Friday, May 10, 2013

OK. Here's the thing...

An email to a different friend.

I mean, if I can't tell you, then whom?  I'm in the most depressed depression I've experienced.  Not forthrightly suicidal, but my therapist did alert the hospital staff that I might be calling for help a few weeks ago.  That seems to be going away, but the depression still likes to remind me it's hanging around.

Maybe I told you about a massive collection of sheet music I discovered in the digital library of Ol' Miss.  It's a gift from a Charles Templeton...I have no idea who he was, except that he clearly collected lots of sheet music.  The earliest date I've noticed is 1825 and it runs into the late 1970s.  Since music published prior to 1923 is unarguably in the public domain, and since music from about 1890 to early flapper fits that description and is music I love, I've been doing a lot of copying music and then putting it into my PrintMusic program.

I think I sent you "Ain't She Sweet" a while back, while I was still under the influence of one Fats Waller.  I've worked with a couple of other tunes to add a piano break or dance break or to add to the accompaniment (sheet music can be uninteresting at times).  If I'm not careful, I repeat myself in style and ideas, and the challenge is to figure out something else to try.  I'm still sane enough to understand all of this is going nowhere, but it's incredibly fun.  And while it's one thing to work with a composer or song I hadn't heard of before, it's something else to try to do justice to Eubie Blake.

Perhaps I'm floating away into Fantasy Land.  I've started to give myself deadlines, as if I were working on a show.  I've always been fascinated by must have been incredible both to see and to be in.  I also think about a revue, kind of like "Ain't Misbehavin'" but working with an era rather than a particular artist.  While my therapist knows about the music, he doesn't know that I spend hours a day on it and that I'm going into a pretend world not unlike I enjoyed when I was young.  I don't think it's hurting anyone, but I'm not sure how out-of-touch-with-reality it's making me.  I'm also not sure I'm all that concerned.  After MITM this summer, there's nothing on my dance card and I intend to keep it like that.

I'm struck by the craft shown in much of the music.  Yes, a lot of it is hack work, a large portion of it is in imitation of something that sold well (the titles that practically sound like others are pretty shameless), and even Irving Berlin came up with a clunker now and then.  But there's also some excellent, pristine music and lyrics.  I'd forgotten a line in a song that always made me smile.  It struck as me pretty before I knew anything about the work that went into writing, and once I understood lyrics, it became an example of a beautifully crafted line.  From "Carolina in the Morning":  "Strolling with my girlie when the dew is pearly early in the morning."  Obviously, "girlie" would be frowned upon now, but I don't know what an acceptable substitution might be.  But what an image, and what a wonderful, seemingly simple bit of internal rhyme.  And "Butterflies all flutter up and kiss each little buttercup at dawning" i t shabby, either.

I continue to volunteer in an office 4 days a week, which is an attempt to keep a foothold on reality.  I'm fat because I eat because I'm depressed because I'm morbidly obese, and if that term doesn't do it to you, I don't know what will.  I've always loved music and it seems to be kind of a safe harbor now.

My apologies if it feels like I'm dumping on you.  That's not my intention.  I think I needed to write it down and have a person I truly respect and enjoy and love read it and tell me whether I've gone off the deep end or what.  I'm on my meds and have no intention of killing myself.  It was that bad; it's not that bad now.  Honest.

Take good care.


No comments:

Post a Comment