It has been an interesting week for me. On Friday I drove to Grand Rapids and met with some Roman Catholic composers. The meeting pulled me back towards church discussions of years ago when I was active in the Roman Catholic circles. I was the token atheist I think. Anyway, after some talk we decided to all do a setting of the same text. The text was chosen from the (newly?) appointed Communion and Introit sentences that were recommended in the last brain dead reform of the liturgy by the poor RCs.
More fun was the lunch I had after with my old friend Nick and a new guy Tim. These men are very competent and dedicated musicians. I enjoy talking with people who tolerate my eccentric insistence on broad connections between diverse aspects of music and just plain intellectual bullshitting.
Then the wedding. Which went fine.
The organ which has been out of commission for the last two weeks was ready. It was a packed house whose talking was louder than my Mozart and Bach on the piano.
Then to the choir party. I think I had been kind of dreading it because I have been worrying about what to do with this group next fall. Of course, the evening was relaxed and enjoyable. I’m like the proverbial farm cat. A friend of mine once told me that farm cats are notoriously shy and avoid human contact. But once caught they can’t get enough petting.
I’m an introvert who sometimes dreads contact with people. But I do like people. And I do like the people in my choir despite some of their bad behavior. Hey people are just people.
I also had floating in the back of my mind the idea that next year I will simply ask choir members not to sing on a Sunday they have been unable to attend the immediate preceding rehearsal. This is probably all that is needed to reduce my own frustration with the unpredicitability of allowing a bunch of volunteer singers to determine their own level of commitment and attendance to my rehearsals.
Yesterday, I had fun rehearsing with Jordan and Nate. I pulled out some old tunes I had written for church in the 80s. These pieces have names like “Beach Prayer” and “January Rondo.” They are really goofy church new age, but I wanted us to do some orginal material and haven’t written anything for these players yet. We also rehearsed my new arrangement of “Why did the elephant cross the road?” Nate brought his brand spanking new Bass version of the Real Books I and II so we had to do some of that of course.
I enjoy working with these men very much. They are both fine musicians and I find interesting and challenging to play with them.
After they left I straightened house a bit. Later went over and rehearsed organ for the first time in weeks. I’m easily prepared for today’s music, but some of my projects like Bach and William Bolcolm were understandably rusty. But it was actually good to get back to it.
Today is my and Eileen’s 34th wedding anniversary. We are planning a quiet restaurant meal to celebrate. We received a card from her mother. It is so odd that 34 years after Eileen’s mom and dad refused to acknowledge our marriage and skipped the ceremony that this wound is still festering. I tried some years ago to talk to Eileen’s Dad about this as kind of silly after we had been married for a couple of decades, but he seemed as disapproving as ever. Eileen’s Mom rarely communicates directly so the cards seem ironic. Weird shit. But I’m grateful as ever that Eileen and I have our marriage. It continues to be one of the best parts of my life.