Sunday, 22 May 2011

Softly, As I Leave You

My degree is finished. That's an odd thing to say, but it's true so there we go. Here are a few things about the final days of said degree:

This is pretty much all the frames I drew for my film:
My attempt at being organised.
I've just tried to quickly count up all the frames I drew and methinks it comes to roughly 1149. Poor tree.

This was my desk at half 7am on the day of the hand-in:
I'd stayed all night in the studio, dressed in my pyjamas at Sarah's suggestion (and what an excellent suggestion it was), finishing off my supporting work and such. Considering I'd been awake for over 30 hours (which was far less than some people, might I add), I was wide awake the whole time. Maybe I was running off adrenalin, who knows. I will say that when I got home after a celebratory drink I changed into my pyjamas, made myself a cup-a-soup and was about to watch Neighbours when I crashed out for 3 hours, woke up at about 11pm and crawled to bed, leaving both Neighbours and my cup-a-soup sadly neglected.

This was the book full of my supporting material:
Note how my finger is propping it closed. This is what happened without any propping:
It no shut. It wasn't even finished at this point. Somehow, after finishing 240-odd pages into the book, I managed to make it prop itself semi-closed. I'm not sure how I did this. Naturally, this book was from a charity shop and I placed all my work in it using photo corners, the idea being that all of my additions can be taken out so the book can still be read. The book was Principles of Immunology so if you're looking to read up about the subject, I may be able to help you out.
More book photos:

But that was over a week ago and I have been free since. I've been back in The Ham of Old for the past few days to celebrate my younger brother Morgan's 18th birthday, which was on the 21st. I insisted I has a picture taken with my best friend on this momentous day but he wasn't too keen on the idea, as you can tell:
He loves me really.
Morgie had a concert with the Oldham Youth Choir in the evening so he didn't have a choice in how he spent his birthday but the concert was wonderful and I enjoyed it immensely (and was super jealous that I wasn't back singing with them as they sung a couple of pieces that I've sung and adore: Locus Iste by Bruckner and the first movement of Vivaldi's Gloria - look them up!). Morgie was part of an 8 voice close harmony group dubbed The Candy Men and they were fantastic. Morgie was the lowest voice part in the group and was dubbed as the steadiest, rhythm-wise, but the conductor couldn't think of something to compare him to so I now call him "steady as a steady thing". I adore close harmony and that was definitely the most fun part of the evening, but methinks my favourite piece was the choir's performance of Softly, As I Leave You.
Now, if you've never heard the piece (you might have heard it played when Jack Duckworth died in Corrie), then you must (I can only find an arrangement for male voices. The version the choir sung was four part harmony for soprano/alto/tenor/bass):

Morgie and I think it's about an elderly couple and one of them is about to die and goes quietly before the other notices. It's such a beautifully moving piece and needless to say that the choir hadn't even finished singing the first line and I was already crying and continued to do so throughout the song. Mum was set off too. Just magical music making. Couldn't be more proud of my brother. What a wonderful eighteen year old he's turned out to be.

I'm going to go and relax now, as the three of us have just had a meal to celebrate birthday times (as my birthday is in a few days - I have often said that Morgan is my twin for all except the fact he is 3 years and 360 days younger than me) and I've eaten a lot of rice and drank a fair bit of wine. I am content.


  1. Is your film roughly 95 seconds, and/or less than 12frames/second? (I ask because that pile of paper looks tiny!)

  2. @Andy R Macpherson
    My film is 5 minutes and mostly 12 frames per second... some parts are slower because the movement looked better that way for some reason. And there are holds, because it's not the most fast paced of films... but yeah, more than 95 seconds! Haha