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A blog dedicated to the Source of everything good.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Update, 8/17/05

Here’s the short version: I’ve been really, really busy. (Who cares, I know ;-) ) Been too busy & tired to blog (though not too tired to read blogs!) But life is good.

Have enjoyed our many houseguests these past few weeks as well as lots of picnics with friends from the Chautauqua Symphony. We’re not talking your basic boring hot-dogs-in-the-park kind of picnics, we’re talking volleyball at homes out in the country and gatherings at docks by the lake that include swimming, fishing, jet-skiing, boat riding, ping-pong, pool, you name it. Not to mention great company plus amazing food and wine :-). And sitting by the campfire when it gets dark. The symphony is like family in many ways and since we’re only together for eight weeks out of the year, we make the most of it! The rehearsal/concert schedule is rough – three concerts per week plus operas for full-timers - so hang time is important.

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Had a chance to hear Martin E. Marty speak last week. There was an overflow crowd at his lecture. What he said was interesting, though (surprisingly) nothing struck me as particularly insightful or profound. Rev. Marty is an agile speaker; his words barely have a chance to alight let alone sink in. He spoke about the importance of children and the way that children learn morality, which was quite encouraging. Marty noted the lack of attention and dearth of time given in thought and writing to the cause of children among scholars and academics.

Rev. Marty spoke the next day about absolutism and relativism but I was unable to attend that lecture. I read the summary in the Chautauquan Daily newspaper, though. More food for thought and blogging.

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We took the kids to hear Michael W. Smith in concert last Friday (at Chautauqua). It was a nice show, rather mellow overall. Smith has a great natural voice and sings very well live; the majority of songs he chose showcased the unique quality of his voice. His music is a totally different genre and much less complicated in nature than what I work in, which was refreshing and enjoyable to listen to - a kind of musical diversion. Smith’s presentation seems heartfelt and the concert unfolded as a kind of worship experience.

We have a CD from way back, I 2eye, that we played in the car for several days before the concert to familiarize the kids with what they’d be hearing. We told them not to expect to hear anything from the album at the concert though. Surprise –- the 2nd tune of the show was “Secret Ambition," much to the kids’ delight.

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Ruth Graham (daughter of Billy Graham) spoke at Chautauqua last night but my baby-sitting fell through so I missed that one.

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Have been playing more than usual with the symphony and some good parts too. (Sometimes fourth trumpet doesn’t have much to do, though the $$-to-note ratio can be good ;-) ). It’s been great fun. It's much easier to stay in good playing shape when work is fairly regular. Am trying not to think about my last concert of the season being in a few days and after that I will have to wait more than ten months to do it again – WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

OK I’m fine. I’m excited about a piece the symphony will be performing this weekend, the Concerto for Orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski. It’s just great music. My part is great too, it’s got it all: loud playing, soft playing, high stuff, low stuff, sustained notes, short notes, muted passages, and tricky technical stuff. The meter changes a lot so you've got to be on your toes.

I love music that is interesting and intelligent and clever and fun to play and to listen to. There’s a lot of symphonic music that doesn’t necessarily fit that description. The Concerto for Orchestra does, though; it's innovative and creative yet still very listenable. The Concerto, one of Lutoslawski’s earlier works (written in 1954), is constructed according to classical (actually, Baroque) forms, yet harmonically and melodically inventive. Overall, the musical sense is still tonal though there are many colorful atonal elements throughout.

Y’all come on down to the concert!

1 Comments:

  • Wish I lived close enough to come...I'd be there.

    By Blogger Lexie, at 9:12 AM  

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