Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thoughts from Eric Whitacre

Greetings readers!

I watched this extremely interesting video of Whitacre answering fan questions and his answer to how he approaches music composition particularly resonates with me. I love how he is inspired by text and how he internalizes it to the point where melodies and chords begin to emerge to match the text.

I like listening to him articulate his artistic process and his architectural approach to music. I think he describes the process of music composition in a very accessible way. One of the most frightening things about composition, or any artform really, is the amount of trust and hope you need to have in your ability. You are depending on the fact that you can synthesize something innovative and unique in the time that you are given. It's also interesting how he realistically details his love-hate relationship with deadlines. I'm glad we have something in common. Good thing there are deadlines or else things would never be finished. As he very eloquently quotes in the video: "The work of an artist is never finished, merely abandoned."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Farewell Festival

Farewell festival

In the formative years of our relationship...
We used to spend so much time preparing for our meetings
Rehearsing our lines
Steaming our uniforms
We were driven to win
We sought your approval and validation

Alas, over the last few years we've been growing farther apart
When did it begin?
I cannot remember exactly
In truth, we cannot remember what we were gaining from our relationship
We stared up at your adjudication vessels from our pews
Subtly checking the clock to see when we could leave
Enduring the awkward silence between songs where comments would be written
We've reached the point where...
 You just question our artistic choices
We are not inspired to be better musicians

We've had some lovely years together
And appreciate your recognition with consecutive national awards
But it's time we go our separate ways
There's another choir out there waiting for you
We wish you all the best

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring Season

Greetings readers,

The coming of Spring always signals a busy time for a chorister because it is performance season. By April and May choirs have settled into their sound and repertoire for the season. Thus, it's time to take these newfound skills and compete. Perhaps, even win some scholarship money. Belle Canto is no different since we have already competed in the St. Albert Rotary Festival and have been recommended to compete in the Provincial music festival next weekend. However, there is still the Spring concert today. This is actually the first Spring concert I've sung with Belle Canto in at least five years because I usually travel in May.

I went to the dress rehearsal for the Spring concert yesterday morning and I was definitely groggy to say the least. One would think that after many Saturday morning rehearsals with Pro Coro I would be used to morning singing but, alas, that is not the case. I made my way through audience friendly choral lyrics:

Soft and low, song of the breeze
Whispers to hills below
Flowers and trees, listen delighted
Dance gentle willow, dance

A bit too sweet and cheesy for my taste but nice for an audience. I do like the Spring concert because it gives me a chance to hear the other singers in the Cantilon Choir program. I usually only get a taste at the Christmas concert (since I'm staring at everybody's back while sitting in the choir loft) but everybody is much more polished by the time Spring arrives. If you're in Edmonton and happen to be free, come on by!

When: Sunday May 1, 2011
Where: McDougall United Church · 10025-101 Street
Tickets available at the door: $15/$12 (students)

Until next time, take care!