move.  The music can wait.

Here's a little surf/music video I made celebrating my friends and my new found passion:

And this is how I talk...


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