What a privilege it is to be able to spend hours immersed in such great music! This hit me the other morning as we practiced for an upcoming concert. The program was one that just recently had excited an audience immeasurably, so much so that some people had gone home to continue listening to the pieces on their own. And here we were, the three of us, starting our day with this wonderful music. Then I realized that the even greater privilege is sharing it with you! Our discoveries of the treasures within the pieces we select and the connections that make our programs come alive creates an excitement that is long-lived. Now that's a privilege for us all!
Thick fog enshrouded the mountain, settling into the trees and giving the woods an ethereal look. It was a magical and its air of mystery was intriguing. As we peered into the fog, our eyes trying to hold on to definitive shapes, we were pulled into the beauty, and we stood in wonder at the change that had overtaken the landscape. It was an evocative scene. Rather like our program "Gathering Light," which evokes shades of light through music and word. Magical, intriguing, pulling us into the beauty of blazing light, the program creates an experience that changes our internal landscape. I think that's what pulls us all toward points of beauty - a desire to encounter the ethereal and be transformed. Then, like the fog on the mountain, our spirits are wrapped in lightness.
With our dress rehearsal for tomorrow's concert complete, I'm thinking of another Billy Collins poem about the shift that takes place from creating to offering, or in our case from rehearsing to performing.
Do you ever find yourself pausing mid-thought or mid-sentence because a strain of music has caught your ear? In the produce aisle at the grocery store, I've been known to stop talking and blurt out, "Happy" when a distinctive chord or familiar timbre from Pharell's hit song landed on my ear. Watching a PBS special on medieval English chapels, my attention was diverted by the Allegri Miserere with its amazing high resonance, and once when I got into a friend's car, the first thing I said was "Beethoven 7," because the symphony was being played on the radio. My non-musician friends and colleagues get vaguely used to this; they chalk it up to a professional idiosyncrasy. But I wonder if there isn't something deeper about the way music calls to us, something that hits us at the place of deepest yearning. In his poem "Roadside Flowers," Billy Collins talks about stopping briefly to view some beautiful flowers on the roadside.