Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Like Water Flowing Through My Ceiling"

Yep ... I'm starting to write music about actual events that happened the day before!

Somehow, I wish my title was actually ... "How I Won the Trillion Dollar Lottery," or "I Couldn't Take the Call the Day the President Called."

Instead ... "Like Water Flowing Through My Ceiling."

And, it was.

First - a little history: Last April I purchased an old Vaudeville theater in the historic Olde Towne section of Portsmouth, Virginia. It is a terrific old building that was a theater, a cinema, an army hospital for returning wounded from World War I, a dance club, restaurant, night club, gentleman's club (that explains the poles) and a skate-board park.

My wife and I saw this grand old building and decided that this was where we wanted to be. When we got the building it had been vacant for about twenty years.

Now, you can imagine what kind of work needed to be done for a building to come back to being a theater when it hadn't been one since the 1960's!

Gradually, and with great love, we have attempted to restore this grand old theater for the past nine months.

The theater serves as my office, the home of ERM Media, the home of the Millennium Symphony, the Virginia Youth Symphony Orchestra ... and is a state of the art recording studio.

This is where I have been recording the excerpts for this blog.

So, ... just when I think I have life under control ... splash. And not just a little drip, but pretty much cascading water coming through the center of the theater's ceiling thirty feet above the floor.

Patty is a new person in the office. She's very delicate with us 'art-sy types' and handles things in the office with great patience. We were returning from a meeting and had entered the theater from the rear fire doors and immediately heard the flow of water.

"Uh-Oh" I understated having been through this before.

"Uh-Oh?" She asked.

"Water" I replied. Nothing like reducing the information pipeline to a single word in a time of crisis.

"Water?" Apparently she could play the same game.

"Water." "Ceiling" I said pointing up. I was practically garrulous.


"Ceiling ... There."

"#$%^" With that we rushed around gathering buckets - funny how I knew just exactly where they were - and attempted to staunch the flow of water with buckets, leaky garbage cans, lasagna pans and flimsy red table covers.

Can I handle a crisis or what?

"Um mm ... Robert? Is that ... brown water?"

A gave a test-sniff to the gathering water.

"Why, yes, I believe that it is."

"Brown water? As in ..."

"Um mm ... yeah."

And with that, just as mysteriously as it had started ... it stopped. Not with a bang, not dramatically, and not with any sense of reason. What had been a torrent of pouring water just ... trickled to an end.

So, that's what I wrote this morning. "Like Water Flowing Through My Ceiling."

I've got to get out the wet-vac and carpet shampoo machine. See you tomorrow!

Robert Ian Winstin

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You can download the FREE sheet music of this piece at


  1. Sounds like water to me! Ben there, hope you get the ceiling fixed. The piece is fun and this is a wonderful series.


  2. Oh my goodness! I have water flowing through my ceiling today, too! Buckets and towels everywhere.....


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