Pandora has been an amazing tool to me for music. I don’t really listen to music and I don’t buy it often either. The only reason why I have the few albums that I do is that lately I need something to listen to on my commute other than the radio. The radio is just awful these days…not because I hate everything that comes on, but it’s always the SAME THING every hour. I swear sometimes I find two stations playing Trouble by T Swift and then two OTHER stations playing Scream and Shout  (??? is that the title?) by will.i.am and Britney

I don’t mind either artist but I certainly wish that there was more variety….I have 6 stations set to my car radio and very often I hate them all.

My favorite channel on Pandora is Joe Hisashi who composed many of Ghibli’s fantastic scores. Other artists come up like Yoyo Ma and I’m not sure why but when I listen to this channel I can forget that I’m ‘writing’ or sitting at my desk. I immerse myself better when I’m listening to this channel.

I don’t really think it’s because it’s more classically inclined because sometimes I have to stop myself from the sheer emotion evoked by some of these artists. I don’t often get that with ballet music, which seems too dramatic and over the top, or classical greats from the old masters like Beethoven. I feel disconnected from that kind of music probably because I’ve always viewed them very distantly. The collection is good and takes me to faraway places where magic is possible. And that’s where I want to go. I would say that this is especially true of the Ghibli soundtracks because I have seen them films many times and I love everything about them. The stories, the worlds, the designs, just…everything. They are familiar to me because I grew up with anime and fantastic stories where children go on adventures. I probably sound like an uncultured nitwit when I say this, but ballet seems a bit silly. A lot of posing without much substance. Every now and then is a heartfelt solo that is supposed to evoke emotion.

But animated films? I can feel the sheer amount of work that goes into them (not that ballet isn’t a lot of work, I was at one point obsessed with ballet and studied it like mad). The difference though is that I think a good film (any film) is a collaborative effort and when a person doesn’t speak up because they are too afraid to say anything when they know that the direction of the plot (etc) is not strong enough, then it just ends up being a mess. Editing is key. Just like in writing novels.

I might be alone right now, but I’m working to bring my work to others. I’ve started to show more to my friends and seek out communities for writing. The blaze of passion that makes Ghibli films is what I want for my books.

Hayao Miyazaki is an amaaazing man. My favorite clip of him was a behind the scenes look on Mononoke Hime where he is going through the roughs of a running sequence. He’s so passionate and demanding as a director I can see why it tires him out. It’s hard to be THAT PERSON you know? The person who demands more out of people because they know it’s not good enough yet.

There’s a reason why it’s easier to be miserable than to be happy. And there’s a reason why people tear apart stupid youtube videos or articles in the comments section too–those people had the audacity to create something. Maybe it wasn’t good enough yet. But they will improve while those who jeer in the shadows jealously watch for signs of weakness. And when you fail, they will be there to triumphantly crow over your mistakes. Because they were ‘right’. You shouldn’t have tried. You failed.

The important thing is to keep going no matter how much you are embarrassing yourself. Keep improving and keep demanding better things of your work.

And that is the end of today’s rant/pep talk/music appreciation (??) ok I don’t know.