Dream Journal: David Choi and the “Toilet Bowl Composition”

Look out, Philip Wang! It looks like David Choi is competing with Phil and the Fangirls for “man of my dreams” (like, literally, my dreams).

I was on vacation with my mom’s side of the family – at least 40 aunts, uncles, and cousins. We were possibly camping – nothing too fancy. We were all divided into various sleeping quarters (basically a bunch of tents on a hill), but we also had a tour bus/RV for some relaxing, air-conditioned cooking space.

It was 6:25 AM. I was still sleepy but awake, making my way from the sleeping quarters to the RV. I hadn’t yet gotten ready for the day, so I was still in glasses and sweatpants with my hair messily pulled back. As I got closer to the RV, I saw David through the window.

David and I had recently gotten married. Though we were on vacation together with my family, it had been a couple days since I had seen him. As I climbed the steps into the RV, I noticed I wasn’t wearing a wedding ring and then remembered that David and I hadn’t gone public with our marriage yet. We weren’t Facebook official.

Inside the RV were David and two of my older cousins. David was standing by one of the counters as he worked on his laptop. My cousins were sitting around and eating breakfast. One cousin mentioned that the rest of the family couldn’t sleep either. She pointed to the tents on the nearby hill and said that the other cousins were waking up, too.

David was busy working, so I didn’t want to disturb him. Instead, I sat down on one of the benches and grabbed a piece of granola from a tray on the counter. It was homemade granola with a layer of peanut butter on the bottom. Suddenly my mom and a couple aunts were also in the RV, which now looks like my parents’ kitchen. As they stood by the granola, I thought I heard buzzing. It sounded like a swarm of bees, but I didn’t see any bees in room. I even got up to take a closer look at the granola, just in case the peanut butter was attracting flies. Nothing. I realized at that point that the almost deafening buzzing was just the sound of my mom and her sisters talking and laughing.

David finally looked up from his work, and with a smile, we made eye contact. I got up from my bench and went over to where he stood. “I feel like I haven’t seen you in such a long time,” I said as I hugged him and rested my head on his shoulder. His shirt was soft – light gray with blue, irregular circles all over it.

“I’ve been busy,” he replied, sounding tired.

“How’s recording going?” I asked, almost falling asleep on his shoulder and struggling to keep my eyes open.

“I need to take a break. I mean, I have three string tracks,” he said, thinking it was a bit excessive. I looked down at his laptop where he was editing a new song. I looked up and realized that his face was no longer David’s but my mother’s. I thought nothing of it.

“But I just keep recording them,” he continued, “because I know how much the tracks degrade whenever I adjust the tone.” (It’s like the string tracks are recorded on vinyl, so he felt the need to record back-ups since the tracks get worn down every time he plays it back or fiddles with some dial.)

“That’s why they call it… Oh, what’s the phrase?” my cousin chimed in. “Oh, that’s right. Toilet bowl composition.” (I guess that was supposed to refer to string arrangements and how the layering of degrading tracks makes it sound like everything was just thrown into a toilet bowl. Or it just sounds like crap.)

I woke up from this dream around 3 AM, and just before I fell back asleep, I remembered David’s most recent Facebook post:

So I’ve produced, arranged, recorded, and played almost every instrument on my last three albums. “Only You,” “By My Side,” and “Forever and Ever.” It’s a LOT of work. Rewarding, but still a LOT of work… and stress. For my next album, I entertained the idea of having a bigger well known producer help me out this time which means I would NOT do the producing, arranging, and recording. Which ultimately means it would sound a bit different… not to mention cost lots of money. Of course the songs would be 100% written by me. What do you guys think?

Do it for us, David! Do it for us.

Well, David… If we were really married, I would want you to hire a producer. I didn’t particularly like going several days without seeing my “husband” because he chose to spend most of vacation working… Is doing all the work worth what you would have to sacrifice? I think if you can find a producer you trust as an artist, business person, and human being, it might be worth the risk and the cost.

 

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