compliments and fatigue

I’m hoping for a bit of a day off today. I don’t really feel like I have completely recovered from our England trip. I was just getting over the jet lag when I came down with the achey shakey flu. Then Eileen’s Dad died. Yesterday we drove to Chicago and deposited my lovely daughter, Sarah, at O’Hare.

So it looks like today nothing is really planned. I’ll need to check on my Mom at the hospital but that’s really my only task.

Yesterday I did the service entirely without the organ. Afterwards I once again had several unsoliticited compliments.

Two from visitors. One guy liked the way I do “Here I am.” Actually as I was doing it it crossed my mind how the GIA executive editor once wrote me in a letter how I do this style of music (Catholic folk stuff) wrong. I “overplay” it. Indeed this visitor said he thought I did it more like a march. I told him that I tried to design an accompaniment for congregational singing. Also that I have done a brass arrangement which was indeed like the “trio” of a march.

The other visitor said he was a life long Episcopalian who hadn’t been to church  in a while. He said that the music was more like a “broadway” musical and that he liked it.

I pointed out that usually I mix up using the organ and the piano but that the organ was out of commission.

The former organist said that she enjoyed my Scarlatti. I played one of his sonatas and decided as I was performing it do the repeats. I guess this was a mistake because when I neared the end of the second section for the second time, someone moving near the piano distracted me and I struck a wrong chord. Damn! Oh well.

Another parishioner said she liked the recorder. I did the closing hymn with guitars and recorder. It was the German chorale, Allein Gott. Even though this tune is actually based on a tenth century Gregorian chant, I made it sound like a medieval dance with a drone on one guitar and having the other guitar double the melody with the soprano recorder.

I find it interesting that I am feeling so burned out about the choir program at my church and that I do receive weekly compliments that make me blush. I suppose the people who hate what I am doing don’t talk to me about it.  From listening to the chairperson of the Worship Commission a few months ago, there are definitely people in the congregation who find me difficult to take.

But of course that’s true of many people in this provincial religioius town.

Anyway, I keep thinking about doing some composing. I have been invited to a composer get together this Friday in Grand Rapids. The guy convening the discussion is my friend, Nick Palmer, who is currently the Roman Catholic Cathedral guy. I really like him and he is a top notch composer. So I’m glad that he keeps including me even though I’m not sure how hot I am to trot about writing church music right now.

But it would be good discipline to do something. I was even (Godhelpme) thinking of writing a fugue this morning for practice. My counterpoint teacher said some discouraging things to me about my ability to write a fugue in the style of Bach. It’s so easy to remember the negative things people say to you, I guess.  On the other hand, the same dude offered me a teaching assistantship in theory at Southern Methodone University where he was going to head up the theory department so he must have thought I had some skills.

I haven’t done the treadmill yet this morning. Waiting for my beautiful wife to leave for a doctor’s appointment first.

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