I made it to Monday. Over the course of three auditions the last three days, I worked with three people I had never seen before the audition, two men and one woman. They all three ended up being very complimentary to me in ways that seemed authentic. I think that I have come to doubt the authenticity of the compliments of the people in local dance department. They are very complimentary to my face, but I have had to draw their attention to the monetary worth of my work which seems slightly contradictory to all the love and roses they lavish on me otherwise.
But these three outside people who live in the rigorous world of professional ballet seem to appreciate the subtleties of what I do when I improvise in this kind of situation. The fun part of this work is when dancers begin to dance like they are listening to the music. When this happens then I can make up music that reflects their response. This kind of ensemble is very exciting. It happened a few times in the last three days.
Some of the fun is that both teachers and students are more likely to have my own eclectic musical tastes than other college trained musicians. So it’s a more level aesthetic playing field in which to improvise.
I especially enjoyed working with the improvisation teacher the past two Fridays (who teaches at at Hope and with whom I have never worked before these series of Hope auditions). Through prompts of emotion and other descriptions often pried from the students themselves, this teacher attempts to fire the imagination of the dancers. The restrictions of the 4 and 8 bar measure phrasing goes out the window when playing piano for these exercises. I am able to speak a musical language closer to my own heart. Lots of fun.
In addition to the three auditions, I met with my flute player again. In our meeting, I seem to have convinced her to skip playing with the choir and play her premier piece, “I’m just a wayfaring stranger,” for service as well as helping with the sequence hymn. I saw her yesterday and she seemed more happy in her greeting to me than I remember her every being.
Then there was church.
This was our first Sunday with our new sound system. The people who installed it came to church to help adjust it in a real live situation. I was surprised that there were so many glitches (feed back, static) since this system was expensive and the people installing it were touted as very good at what they do.
One of the upsides is that they moved an ugly metal cabinet that had been taking up space in the choir area. We had more room yesterday and that was nice.
The removal of this monstrosity was part of the reason I pushed myself on Saturday to clean the organ and choir area.
The music went well. The gathering chant worked better. The psalm went well. These weekly Anglican chant psalms have worked their way into my preparation time. The organ has to be solid to lead them and of course they are different every week.
The anthem was a setting of Aus Tiefer by Distler and was lovely.
I played the Distler organ piece I have been working on and nailed it. Unfortunately due to Distler’s registration requirements (what sets of pipes play what notes) there was no way I could register it loudly. So of course very few people heard it. But what the heck. Toujours gai, Archy, toujours gai. There’s a dance in the old dame yet!
I have had Dan Savage’s Lovecast on my podcast subscription for a while. I admire this man. He is a voice of sanity in an insane world. This morning I listened to the beginning of this episode and it is excellent.
He makes a very good point about Clinton and Sanders. He supports them both. Many of Savage’s listeners hate Clinton because she was against same sex marriage. Savage makes the salient point that it’s bad politics to try to convince someone to change their mind and when they do, tell them: Fuck you! You didn’t always think this way!
Interesting times in Iran. This explains why hardliners there recently put more money on Rushdie’s head, I guess.