Unsurprisingly, I was exhausted yesterday. Nevertheless I mailed packages to the Northville harpsichord dude, submitted bulletin info for this week at church including a music note, exercised and spent two hours on the organ bench rehearsing.
When I got home, Eileen, Sarah, and Lucy were preparing to walk downtown and have supper and then presumably attend the Parade of Lights (or whatever). I hugged them and apologized for not joining them and staggered into the house.
I have been especially enjoying rehearsing organ music. I am learning a new Bach fantasia prelude and fugue (c minor, BWV 537). Yesterday I also set my sights on another prelude and fugue that isn’t too long (e minor BWV 533). The c minor is especially beautiful. The brevity lends itself to use at church, although I am not above scheduling longer pieces. I öam planning to use the fugue of the c minor as the prelude in a couple weeks and fantasia as the postlude.
In addition I worked over the Sweelinck toccata I am performing this weekend. Taking into account his wonderful echo pieces, I did some registration tricks to allow the melodies in the toccata to sound more prominent. i think it sounds cool.
As do the three little variations by Böhm I am also performing this weekend as the prelude.
This morning my morning poetry read randomly landed on a poem about pipe organ pipes and late autumn.
On the Deepest Sounds
by Lars Gustafsson, translated by Christopher Middleton (I think)
There is a pipe in big organs,
the thirty-two-foot basso, the contrabassoon,
huge vibrating pillar of air, late autumn
when rises in the wells,
the subterranean network of waters and wells,
and it is more a sorrow than a sound.
At this lower limit where the music ends,
something different wants to begin.
Body more than sound, body and darkness,
and late autumn, when the wells are rising,
but since it is lower than earth,
lower than music, lower than lament
—it does not want to begin, it does not begin,
and therefore it does not exist.
Now it is closer, now it is distinct!
Now it will soon be audible, far and wide.
Here’s a link to another translation.
I love the line: “more a sorrow than a sound.”
The beauty of the Pasi pipes is like that for me. A visceral beauty. Tangible emotion. It’s something I have not had a great deal of experience with. My guitar sounds were beautiful. Some of my piano sounds. But organ, not so much.
I have commented before here, I believe, that I derive much of my satisfaction from the beauty of the design of the music more than the actual sound. I have thought this was a good thing for me because it allowed me to take gigs with bad instruments where I could make enough money to support the fam or at least do my part.
I accepted the Grace gig because of Rev Jen, not the organs. Maybe a part of me missed church music. This could be. But now it is clear to me how much I enjoy making music with other people. Playing at church allows me to do this weekly.