She had a good idea, which others have also mentioned to me over the last year. Keep a log of cool things the kids do, one or two a week. Keep people interested in the unfolding story of a remarkable project. Here’s her edit of a recent post:
At the end of a hectic animation session I assembled the wild little animators around me on the carpet to do the soundtrack. A wonderful multi-track looper app was open on the iPad, a five-way headphone splitter plugged in. Four kids and I put on the headphones.
I had them listen to the beat, which Amza had tapped in to set the tempo for the metronome. My only instruction: do something along with the beat when I point at you. I realized quickly it was best to give each a track of their own, to be able to fade things in and out and get rid of any noise, while preserving anything that might be great on its own track. It also kept the rest of them quiet and allowed the one making the track to hear him or herself think. It is crucial to be able to hear yourself when making music with others.
“When I point to you, say how old you are” and I pointed to Amza who rapped out, “I am eight eight eight eight”, and then to Natalie who sang “I am Te-ehn!” and around the circle it went, Kazu, who deadpanned “I am ten” then Auden, “I am eight eight eight eight” and so forth. Amza then sang a ditty right out of the history of Afghanistan, where his mother is from. Natalie sang a wild and melodic loop that sounded like “Magical Purpose” sung three times, but which I realized, after 1,000 listenings during overdubs, was probably “Magical Puppies.” Headphones were rotated to kids who didn’t have a chance to record. The others all kicked in manic parts, I said goodbye, and they were off.
When I got home and began mixing it down I was struck by the variety, the creativity, the fact that they were all singing in the same key, and none of them did anything that conflicted with the beat. I was amazed. It was rocking.