the music smiled


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Over the years, I notice that sometimes when I over function other people withdraw. Once I drove across the state to give a piano lesson. Of course, the student didn’t show. Yesterday, after all my preparation of materials for my strings to play through with me, one by one, they withdrew. My violinist canceled because she needed to drive her son to drivers training. My cellist then decided that with her upcoming retirement from her Hope College library job and with people visiting her that discretion was the better part of valor and canceled. My younger violinist didn’t show up at 1.

My two piano trio players offered to find a time today to get together. This would have been our third attempt to meet this week. We usually meet on Thursday, but that didn’t work for them this week. I suggested Friday at 1 PM. Everyone, including my young violinist, instantly agreed. But after people canceling I found rescheduling today a bit onerous so after I showed up at 1 PM with the possibility of meeting with the second violinist (who didn’t show or email me)  I emailed all of them that I would be out of town for a couple of weeks and we would meet after that.

And yes I had music ready for the younger violinist and me to play together using the organ.

It worked out well for me. I was able to spend an hour and half practicing Buxtehude.

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In fact, the whole day went very well. I had an excellent meeting with Dr. Birky. Then when I arrived at church to sneak in some practice before lunch, I ran into an organist who had taken me up on visiting and playing. His name is Dick Hoogterp and is a gentle soul.

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He was just finishing up. We had a nice chat. He consented to listening to the registration I had chosen for Buxtehude for Sunday and approved. He also marveled at the change in character in the closing hymn Sunday when played in two different keys. After he left I did get a little practice in.

I want to start the July recital with some sort of grabber. I looked through the Organ Demonstrators I own for a piece to begin an introduction to the organ program. Nothing. Then I realized that I have been working on a piece from the Orgelbüchlein for the heck of it. The piece is “In dir ist Freude.”

I like the way this guy plays it. But I think it’s a bit too fast. In this piece, Bach unusually does not quote the entire hymn, only snippets. It struck me yesterday that if we began with the version of this hymn that we sing quite regularly at church I could follow it with this piece. It would make an nice (and short) beginning to an “introduction to the organ.”

Here’s a nice sung version of the hymn I l like in what I believe is Hungarian.

We sing Delores Dufner’s text, “Day of delight, and beauty unbounded,” to this tune every
Easter. She wrote it for this melody. I think the melody and Bach’s setting capture a sense of joy (freude) that might be sort of a little theme for my recitals. Joy. And dance.

After practicing a bit. Eileen and I had lunch together and played a ritual three games of Boggle. Then the 1 PM rehearsal by myself (Ahh). Eileen accompanied me to my eye appointment and drove me home after they had dilated my eyes. I picked out frames which should be ready after we get back from California.


Movie Review – – FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW; A Far-Off Inuit World, in a Dozen Shades of White –

 I think I may have mentioned this movie here recently. At any rate, I have reserved a copy of it at the library and plan to pick it up today. I am terrible at movies, but Eileen and I will try to watch it before we leave on Tuesday.
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Vijay Iyer at Ojai, Part II: Shocks to the System | San Francisco Classical Voice

Okay, this guy is the object of my first Google alert request.

This article is a thoughtful treatment of some of his ideas. I especially like the following quote from Iyer.

This is the perspective that guides me as a music maker,” he told us. “Harmony comes from two different countervailing sources, two different perspectives: one is dynamic; the other is more static. One is about vibratory experience; the other is about motion.”

In metaphorical terms, that’s to suggest “simultaneous presence and then the experience of moving together.”

“Those are important metaphors for community and for collective action. I’m not trying to be evasive or mystical by putting it in those terms, but these are very meaningful to me, not only as a pianist but also as an artist and the way they frame some of the work I do.”

And this from Roscoe Mitchell.

“I’ve always been a big supporter of sound and silence,” he said, talking from his home in the East Bay. “My take on silence is that silence is already perfect, so when you interrupt silence you need to interrupt it on its level.”

And this… the music smiled on him!

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 “some nights you walk out there and there’s nothing you can do wrong. “You’re great.” And then there are other nights when you’re out there and you’re working all the time. My experience with music is that you work real hard and then all of a sudden music smiles at you and that encourages you to keep working.”

I like this. It might not be your cup of tea, but I suggest hanging in there until the jingle bell player guy dances through the group. It totally makes the piece.

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