Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Now I’ve Gone and Embarrassed Myself

I did warn you that I would make a humorous video to promote the Magician King song contest. And now look:

34 comments on “Now I’ve Gone and Embarrassed Myself

  1. Jaimie says:

    YOU DID IT AND IT WAS AMAZING. I liked the plucking interlude. And your creepy dungeon basement.

    Did I ever tell you I bought Warp? I think I did. I found it so inspiring and awesome, because yeah, it wasn’t that good, but then a few years later you wrote a masterpiece and… yes. I have written my beloved dud and one day I will write my masterpiece, dammit.

    I just overdosed on Klonopin (NOT lethally so), so ignore the loquaciousness, some of which has been edited out. It was worse. Oh it was worse.

  2. Josh says:

    That was bloody incredible. Puts both my ukulele playing and general music making skills to absolute shame. Encore! FREEBIRD!

  3. Nicole says:

    You stated earlier that Parry would pick the winner. So there is a non-zero possibility that he could pick yours as the best cover. 🙂

  4. Matt says:

    Well done

  5. Rita says:

    Aww, loved it!

  6. I’d just like to say ditto to Jaimie’s entire first paragraph.

    I could almost ditto her second ‘graph as well, but not being a writer myself, I’ll say I found Warp an interesting read, in particular as “what came before” the Magicians books.

    : )

  7. Leverus says:

    @Nicole I would say that possibility is approaching zero asymptotically

    @Amy, @Jaimie one day I’ll pluck up the courage to reread Warp. It’s been a while. I have about 500 copies …

  8. […] Lev Grossman: Now I’ve Gone and Embarrassed Myself. […]

  9. Laur says:

    Bravo! And oh my gosh, what a creepy looking dungeon! 😀

  10. Heather Head says:

    Oh my gosh. You are a rock star. The look on your face during the plucking… throw that at an audience and you’ll retire rich.

    My children are currently working on their Minecraft version of Whitespire to serve as the backdrop to their cover version. According to their breathless descriptions this morning, it is going to be awesome. It will have towers. And spires. And it will be white. And it will have a freakin moat of LAVA people.

    Watch out. It may give Lev’s own version a run for its money.

  11. Leverus says:

    @ Heather FTW! Must have screenshot(s).

    re: the basement, it is authentically creepy. The house is 150 yrs old, and the basement looks it. I left out the sequence where I found a huge pool of water down there and freaked out about where it was coming from.

  12. K. M. Walton says:

    I’d say that wasn’t embarrassing at all–it was pretty well done actually. You can play a damn cello. That’ cool.

  13. Heather Head says:

    Oh YES there will be screen shots. You better believe it. Maybe even a sneak peek before the big debut. I’ve had a quick look at their progress so far. It’s pretty awesome. It even has four thrones inside and my 8-year-old (who is… very odd) has been walking around the house exclaiming, over and over, in tones of high drama: “The Four Thrones of Whitespire! Come. See. The Four Thrones … of Whitespire!” Yes. We are full of awesomeness over here tonight.

  14. Josh says:

    I should’ve known Lev is biased towards Minecraft. Perhaps a Brakebills recreation is in order.

  15. Heather Head says:

    @Josh Totally do it. Post screen shots and we’ll work them into the video. We’ll be working on it this weekend…

  16. John Anealio says:

    Dude, your cello playing sounds great!

  17. Heather Head says:

    I feel like this may be an incredibly embarrassing question, but since we’re embarrassing ourselves here anyway… is there a score for the music? And can it be shared? Or do we just do it by ear?

  18. Heather Head says:

    K. Sorry to monopolize your comments. But you asked for screen shots. I don’t have them yet. But we did make this sneak preview/”making of” video featuring my professional coders hard at work on The Four Thrones of Castle Whitespire: Minecraftia Version. It’s here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCDHMyaEJis&feature=youtu.be

  19. Jaimie says:

    ^^^^^^^ That.

  20. Josh says:

    @Heather The lyrics and chords are posted on the original blog post here: http://levgrossman.com/2012/05/the-great-magician-king-song-contest/comment-page-1/#comment-186951

    There’s no score as such; but if you play the guitar or piano or other instrument that has chord-playing ability, you should be able to piece it together. Or you could just play the melody, like the incredible cello video above. Or both. Or neither.

  21. Josh says:

    Also, it would appear that the castle is built out of mainly iron blocks. Risky move. On a hopefully-not-that-creepy note, I have a Minecraft server if your kids want to work simultaneously and stuff. Not awkward at all.

  22. Heather Head says:

    @Josh Thank you! We don’t really play any instruments so… you know… that’s why I figured it was an embarrassing question. I thought maybe I could type notation into some sort of software and kind of have it do the music in the background. I can sing. Badly. And we sure as heck can Minecraft. Except me. Which means I don’t really even know what you’re talking about. The kids do have their own Minecraft server, which their much-more-capable-than-I father maintains, if that means anything… but were you suggesting that they collaborate with you on the project? That would be kind of cool… and you’re probably welcome to join them on their server where they’ve already done Whitespire and the Hedge Maze and some other things… but I’d have to ask them if that’s really okay because it’s not even my server. And I guess if I were a responsible mom I’d also check your criminal background and all that before letting you talk to my kids but I refuse to raise them to be afraid of the world. And I should probably just have Monty (that’s the oldest one) continue this conversation with you since I’m clearly hopeless. BTW, why are iron blocks risky? Eli (that’s the younger one) says they chose them because the only other thing that’s white is wool…

  23. Josh says:

    If plugins malfunction, a griefer could end up with a lot of iron, which could effectively bankrupt the economy. Risky indeed.

  24. Very cool video. Be honest though: how many times did you practise playing it before you filmed the version we saw?

    I have no musical ability at all, so I was highly impressed despite your self-confessed rustiness and the cello’s dilapidated state.

  25. Leverus says:

    @Martin believe it or not, the first section was my very first shot at it. Even though I haven’t played for 20 years (and even though I picked up guitar in the interval) my brain still automatically generates cello-fingers for any melody I hear. I can’t turn it off. So I just hacked away at it. (My bowing suffered a lot more than my fingering. Hence my horrible tone).

    The pizzicato bit was also the first shot. BUT. I did cheat and do 2 or 3 retakes of the last bit, where I moved up an octave and played on the less-forgiving A and D strings. That was just excruciating.

  26. Leverus says:

    @heather /watches in silent awe. How old are your coders?

  27. Leverus says:

    @Josh i am pro-Minecraft! How can one not be.

  28. Leverus says:

    But I had to give it up. It was sucking up too much time. I do my crafting w/ words now.

  29. Josh says:

    How do you make a diamond pickaxe with a large vocabulary? 0.o

  30. I’m seriously impressed. A writer *and* a musician. Bravo!

  31. Heather Head says:

    @Leverus They’re 11 and 8. They’re also home/un-schooled, so they spend significant portions of their day on the computer. This may or may not be healthy for them, but it causes them to kick serious butt at Minecraft. Priorities.

  32. Louis Bergonzi says:

    Your relaxed bow hold looks the same as in jr and sr hi school and still works great. Tom R will be so proud.

    Oh, …and please don’t put the poor thing back in the basement…breaks my heart…..

  33. Jeff says:

    Bravo Lev, you’re actually pretty compitent with that thing. And don’t think that we don’t know you’ve endured many painful finger positions and such not.

  34. Hi Lev! I would love you to write to me and send me your email because we are looking for as many students we can find who worked under Ben Zander to invite them to his 75th birthday gala and our big Student Homecoming on March 8th in Boston. I must say I enjoyed this blog and your video! Sounds like you are doing well, writing and living in Brooklyn. Enjoyed the update. You can also call me on my Boston Philharmonic Cell phone 857-208-3861. I look forward to hearing from you so I can send you the invitation. Thank you! Janet

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