Music composition

A Dream Half Lost released

I uploaded my latest piece to YouTube very early this morning:

I also went ahead with the contest idea. I had a tough time deciding whether or not to do it, because if no one enters (which is somewhat probable) I risk making myself look like a bit of a loser. But, if that’s the worst that could happen, I guess it’s not really that much of a risk. So I have details in the video description, and full details on my Hannifin Records blog. There’s a nice long deadline of four and a half months, so it will end on my first album’s one year anniversary.

It will probably be a good long while before I have time to write any more music. I wasn’t even planning to write this one. I’m just so unpredictable!

By S P Hannifin, ago
Music composition

Composing through the pain…

Not emotional pain, just head-throbbing pain. I felt awful most of yesterday. I woke up with a migraine which got worse throughout the day, and by the evening my nose was all stuffed up as well. Made it hard to focus on doing anything very productive, but I was able to finish composing an orchestral lullaby called A Dream Half Lost, opus 62, which I will post to YouTube either tonight or tomorrow… or Thursday… or Friday… and I guess I’ll go ahead and give that aforementioned contest idea a try… nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh?

In other news… there is no other news.

Oh, and thank goodness for pseudoephedrine; it has once again saved my nose, I can breathe again now.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Music composition

Contest contemplation

After getting off work to yesterday, I did something I was not expecting to do… I started writing some music. I was just fooling around on the keyboard writing some melodies. Usually when I do that, I just end up forgetting the melodies and they are lost forever. But yesterday, as I wrote a lullaby-ish melody, I could just hear it harmonated and orchestrated so well in my head that I could not resist trying to get it into the computer and turning it into a full piece. It’s a very simple piece, just a calm melodic line repeated three times with variations. But to my exhausted mind it’s quite nice and relaxing.

I’m almost finished with it. I’ll probably post it on YouTube when I’m done. I think I’ll call it A Dream Half Lost.

I was also thinking about holding a small contest with it, the prize being a free [physical] copy of my album. To me the piece sounds very song-like, so the contest would be to write lyrics to it and post the singing of it as a video response on YouTube. Not sure how much interest there would be in such a contest, but I think it would be interesting to try… I’ve got nothing to lose, right? But I’m not sure yet…

By S P Hannifin, ago

Workful weekend withering away

Whew! It’s been a busy weekend. Fortunately, due to my ability to work well under pressure (did you hear that, potential employers?), I was able to get my animation to a level I was pleased with for my Animation Mentor homework, after dedicating about 5 non-stop hours to it last night and 3 more this morning. (Daylight savings time was convenient.) The shot still needs more work, but at least it’s on the right track… I think. The assignment this week is, I think, to polish and finalize the shot.

Now I’m at work again. We get a ton of business on Sundays (if you can call it “business”). On the one hand, this makes the time fly by like a neutrino, on the other hand it leaves one as tired as a quantum physicist misunderstanding the point of Schrödinger’s Cat.

Not sure what I’ll do when work is over, if I’ll go see Megamind tonight, or just go to sleep, or try reading, or watch the next Animation Mentor lecture, or watch a movie, or play a computer game. Nice to have choices.

When you’re too tired to do anything creative, is it better to just take a nap, or do something involving less thought, like playing a computer game or watching TV?

What to do in daytime when tired?

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By S P Hannifin, ago
My life



I kept starting to write a new post to make time at work go by quicker, but my previous attempts kept turning into whine-fests about how busy I am this weekend and how much my job gets in the way of studying animation. But I’d rather not be the subject of other people’s schadenfreude. (Though perhaps that can’t be helped… those arrogant jerks!) Still, focusing on your own sufferings just makes you suffer more.

In short: I worked a bunch of extra hours this week and so I am now behind on my animation work, and my weekend stinks as a result.

In other news, I got Stephen Sondheim’s new (and first?) book Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes earlier this week. I only flipped through it and read bits and pieces, but it looks like there’s plenty of great stuff in there. So watch out, I’ll soon start writing lyrics for my music… just need to find a singer. Anyway, I can’t wait until I have some time to really dig into this book and read it cover to cover.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Stupid things

Copyright idiot

Here’s the full story.

This story has been spreading rapidly across the Internet. Basically, a person wrote an article five or so years ago. An online magazine decided to put the article in their magazine without asking the author’s permission or offering compensation. That’s stupid (and illegal) enough, but here’s the kicker: when the author asked for an apology and a $130 donation (a small price to pay for such obviously blatant copyright violation), the editor says “the web is considered public domain” and that the author should be happy that they edited the article for free.

Needless to say, nobody is defending this dumb editor, and the magazine is getting its deserved public shame. The editor could’ve fulfilled the author’s request, and I’d probably never hear the story. But instead the editor replied with arrogance and amazing stupidity. Just thought I’d help spread the story along. It will be interesting to see where this ends up.

By S P Hannifin, ago
My life

November goals

October flew by so fast, it feels like it was never really here… not that that’s bad, because the sooner we get to the point of me becoming a professional animator, the better!

At the beginning of the year, I posted “Goals for 2010” … I want to do something similar, and have “Goals for the month.”

I’ve been focusing on Animation Mentor work, which is good, and it’s going well, but I think it could be going better. As always.

First, a review…

Review of 2010 Goals

1) Get a full-time job – not going to happen, but I enrolled in Animation Mentor, which sort of counts, as it is a road toward getting a full-time job. At least, that’s the hope.

2) Keep Hannifin World updated daily for the entire year. – I already failed this one, but I think it will keep going as a “seasonal” thing. Maybe every spring and fall or something…

3) Finish writing a novel – Not going to happen, but I do have a novel planned out that I need to continue working on. I don’t have time to do something like NaNoWriMo this year, and won’t next year with Animation Mentor, but I still have that desire to write fiction in me. “Work on novel” might become a goal.

4) Continue practicing sketching – I’m sort of doing this every now and then, but I’m not being very disciplined about it. This should continue to be a goal, though it’s more of a “background” goal.

5) Finish writing a screenplay – Done! Woohoo! But I haven’t been trying to market it or anything; it’s just collecting dust. I need to either write another screenplay and try marketing both of them, or going ahead and trying to market this one. Actually, this needs some good editing first, so that could be a goal, “edit screenplay.”

6) Get started on animating a short film – Again, not going to happen, but enrolling in Animation Mentor sort of counts, methinks.

7) Finish albumDone! Woohoo!

8) Listen to all of Mozart’s work – not going to happen… too busy.

9) Make some sort of progress on a machine creativity program – eh, I made a little progress, but nothing serious. And I’m too busy to pursue this right now, though it’s definitely an interest. Maybe next year.

10) Become a millionaire! – Done! Oops, I gave it all away… maybe next time.

So, in review, it looks like I’ve either given up on some goals (due to being busy, not changing interests) or they’ve become part of my Animation Mentor studies. My main interests, in semi-order of priority, are: Animation Mentor, cartoon, novel, music composition, screenwriting, programming. My monthly goals should not include all those things, that would be spreading myself too thin, methinks.

Goals for November 2010 (in 2nd person!)

1) Do good work for Animation Mentor – this is the priority. It’s work you’re interested in and has the greatest chance of leading to a job. It’s also expensive! Ignore the other goals if you have to. This should be the main focus.

2) Write basic plot outlines for all episodes of your cartoon – you will still have to go through and write the complete scripts before storyboarding, but you should have an idea of the overall arcs and the main scenes for each episode (the current plan is for 13 episodes, and we already have the “theme” for each one).

3) Complete character designs for cartoon – draw them from different angles, color them in, scan them. Make sure you can get comfortable drawing them, as best you can with your stinky drawing skills.

4) Continue novel plotting – there are 45 chapters. You’ve outlined 7 of them. Keep going.

OK, there we go. As I often say, it’s kinda lame to list goals because that itself doesn’t get anything done, nor does it make me any more disciplined with my free time, but I think it’s still good to write them down just to make sure they’re at the forefront of consciousness instead of some vague ideas being saved for “someday.”

By S P Hannifin, ago