06 February 2010

Ice Breaker

One aspect to having thrown enough copies of the organ Toccata — that brutal piece — around, is that after a couple of years, you hear fresh news about one of the organists to whom you've slung it. (If I were Sir Paul McCartney, I had written to whom you've slung it to.) You then spring a refresher e-mail greeting at him . . . and monitor his reactions closely.

Had a delightful musical moment yesterday. Completely disoriented my dear mom-in-law in the next room by playing John Cage’s Suite for Toy Piano (whose liner notes include the line Margaret Leng Tan plays a Steinway piano and a Schoenhut toy piano.) Wonderful moment of puzzlement on her dear face, as she asked, “Is that you?” Good to know I can surprise a near & dear one even after all these years . . . .

It’s been a long slow recovery (though happily from nothing grave) and I’ve had to conserve energies for the essentials (including work on Lunar Glare). Still some time yet allotted to me in the course of this Waiting Game, but the feeling is good (and I can’t fight that good feeling anymore . . . .)

A couple of nights where sleep is a little bit wanting: you know it isn’t a big deal, and then, you get your first night of good sleep back, and you feel perfectly refreshed, there is an overwhelming sense that the world is a peach for your plucking. (Getting word of this year’s incentive pay for the day job doesn’t hurt, either.) Suffused with a sense that a string of steady instances of great musical success awaits me this year. It may be illusory, but I am grateful even for the illusion.

Anything could still happen (up to and including outright cancellation), I know . . . but the De Profundis — a piece whose première was such a touch-&-go affair in both its long preparation, and the event of its first performance — is slated for a Haiti earthquake relief concert here in the Back Bay. The choir are quite a compact (or even subcompact) group, but (a) if they can master the music (and there is the time so to master), a ‘chamber choir’ reading of the piece is well within the span of the composer’s vision for the music, and (b) the organ in question can be registered in such wise that the smaller vocal forces are supported rather than swamped.

I look forward keenly to this.

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