Last June, working at the Rare Books and Special Collections Department hidden within Firestone, I found myself tearing up as I sifted through pages just shy of 150 years old. I had been processing the Civil War Letters of Adam Badeau for nearly a month, my longest and most meticulous project to date.
In a directory on my computer titled “smiles” is a collection of short recordings, musical ideas I wish to return to without going through the trouble of proper notation. The longest and least interesting of them I listen to every few months to ground myself. I’ve renamed it again and again, attempting to remove it from the series of events that surrounded its recording. Now, it is simply the inconspicuous “note 2.aup.”