When A Coder meets a Composer

Two disparate careers meet over two midnight deadlines. Their meeting sparks a singular realization.

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A  few months ago…

It turns out that I was going to be up late that night. Was stressed and needed an escape from late coding project nights in college. 

A  poor upkeep in deadlines, resulted in a manic scurry to get my coding project submitted. Everything is meticulous in the world of code. Each space must be perfectly aligned with the line below. Even one misspelling can trigger a failure sequence in the entire program.

But there is an incredible beauty in this perfection. Yet the stress-level that coding perfection demands is high. And I needed an escape. So at nearly midnight, I started walking around my college campus.

I eventually arrived at a piano. Behind it sat a man of short stature. And on it, lied a small pile of crumpled music paper. Don’t know how or why, but we ended up talking and improvising together until 1 AM.

a brief aside…

I grew up surrounded with music. My mother had me classically trained at piano from a young age. She even had classical music playing throughout the house. 

Classical music demands perfection, but for some reason, I fell into the world of composing by accident. My fingers could not keep up with some if the intense sequence of rhythms and beats.

Music, unlike code, does not trigger an avalanche of errors on a mistake. It merely creates a different melody. In fact, there is an entire part of music devoted to these series of accidents that eventually turn into new melodies called “accident-als” 

back to the story…

The composer I met that night, George, did not play with precision nor did write with perfect pennmanship. He composed with emotion. 

Halfway into one of my songs, he shared with me that “[He] had lost everything, my time, energy & money, but [He] still love doing it [composing].”

He had lost all his money in his music career, but it turns out that it pays to love what you. Because later in that same career, he ended up producing tracks for Dreamworks & Taylor Swift. Trust me that list goes on.

That same night, he invited me over to his studio downtown.

It’s funny, I legitimately have no idea where this journey might go. This might be the start to something amazing, or just a funny story that I will tell to friends later on in my life.

I study engineering and business, not music. But I am hoping to give myself a chance. Not just today, but tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that…

Living on one realization:

Regardless of what I pursue, I want to be so in love with my field that I can lose myself in it.

Am I crazy? Maybe. But lacking passion. I think not.

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