taking a compliment


For the first time in ages, Grace Episcopal celebrated a full Eucharist together in person yesterday. It was out of doors and the weather cooperated. Rev Jen kept some restrictions while guiding the community through this transition. She began with her mask on but she preached and the readers read  unmasked.  We all only received bread during communion and did so as we have been doing in small plastic sealed bags.

The piano trio played and did okay. I suspect  my violinist of having some misgivings about performing. I’m not sure what. I know she was having some issues with a last minute broken chin rest or something. Whatever it was she was able to borrow one to use yesterday. She seemed to play much softer out of doors than she usually plays at our weekly rehearsals. The only comment she made was that she deliberately played softer on the postlude because she was badly out of tune, but I and the cellist noticed it throughout the service.

Later when I was pondering our performance, it occurred to me how many people remarked to me personally on the music for the day. One of regular readers came up right after service and told me that the music was all good but he especially enjoyed the piano playing on “It’s a sweet, sweet spirit.”

The piano I use outdoors is one that is unusually loud. When I use it indoors I try to play softer. Yesterday I was conscious that even though I had the piano tuned specifically for this Eucharist, it still didn’t sound all that great, so I held back. My cellist said that she thought piano was not too loud and she is quick to tell me when it is, so I believe her.

The person complimenting me asked if I had improvised the accompaniment. I said yes  and that was the style.

One of the staff was very complimentary. And as I said several other people commented to me.

I mention this because it wasn’t until later in the day that I realized how many people had commented on the music. My emotional space is fragile after a performance and like many performers I think about how it could have been better.

But, it occurs to me that many of my parishioners are more like me in their musical taste than not. By that I mean, we all listen to a lot of music and probably like some of the same styles of music. Recently one of our readers replied to one of those Facebook silly challenges to date oneself by naming a concert you saw live. She surprised me when she said she had seen Zappa live. Cool.

The insight for me from all this is that it’s important for me to listen to people who listen to my music and like it. After all, it’s something we have in common since I strive to play music I like, even at church.

Today, I stumbled across an amazing performance on YouTube of Bach’s Cantata BWV 32. Gorgeous stuff. Here’s the link FWIW.

Edison, my cat, continues to adapt to being blind. So far, so good.


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