Festival Chorus

Festival Chorus

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Music is About People

I was able to catch this insightful interview with contemporary ("classical" not Christian) composer John Zorn. Though he claims he is not religious, he is a profoundly spiritual person with some great insights into making music including this quote that I thought was particularly relevant to the letter I sent out.

"I feel like there are messages, I feel like there are angels, I feel that there is a legacy and an energy. I feel that it's possible to tap into that. I just don't believe in ego that much. I don't think it's just me. I think you can even just talk about community. I could not do this music without these musicians. It's about people. Music is about people for me. It's not about sounds. It's about people; it's about putting people into challenging situations. And for me, challenges are opportunities." - John Zorn


Other great quotes...

In response to the discipline of learning an instrument through formal instruction
"...discipline is important as long as you're having a good time. What I always did is I did what I enjoyed and I think that's why I don't have any grey hairs. I'm 60 but I look like I'm 40. And I have a very beautiful life with great friends and I look forward to waking up everyday."

 Talking about getting rid of things that get in the way of creativity.
"My home is a device, a device for enabling creativity. A device for cutting out everything that - the chaos outside that people think is reality, that's chaos. My home is a way of insulating myself and stripping all that away so I can get into what reality is for me, which is creativity."

On battles with critics...
"Because I'm very susceptible to criticism, I'm very sensitive and, you know, my parents used to say, John, you're oversensitive. And, you know, you know what I can say to them now or what I said back then, I am just the right amount sensitivity I need to be me. And if you don't like it, take a walk."

Monday, September 2, 2013

John Wesley's Directions for Singing

I. Learn these tunes before you learn any others; afterwards learn as many as you please.

II. Sing them exactly as they are printed here, without altering or mending them at all; and if you have learned to sing them otherwise, unlearn it as soon as you can.

III. Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a single degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up, and you will find it a blessing.

IV. Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, then when you sung the songs of Satan.

V. Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound.

VI. Sing in time. Whatever time is sung be sure to keep with it. Do not run before nor stay behind it; but attend close to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you can; and take care not to sing to slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy; and it is high time to drive it out from us, and sing all our tunes just as quick as we did at first.

VII. Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.

From John Wesley's Select Hymns, 1761