When I heard the news about the Happy Birthday lawsuit this (yesterday?) morning, I knew it would be hard to resist. As y’all probably know, we cover music and copyright law often over here at Vi Hart headquarters (see “Oh No, Pi Politics Again” and “Twelve Tones“), and I think about the Happy Birthday song more often than I’d like to admit.
This is the video that happened to me:
It happened like this
I read about the ruling in the morning, while drinking a cup of matcha that stained the dry skin on my lips all weird; I should probably not bite them so much
On my walk to work, I rolled around the concept of a video until it was an actual video concept. Only got interrupted by a couple dudes. By the time I arrived at the office I was ready to start writing the script.
Script-writing is always the longest part. It involves research and editing and phrasing and perfecting the tone and pacing around the office. It involves primary sources on the lawsuit, and the Wikipedia article on most common names. Breaks for lunch and office book club. Finished and walked home at about 7:30pm.
On my walk back I worked on the music. I really wanted to be able to finish this thing today and get it up while the news was still current, and that all depended on being ready to record a half dozen unique arrangements of Happy Birthday as soon as I sat down at the piano.
At this point I was pretty tired so I called a friend and arranged to go out for dinner at midnight, as some sort of motivational guarantee to my body that doing this thing would not end in me being starving and crazy. At least not tonight.
By 8:30 piano was done, by 10pm notebook filming was done, then voiceover and vocals, which had to be aligned with the piano and everything, so that took another hour. A bit of editing. Then out for dinner. Settled back in at 1:30am to finish editing, exporting by 2:30, and at the moment it’s 3am and it’s uploading to the YouTubes… but I won’t post this ’till it’s up, which is looking like it’s gonna be a few hours. 5:30am: processing. 6am: live!
Huh, I hope it makes sense. Not like I had time to check.
I am a machine and it is my nature to do these things
Thus ends an account of my day