I have managed to treadmill for the past three days. It seems to be helping my energy not draining it. Maybe I’m learning to pace myself a bit better, spending the energy where it’s needed and resting when needed.
I had a very interesting meeting with Jen yesterday. I hadn’t talked to her about my evolving vision for our recital series. She seemed interested but more anxious than usual. Her mild anxiety was that she didn’t know what I was thinking about how to approach it. So I tried to tell her as much as I could. There’s still a lot I’m in the process of thinking about.
I told her that I was interested in a monthly recital for the next two years. I would like to call the series Grace Notes and add the year like this: Grace Notes 2017. We talked about that name before and she likes it. I also reiterated I would like to establish pay scale for students ($75), colleagues ($200) and more for players of stature.
We decided that we would have our first recital on Pentecost afternoon. We had a fun little exchange when I told her i was thinking of kicking off this recital with Duke of Ellington’s “It don’t mean a thing.” I think she was taken aback. She seemed more accepting after I had explained to her that it was actually the content of the song that I wanted to set the tone with. The idea that music is lifeless without rhythm. “It don’t mean a thing if it got that swing.” Also that I would narrate these concerts and was likely to say that I see Ellington as an American genius just as I see Tallis as an English genius and then have the choir sing Tallis’s anthem that we have scheduled to sing that morning at Eucharist.
We also agreed that in the publicity we would emphasize the organ finding its voice at the Sunday morning Eucharist celebration of Pentecost. Then mention that we were also having a recital that afternoon called “Greatest Hits Plus” featuring Grace musicians doing music from the past season plus a few other things.
Amy and Dawn are now on board as well. We had great rehearsals. Dawn and I read some Beethoven cello sonata movements. Pretty cool stuff actually. Then when Amy showed up we continued with Beethoven and read some of one of his piano trios. After Dawn left Amy and I played some Mozart. I would like each of them to play a solo at the June 4 recital: Dawn on Frescobaldi and Amy on Mozart.
I’m beginning to think I have too much music on my mind for this first recital. I mentioned to Amy that it would be cool to do Spiegel im Spiegel. But now I’m thinking that may be too much. Also, instead of playing the Bach Komm Heiliger Geist both in the morning and afternoon, maybe I’ll choose something shorter for an organ piece at the recital.
I received permission from Jen to invite Rhonda to play a July recital and pay her. Jen and I discussed forming a committee to help with the recitals and call it Friends of Grace Notes. We are toying with using organ committee members on this if they are willing.
Rhonda is too busy to do a July recital so I’ve asked her to do an August one which may fit better with her schedule. I am pondering July now. Not sure what I want to do with that.
Before I came home yesterday, I had a very cool conference with Jen, Martin, and Marcus.
Marcus is the man who does the wood stuff and other things for Pasi (you can see him in the above photo to Martin’s left. I believe Jen snapped this picture during our talk.). He is quite the artist and i have enjoyed getting to know him immensely (I told him so yesterday since he’s getting on a plane to go home today).
We were talking about when to use the organ this Sunday. After our discussion we have decided to not have an organ prelude and to only use the organ on the Fraction Anthem if I am able to also use it earlier in the service on the Dvorak choral anthem. I won’t know if this will be practical until I try it Sunday before the service. If I don’t use it at the anthem, Jen didn’t want the organ to sound first at the fraction. This is wise, I think. In either case I will be using it on the first communion hymn which is an Easter text using the melody of O Filli et Fillae (O sons and daughters). I will play a Dvorak piano piece for both prelude and postlude.
I am basking in the collaboration of this conversation. I do like working with Jen and Martin with Marcus smiling in a slightly mad attractive way.
Life is good.