a long working Sunday


Yesterday was definitely a work day for me. The choir sounded good. As usual I spent the pregame rehearsal getting the singers to produce their voices correctly and pay attention to details that contribute to a more coherent and beautiful musical interpretation. The organ music was by Vivaldi and Gerald Near. Later in the day I was embarrassed to have played the diluted version of Vivaldi as I heard James Biery nail Bach’s transcription of a Vivaldi concerto.

Biery gave a good organ recital which I felt compelled to attend due to being involved in the local AGO more.

I don’t understand why musicians feel they need to keep people at a concert for more than an hour. I think it was my teacher Craig Cramer who said if you can’t say what you need to say in an hour then you aren’t going to get it said in longer. Or something like that.

At any rate, the audience of about 60 or 70 for the most part did not seem that restless. Eileen said she thought it was long. Many of the listeners were elderly. The man for whom the recital was named is 93 for fuck’s sake. Many in the audience seemed content to listen for that length time. Some were asleep.

We barely had time to catch our breath before Eileen and I jumped in the car and went to the Octoberfest at church kicking off my church’s fall pledge drive. This is an evening of free food and drink (free beer supplied by New Holland Brewery). Music by a student Jazz trio from the local college. They played well for young under grads. I admit I still do not understand the attraction of listening to music from the Real Book. “Girl from Ipanema,” “The falling leaves,” “Body and Soul,” and “HEART! and Soul” were on the playlist. All tired old tunes. For me jazz in its heyday was about innovation and excitement, music that was new and fresh. How you make a curriculum of that part of it I do not know.

I asked these questions a few years ago of a jazz prof at Hope. He gave me a book to read (whose title escapes me) which I remember being largely a defense of why white people can play jazz.

The best argument I have heard for jazz as a living art was Dave Holland’s ensemble when they played here in little old Holland.

Anyway, our table clapped for the solos last night as is jazz practice. Usually I was the one who started the applause because I couldn’t help but listen to what they were playing. Mostly I think music was for background-sound-wallpaper (You’re soaking in it.). Just like church. Which is where we were sitting.


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