Friday, July 25, 2014

Open Choir ...and questions


Open Choir

Jeremy G and Lloyd are in working out details for tonight’s  Open Choir and screening.

I’m having a conversation with Thomas B who conducted the orchestra for Milica’s Composers’ Concordance ( festival last year at West-Park. He’s coming  back to the city, looking for work, community. Another outlaw musician as it were. I wish I had a large enough congregation or….I’ll think about this. Must be a way to work him into this.

TK is working with Marc on sound for the Hiroshima event. RL’s asking questions, looking for answers. Too much going on at the same time.

The Open Center’s Open Choir is in session. At least 40 people in a circle, singing songs from the African-American church tradition. It is Christian music, but non –sectarian, the singing transcending boundaries. Katherine calls it a contained ecstatic experience without context, but nevertheless, something is happening.

There is a screening of Action at Aya Irini, a performance by Mario and the Work Center outside of Istanbul in an abandoned basilica. An extended performance of a text from the Gospel of Thomas in Coptic, which they translated themselves. Dance, song, theatre, performance.

The music is set to a sampling of these texts:.
1. And he said, "Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death."
2. Jesus said, "Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. [And after they have reigned they will rest.]"
3. Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the (Father's) kingdom is within you and it is outside you.
When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."
4. Jesus said, "The person old in days won't hesitate to ask a little child seven days old about the place of life, and that person will live.
For many of the first will be last, and will become a single one."
5. Jesus said, "Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you.
For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. [And there is nothing buried that will not be raised.]"
After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed."
Jesus said, "Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is.
Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death."
19. Jesus said, "Congratulations to the one who came into being before coming into being.
22. Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, "These nursing babies are like those who enter the (Father's) kingdom."
They said to him, "Then shall we enter the (Father's) kingdom as babies?"
Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom]."
But meanwhile they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, then they will change their ways."
They said, "Otherwise he can't do it."
106. Jesus said, "When you make the two into one, you will become children of Adam, and when you say, 'Mountain, move from here!' it will move."

That Thomas again, coming from that other place. The other Christianity we are only now discovering. It’s a moving film. Except that the projector keeps overheating and stopping.
But I keep pondering. What is the connection? How does this work connect to building a new church? How does this become a community of mutual commitment? Accountability? Service? Maybe we’ll get close to that tomorrow night in our conversation. Bug the question continues to burn inside of me.

Visit RL to hear about a hard week. Talk turns to Fred Neil. Songwriter. Lover of dolphins. Best known for Everybody’s Talkin at Me from Midnight Cowboy. RL introduces me to A little bit of rain…(

As I leave, Marc is in the sanctuary screening  an old movie about Frank Sinatra…projector seems fine….

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