Three days left



I have three days left in my ballet camp work. In the course of the next three days I have nine classes to play for: three today, four tomorrow (!) and two on Friday. Mary Ellen Cooper, the person who books this gig, handed me a check yesterday. That’s nice. I like how prompt this organization (Ceccheti) is to pay. I have found churches and colleges less considerate around this kind of pay issue (piece work). When I get paid early, however, I always put the check away and do not cash it until services have been rendered. This is a good size check and it will be good to pay off some stuff with it.

I had an in-depth meeting with my boss yesterday. We had a lot to talk about. Good stuff, but not stuff I should be writing here just yet. We did talk about the Gloria setting I am writing to go with the Holy, holy and Fraction anthem we have been using (also my composition).


I have called this set the Grace Jazz Mass. I am now happier with this designation than I was at the outset. I now see Jazz as a bigger umbrella of styles than I used to.

The Gloria I am attempting to write has (for me anyway) African overtones in its use of rhythms and repetition. I can hear (and have written some of) three part women’s choir harmony on some licks to the congregation melody. I basically have an entire melody sketched out and a working accompaniment for about a third of the composition at this point.

I am interested in how artists (musicians, writers, and others) are more prone to collaboration these days.

At least it seems so to me. I like the idea. My list of possible collaborators is not long in the Holland Michigan area. But what the heck. I realize that Reverend Jen (the title she prefers to be referred to in formal writing) has been a valuable collaborator in my work at Grace. She was invaluable in her response to my writing the two congregational pieces we use. I told her yesterday that I hoped to show her some work on the Gloria soon for her input.

She demurred that she’s not a musician. Then she immediately acknowledged her part in this sort of collaboration. It’s a sort of verbal dance that I have done with people for ages when they say stuff like “I don’t know art-music-poetry-etc but ¬†know what I like.

For my part, I think that all humans are artists. Creating is part of living.

This is one of the reasons I resonate so strongly with Christopher Small’s coining of the verb, “musicking.” I really extend this idea of doing is the main part of living into almost all areas of my own life.

Come to think of it, (not to get all religious and shit but still) Jen ended her sermon Sunday quoting Christ’s answer to the lawyer in the gospel who asked what to do to inherit eternal life. After quoting the Shema (Love God) and adding a little twist (Love your neighbor): Jen quoted “Do this and you will live.” For me the emphasis is on “do.”

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