15 November 2017

The music of resisting forgetfulness

Through the miracle of finding, in a drawer, my card, which I wasn't looking for, today I learn that I have been a member of ASCAP since 2001.  The lesson is: you can learn things about yourself, all the time, each day (perhaps) if you only allow yourself the freedom of non-remembrance.

This Sunday just past, at the choir rehearsal prior to the service, the Pastor enthusiastically shared with me a suggestion for improving the flow of the service (a general suggestion, not something requiring action that morning) by having the choir sing a short response before the Invitation to the Offertory.  From time to time I have considered, not for any specific purpose but only as a general matter) adding such a choral response—by which I do not mean at all to rob the Pastor of his thunder, I only mean that I was predisposed to receive such a suggestion favorably.  Another fine idea on his part was, that it not necessarily be a single fixed number.

Remembering the regular use which the late Bill Goodwin made of the Dresden Amen at First Congo in Woburn, I looked for that in a hymnal, found also the classic Danish Amen . . . and my inner ear generated a monophonic three-fold Amen in Eb.  I took some mental time to compose it out.

I did not have pencil and paper to hand (not that it would have required great effort to scare them up) so I made the decision not to worry about recording it then, but trusted either that I would remember (notwithstanding rather a distracted busy day-to-day experience, Gentle Reader) or that it is not worth remembering.  That last is admittedly too harsh a notion:  music relies on the favorable inclination of the recipient.  And there are many pieces which we hated the first time we heard it, but which afterward become especial favorites.

In any event, yesterday evening I did recall both the Project, and this not-as-yet-notated Amen of my own.  Now, I am not saying that it is anything especially memorable;  only that with very slight mental effort, I ceased to have forgotten it.

On Sunday, our doughty handbell choir rang my modest arrangement of the hymntune Tuolumne.

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