A Very Brief Tribute—and an Invitation

Life never ceases to astound me, the people in my daily experiences in particular. This Friday evening, for example, I am going to another concert that will involve a whole host of dedicated, skilled, passionate musicians all working together to make history come alive in their performance. There will be wonderful music from greats like George Frideric Handel and Henry Purcell, and less widely known stars who also had connections with the London musical scene in a time when instruments were quite different, compositional and singing styles distinct from what we know nowadays, and the world, even of a metropolis like London, much smaller and simpler than the bright lights and wild energy we know now—yet the stories that the songwriters and performers of that age were telling differed rather less than you might think.The College of Music here at the University of North Texas where my husband conducts and teaches is gigantic, in some ways rivaling the sensation of a city itself, at times. Little London, if you will. Nearly sixteen hundred music majors and their teachers and peers work together to make all of these impressive performances, and of course they are far from limited to early music, though that’s the focus of the concert I’ll be attending. Tonight, there was music of Frank Zappa; tomorrow, voice and instrumental recitals precede the early music performance by the Collegium Singers and Baroque Orchestra; next week, along with many more spring recitals, there will be the Grand Chorus performance of Beethoven Nine and Vaughn Williams, and there are more wind symphony and jazz and chamber ensemble performances yet to come before the school year ends. It really is a bustling metropolis of its own kind, dazzling and almost losing me in its complexity. But again, the stories remain the same. It’s always about adventure and drama, love and longing. We seek to connect through the communal experiences of music.

So if you want to join in and can’t get to the campus, you can always tune in via the live stream, with many of our friends and relatives, by clicking on the link here. Or play or sing your own song, among your own friends and relatives. I imagine your stories will be familiar as well. I think I can hear them across this vast city of ours.Digital illo + text: Maze/Amaze

A Choral Symphony

Listening in on rehearsals for the new Jake Heggie Ahab Symphony a companion to his opera Moby-Dick), I wrote. Tonight (24 April 2013), if you’re not able to attend in person, you can watch and listen to the live streamed performance of the world premiere at 8 pm CST at this link, featuring tenor Richard Croft, the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra and Grand Chorus and conductor David Itkin: http://recording.music.unt.edu/live. In the meantime, from me:digital artworkCharacteristic Frequencies

Light, to begin, as though it were the dawn,

And whispered voices breathed themselves awake,

And sentience would rise and fall and make

A storm, turn faint again, scarce moving on–

On lyric waves these messages were sent,

Foretelling danger and the pangs of grief,

Then, gentler, sing of comfort and relief,

Follow each graceful passage where it went–

This, while the song comes lapping up at me,

Comes pulling like the most insistent tide,

Whether the sound grows deep or thin and wide,

Draws me on deeper in this sonic sea–

Seek me no more, but let me run aground,

My soul sunk in these waves, and listening, drowned.digital artwork