My brain seems to be struggling to let go of stuff. Last night I spent a good amount of dreaming about rehearsing choirs and performing songs on guitar. The choir seemed to be made up of people from my past and present including musicians from Hope (not the usual suspects). Although there were people present who could accompany my rehearsal no one went to the piano so I was forced to be my own accompanist (as I am at Grace). I spent the rest of this dream trying to help singers make a better sound.
In a later dream I was somehow responsible for writing and teaching a song for a group of people (a class?) to begin their sessions with. I remember the song was in C major and in triple meter. I wasn’t the only guitar player. I seem to have handed out the lyrics so that everyone could sing this song to kick off the session. This seems to have happened repeatedly in the dream or I had a memory in the dream of it happening. In fact it happened so much that I decided we should quit using this song. I was developing a new song and talking to another composer about it. This guy looked like a young Paul Simon. Apparently the second song was something about a zoo. I asked the guy if he knew Paul Simon’s song “It’s all happening at the zoo.” I strummed and sang a bit a bit for him.
He quietly said that he had played on the original recording. He wasn’t claiming to be Paul Simon only a session player. I was impressed. Later I was in a basement showing my new song to a local guitar player and telling him that they had decided not to use it.
What’s up with all this?
A non music dream involved trying to gain entry to a kitchen where people I knew were cooking. I could not find a way in.
I attempted to do some goofing off yesterday. In light of my dreaming this might have been a bit desperate of me. I did sit in the backyard and read. I practiced piano. I avoided church. Eileen went and saw Mom and visited our friend Barb Vincensi who had outpatient surgery last week and ended back up in the hospital with abdominal pains (!). I did the grocery shopping. Sheesh. Will I ever get my groove back?
I found church pretty satisfying yesterday. The congregation sang lustily on most things. The psalm was a little shaky but I sang along myself from the bench. It was a single chant and Rev Jen had okayed it as looking easy enough. That it was, but it took the cong a while to catch on. I especially enjoyed accompanying “I bind myself unto myself this day.” Good clear singing. We also sang “Now the silence” which I think is particularly excellent example of 20th century hymnody and a good marriage of melody and words. The closing hymn was “All glory be to God on high” sung to the tune, “Allein Gott in der Höh.” the Praetorious accompaniment in Hymnal 1982 is a good one.I have been thinking about this tune. I played a good variation by Walther as the postlude. I also recently rehearsed the BWV 711 and pulled it out of my hat on Saturday for the funeral communion music. Nice piece.
I have purchased this volume twice. Now I have an old beat up one and newer one which is getting beat up.
Yesterday afternoon, while Eileen was visiting her aunt Mickey I returned to the Bach English suites. I have played these for years. It was interesting to return to them and find that how I approach the music is so different from the way I did the last time I practiced or performed these pieces. By omitting ornaments and thinking about the melodic and motivic things going on while I play, I believe I had new insights into them yesterday. Cool beans. I do love this music.
I also continued reading Glass’s Etudes for piano. I discovered that while I found #11 difficult, I read easily (under tempo) 12 and 13. It was only about a third of the way into 14 that I discovered another technical difficulty which gave me pause (4s against 3s in a devilish little figure). This is where I will pick up when I return to them today.
There were numerous errors in the bulletin yesterday. It’s discouraging because I pointed them out to Rev Jen, Eileen emailed Mary Miller and still there were some embarrassing mistakes like putting the stanza numbers in the margins of a text only hymn instead of at the beginning of each stanza. I further noticed during service that Mary had crammed lines together destroying the poetic integrity of the text. Ah well. When this sort of things happens, when my observations go unheeded, I try to let go of it since I don’t have responsibility for it nor for helping Mary continue to learn (and remember) how to do a fucking bulletin. Not my monkey, not my circus. Still it grates on me to see it on Sunday morning.
I am madly typing my reading notes for George Steiner’s Antingones into a google doc. I think the book is overdue but I plan to just keep it out and pay the fine since I’m so close to being done with it. I keep checking to see if I can a cheap used copy online. Nope. Cheapest is $20 or so. Our money right now is very tight and I can’t rationalize it.