I’m listening to the rain pouring down in the early morning darkness in Western Michigan. I love the rain. I wrote a poem as a young man which basically addresses the rain as muse.
here is the torn day, rain
broken like red small leaves
under my feet
my last lover has to be you
I find you everywhere
and sleep beside you
every word or sound I have made
was really made for you
I think you know that
mute one silent with sound
you are on my hands
someone tried to steal you
to make you faithful
you are the only one
I never asked to be faithful
you are my last friend
who knows me now
sticking your sounds
on the leaves
you are all around me
Thus it has been for me all my life. My body and mind relaxes when it rains. I love to walk in it.
I purchased a Kindle book this morning by Christopher Small: Music of the Common Tongue: Survival and Celebration in African American Music.
He mentioned it in Musicking and I was intrigued. Apparently it’s basic idea is that the most important music of the Western tradition in the 20th century is African American. I’m not sure about what is most important, but this body of music is an extremely important and influential one for me.
Last night in my Kids Choir rehearsal, I had them sing “Go Down Moses.”
We have been talking about hymnody, words versus tunes. I have been trying to get my three kids to think about who wrote the words to a hymn and where did the tune come from.’
Last night I learned that my kids were only beginning to learn about slavery in America. But their imaginations quickly fired up and drew on their lessons and described vividly what it’s like to be someone’s property.
We talked about the relationship of the story of Moses and the Israelite slaves to the American slaves brought from Africa.
They liked singing the song I think.
Music of the Common Tongue was cheapest as a Kindle book. Usually I can pick up a cheap used edition of a book on Amazon. But in this case $12.71 (the Kindle price) was cheaper than any of the used ones available.
Yesterday was my penultimate crazy Wednesday. One more and I will be done with have both an 8:30 AM class to play for and an evening full of church and rehearsals.
I only had five singers at the adult choir rehearsal. It is discouraging how thinly people commit themselves these days. Or maybe I should say how far they spread themselves over commitments, since most every person missing was honoring a different commitment like symphony orchestras or other important things.
It takes energy to pull together a small group and have them leave feeling like their time was spent in a worthwhile fashion. I hope I accomplished that last night. I know I tried.
I did find time to make a few videos of myself playing organ. These can be helpful if humiliating. Here’s one.
I put this up on the Grace Music Ministry Facebook page yesterday. It is my prelude for Sunday. Most of the notes are there I think. I also think that it helps to hear a piece a few times if you’re going to hear a live performance. My hope is that some of the church Faceboookers might listen and then be more prepared to hear it more clearly Sunday. Or not.
Also I am meeting tomorrow with my friend Rhonda for her thoughts on this piece. She has played some CPE Bach, maybe even this one, so I am hoping she will answer a couple questions and critique my playing.
I have a long but pleasurable and rather easy day ahead of me. Two ballet classes, a trio rehearsal, some organ rehearsal, then date night with my lovely wife.
Need I say it? My life is good.