post mortem and journalism articles

I’m still processing my recital yesterday, of course. I did several things differently. For one thing I rehearsed practically right up to the recital. Of the eight pieces on the program,  I played five in public for the first time. All (except the harpsichord piece) were challenging.  And an added challenge was performing on my busiest day of the week after a morning of church music.

I think I was happiest with my rendition of the Arvo Part. During the Mendelssohn prelude, I had ciphers and almost stopped playing. Fortunately, I banged away at some of the low pedal notes where I suspected the cipher to be originating and they went away. It made for some interesting Mendelssohn, however. Heh.

I was most disappointed with my Bolcom. This was one of the pieces I rehearsed on Sunday. I didn’t lose control of it, but there were some funny moments (as one of my colleagues used to say, I took a dump on that one… heh). One listener remarked it was her favorite of the program. It is a cool piece and it was mostly there. I just like it quite a bit and wanted to render it a bit more faithfully.

The Mendelssohn fugue went pretty well. For some reason the fugues had me a bit worried yesterday. I rehearsed them both right up until the recital. It seemed to help in their cases. Also the Messiaen went surprisingly well.

It’s been a while since I’ve asked this much of myself in a recital/concert situation. It was a good experience. Next time I am probably going to be in the company of the violinist and cellist I have been working with. Now it’s time to start rehearsing my piano trios (Mendelssohn and Mozart) a bit more seriously.

The number (35-40) of people who chose to come out on a busy Dec afternoon surprised me. Pastor Jen and I were observing it was an interesting mix of people who were attending an organ recital and people who supporting someone who was supporting lesbian/gay/bi-sexual/transgendered people.  I had several people indicate they couldn’t make it because of the annual Vespers Xmas  concert at the local gay hating college. Every year they give multiple performances of Xmas music. The conductor is a parishioner as well as other music faculty there. I counted one faculty member at my recital yesterday. Plus one retired faculty member. There could have been more. I didn’t recognize everyone.

At least two people came because they follow my music at the local coffee shop. They like my song, “Moneyland.” Interestingly, one of them insists they heard someone sing it on Prairie Home Companion. I have quit denying this is possible. It’s totally news to me. heh.

I was pleased to publicly show my support using my music in the face of such local hate and intolerance. There was an ad in the paper and also a little blurb about the recital. Both of which specifically mentioned lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. This was probably my biggest accomplishment yesterday.

On another note, I keep pondering a couple articles from the Dart Center for Journalism and Violence Web Site.

Marguerite Moritz’s article, “Four Lessons on School Shootings,” has some interesting observations on how journalists should cover traumatic events.

I like this comment:

“The written text is about sequential argumentation. Visuals are about emotion and are associative, non-sequential and perceived as highly authentic… “

The four recommendations are:

1. Don’t offer a single cause for a complex event

2. Images have more power than almost anything you write

3. Don’t make heroes out of villains

4.Listen to your readers and viewers

All comments worthy of pondering.

Another article, “Caught in the Crossfire,” by Sheila Coronel, prompted me to observe the attention a recent weird Philippines incident is receiving in the Western press. The story is that a local family which controls an area in the Philippines methodically killed 57 people on their way to file (just to FILE) papers to run for office.  They already had used a back hoe to dig their graves when they stopped their cars at a check point. Wow.

Since then I have read several articles in the NYT which seem to miss what is going on.

Philippine Mayor Is Charged in 57 Slayings –

Interestingly, it looks like the government is misusing martial law to handle the situation. Good grief.

Dozens Arrested in Philippines Under Martial Law –

I should remark how wonderfully the music went at church yesterday.

I had a number of parishioners assisting on instruments: violin, viola, cello, alto sax, bass and guitar. Bill Bier, the alto sax player, is an amazing musician. His addition was substantial. We had applause at the end of communion music. Ahem. We are a far bit away from the quiet and introspection I have decided this group needs during its communion. But it was cool, nonetheless.  I used the viola as a fiddle for the Canticle we are doing during Advent. And harpsichord, violin and cello to accompany “And the Glory” by Handel for the choral anthem. A number of extra singers showed up to sing the Handel.  We had a satisfyingly wide gambit of musical styles yesterday. All played well and as far as I could tell high congregational participation. This is what we’re shooting for.

Michigan J. Frog

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