Sunday, February 6, 2011

How to Lose a Sunday -- Guiro Edition

My most popular post to date is "I'm Tired, I'm Pooped, I want to go home." I imagine that is because Judy's video is so awesome that it is hard to top. (Hint, Hint maybe other people should send me videos) Last week Judea (Judy's namesake) helped me put together a music video. I made the music and she edited together some footage to distract the audience.

This week I asked Joe if he would compose a guiro concerto for my blog. Actually I asked Bobo if she would do a guest blog for me, but she declined. Then I asked Joe if he would compose a guiro concerto (because we have an extensive collection of these little Puerto Rican percussian instruments). The challenge intrigued him.

He used four guiro's of varying pitch as well as a thumb piano, a tambourine, a rain stick, and djembe. Bobo and I then went to work to animate the instruments he used. I had thought to animate them outside, but the rain forest effect of his composition gave a unique feel to the music room and I thought the tambourine rising like a midday sun would be a nice image.

Usually I edit on Adobe Premiere, but Judea just got me a new computer and I don't have everything set up on it yet, so I had to learn how to use MovieMaker Live.

All this technical information leads into my musical thoughts for today. I started a new job. And in an effort to get to know me better, one of the professors asked me if I had any hobbies. This is a funny question to ask someone like me. I spend my days and nights burying myself in creation and activity. Sometimes I worry that coping with life in this way is just as bad as living in a fantasy world -- if not worse because I drag those around me into this world of make believe.

I don't leave my hobbies to "whims of inspiration". I push myself to write enough each week that I am not mocked to tears by my weekly writers group. I try to get my self to the church at least once a week to practice the organ. I now have band practice every Thursday. And I am trying to keep a commitment of blogging once a week. What would happen if one week I didn't have any pages to read? Or that I skipped the writing group? What would happen if I canceled band practice or didn't blog? Nothing. Nothing would happen.

The world wouldn't end. I wouldn't get kicked out of the band. The writers wouldn't boot me off the island or even talk behind my back. And my name would not fall out of the blog-o-sphere.

Last Thursday, I was exhausted. I didn't get home from work until 5:40, leaving me 20 minutes to pick up the house before band practice. I was very tempted to cancel. I could barely keep my eyes open. I just wanted to lie on the couch and watch TV. But I kept my commitment. Jenna showed up with her mother and her little sister. Bobo and Tessa sang soprano with their pure and innocent little girl voices. We older altos were able to add layers of harmony. Jenna's mom plays the guitar so well, Jenna was able to focus on bass and I was able to stick to the ukulele.

Yes, if I had canceled. Nothing would have happened, but I am so glad something did. Two hours later when band practice was over I felt rested, rejuvenated, and full of hope.

Do I have hobbies. Yes I do. But they are more than hobbies, they are the variety and joy in my life.

As a side note. I didn't think JoJo was going to be able to submit a composition into the Southern Utah Performing Arts Festival. But at the last moment, opportunity knocked (in this case opportunity rang the phone). Below is this years contender.


  1. What a great post! I love the idea about hobbies being a lifeline. You are lucky to be obsessive, or are you? I loved the guiro concerto and animation. You are so creative. I hope Jojo wins first place in the competition. It is funny that my song was a popular post. It must be the potty word in it!

  2. Sometimes partipating in a hobby is more energizing than napping.

  3. your "hobbies" are all encompassing - in a good way - your entire family participates and you drag the rest of us kicking and screaming out of our lazy complacency.

    ugh - and you may kill me... guess who is busy AGAIN this Thursday? yeah... apparently sopranos are notorious slackers.

  4. Joan, I just barely read your post where you mentioned our band practice. I, too, was tired that day, but later felt rejuvenated and energized from the time spent making music with family and friends. Your enthusiasm and talent made the jam session so enjoyable! I look forward to spending more musical time with you and your wonderful family. :) (This is from Becky posting on Jenna's account.)