MY FAREWELL TO MUSIC

#16 MY FAREWELL TO MUSIC

FAREWELL-12/24/12 Copyright 2010 by Judy Unger

FAREWELL CLASSICAL-10/13/10 – Copyright 2010 by Judy Unger

My 30 year old recording of this song is on the post from mid-February below:

REDISCOVERING WHAT I LOVE TO DO

I wrote this in 1980 (it is very neat – there are more pages below). I cannot read music anymore.

“This morning”

When I arrived at George’s studio this morning, first I played my old, classical guitar. I wanted a purely instrumental track. I swear that guitar still has sand in it from the many years I played it on the beach!

After half an hour of repetitive tries, I decided it was enough. My recording was the best I could do; if there were clicks and buzzes, so be it. Sweat was pouring from me. I wanted to have energy for the second track on my steel string guitar. George said he could do a few things with the classical recording another time.

For the arranged version, I played my steel string guitar. It felt different as I began to play the same progressions of notes. The sound was like bells – “tinny” and sweet, for sure. I played over an over until I decided the song was close enough. My technical virtuosity began to improve two weeks ago when I concentrated on remembering this piece again after thirty years.

Now I could relax. I collapsed in a chair across from George. He started by adding reverb to “sweeten” my guitar melody. He played notes on his keyboard and adjusted it until he decided upon an instrument to begin with. His selection sounded like human voices going “ahhhh.” I wasn’t sure – but as he softly added his notes; I liked it.

I hummed for George the old melody I used to sing. George wasn’t sure whether it was a good idea to play over my guitar. When he played the melody I hummed, it sounded so beautiful to me. I decided I wanted him to add the melody in the second chorus and third choruses in different octaves.

George said he wanted to add a drum thump – I told him to go ahead. There was no way to describe the euphoria I felt as I listened to my song build and crescendo.

It felt more amazing than anything I’ve ever experienced!

Certainly it was clear for me that recording songs has become the most joyous part of my life right now.

Until this morning I didn’t remember my song’s melody beyond the guitar part.

“My Song Was Instrumental for Me”

When I was seventeen, I was composing songs whenever possible. In addition to songs with lyrics, I composed a few interesting, guitar solos; one in particular was my favorite. I called the song “Farewell,” after composing lyrics for it. The words never seemed to flow well throughout the entire piece.

Recently, I came across some sheet music, which I had neatly written. On that page, I listed my song’s name as “Fantasi.” I think it is interesting to share that I cannot read the music I transcribed, because in thirty years I’ve completely forgotten how to read musical notations!

In my senior year of high school I added lyrics and melody to this song. I played “Farewell” to say goodbye to my high school choir friends, and that is why I named it such.

After graduating high school, I was very much into playing classical guitar. I was not technically that accomplished. Despite practicing constantly, my playing was choppy and there was no future for me as a musician. However, studying for a semester at Cal State Northridge was definitely beneficial. It certainly made me appreciate how much dedication is required to be a musician!

At one time, I could play from memory at least thirty classical guitar pieces. I can only play two now, and not very well at that!

When I attended a month long camp in 1978 at the Brandeis Bardin Institute, I remember sharing this song as a farewell there, too. Of course, one of my favorite songs at that time was the “Ice Castles Theme.”

Cheryl and I were always singing and playing that song; we often cried as we played it because we knew that the words were true for us. The words that moved us especially were, “Please don’t let this feeling end, it’s everything I am, everything I want to be . . .”

Because this song with words was not at all compelling for me, I decided to leave it simply as an instrumental piece. Until today, I didn’t remember “Farewell’s” melody line. The guitar melody was haunting for me; somehow I have felt it might be theme music for my life.

I started to play my guitar in January, when I began this blog. After not playing much for thirty years, I did not remember how to play my own song’s composition. I felt longing whenever I listened to a cassette recording of it. I wondered if I would ever again be able to recreate those beautiful chords and notes. I had to find the fingerings all over again, and my technical ability had certainly regressed from not playing for such a long time.

Without rushing the process, I attempted to explore the notes I heard in my head to see if I could find the fingerings again. Gradually, I found many of the pieces – it was almost like a puzzle. Some were missing and then the next time I played I would figure out those missing parts.

Last week, I had all the parts! My next step was to continually practice the whole thing and see if I could do it smoothly. Recording something perfectly has been next to impossible for me. At my last recording session, it took over a hundred attempts to record the guitar part for Crystal Oceans to my satisfaction. With a completely, instrumental recording, any buzzing or missteps would be heard.

I debated whether to change the title to my instrumental song. I decided to leave it as “Farewell.” This song invokes a wistful feeling for me when I play it. I feel wistful when I remember bidding farewell not only to my youthful experiences, but also to my music for thirty years.

I’m always telling my kids not to get too much sun because they’ll have “sun damage.” I was not a good example!

FAREWELL

Composed by Judy Unger, copyright 2010

you must know why

it’s so hard to say goodbye

to the place I will remember my entire life

it just seems so unfair

for memory it has become

but these feelings inside

will live on . . .

as the time draws near

my love will last

the time went so fast

it just seems so unfair

for memory it has become

but these feelings inside

will live on . . .

© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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