Today I welded a little piece of metal to bridge a gap on the side of the guitar, and two metal bars that will become its arm. I’ve discussed details of the building process with Mr. Mulhern, especially about building the guitar’s headstock: the only part I had not built for the ukulele.
Today I borrowed Leni’s guitar again to take some more measurements for my final product. I thought I would not be able to do much today since I could not work on the shop, but Mulhern helped cut the sound hole for the guitar using a saw from the woodshop.
During break a came up with a last “post-chorus” to finish my first song, for which I already had the guitar part ready. I wrote a lot of lyrics for my second song, and added one more guitar part at the end finishing it as well. I had some trouble with sibelius so I wrote my music by hand.
I also tried my best to schedule step by step how I should finish building the guitar as soon as I got back to school.
I took some time to update my process folio on my activities regarding both composition and the building process for the previous weeks.
Last night I came up with chords to play with the first lyrics I wrote during the three day weekend. I’ve been writing them down in the form of a tablature so that I can later transcribe them to Sibelius in music notation. I have also made minor changes in one of the compositions I have so far.
I have finally been able to weld the top of the ukulele to its side. Mr. Mulhern is going to order a new acetylene tank so that I can clean the rust out of the inner part of the sides before welding the bottom and sealing it. I have already bought the strings and tuning nobs for the ukulele as well as the full sized guitar.
I spent my three-day weekend (starting Saturday, Oct 18) on New York City. There, after a whole day moving around the city, I decided to work on some drafts for lyrics. For the first one I was consciously structuring my narrative around that which I originally intend to be the theme for all my compositions: a masquerade. For the second one I just wrote words down as they came to me, making it a bit more intimate but not as structured as the first one.
The process of building the Ukulele often gets delayed due to weather or in case I need to have Mulhern with me (for using some of the equipment) when he is not available. Therefore I have already borrowed a full size guitar and created a template of the body. Even though I might not know what material I’ll be using for the top of the guitar until I finish the ukulele, I will start building the bottom and possibly the sides out of wood so that I can still work when metalworking is out of question. I have not yet decided whether this is going to be my final product or a second prototype; therefore, the initial steps of this building process will be taken with the care worthy of a final product.
I’ve been over my second composition with Mr. Davies and Mike. We focused on analyzing its rhythmic structure since, as I originally came up with this part of the composition just by playing rather than writing it down, the written version looks unintuitive. I have, since then, been able to write it down up to the chorus. I still need to go over the written version with Mr. Davies.
I have started the first step of a lyrics brainstorm. With Urban’s help I created a Google Draw document. In this document I’ve been writing down lines that I am particularly fond of from songs I know. The next step would be to create a similar process, but write down lines of my own authorship that might come to mind.
I tried drilling smalls holes into the Ukulele top but I’ve proved myself very inefficient with a drill on my hands. I then decided to use the acetylene torch to cut the sound hole and used the trimer to cut away the vestiges of melted metal.
It seems the fire from the torch altered the properties of the aluminum top. Mr. Tracey, my chemistry teacher said fire makes aluminum more malleable. Thus far, this does not seem to have altered the sounding qualities of the material; I still need to evaluate whether it has lowered its durability.
The actual development of the Ukulele has come to a halt due to bad weather and lack of tools. Mr. Mulhern is helping me arrange an air compressor so that I can carve the sound-hole into the top of the Ukulele.
Meanwhile I’ve been working in the composing component. I went over what I’ve written in Sibelius with Mr. Davies. With his guidance, I’ve replaced notes that were not recorded as I had meant them to be, and he taught me about chord progressions.
Last thursday I met with Mr. Davies and we went over the project as a whole. Under his advice I got a computer program called Sibelius which I have already used to write down some things I’ve composed.
The ukulele is slowly taking shape as top and bottom have been cut out.
As Shawn Clybor, my former mentor, left Ross, I spent most of last week searching for a new mentor. Mr. Mulhern will be helping me with the process and Ms. Borsack might offer me some advice but both of them have already too many advisees. I finally got Robert Davis as my mentor, we’ll be meeting next thursday.
Besides the mentor issue, I’ve starting building my first prototype: a metallic ukulele.
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