Tuesday, December 9, 2014

There is a choice with every note


Joel and Steve B

Thomas Bo is rehearsing the Composers Concordance string orchestra for the concert tomorrow night.  A flamenco trio with singer Ismael Fernandez, guitarist Pedro Cortes and Jose Luis Moreno, cajon, have joined them. The plaintive and passionate sounds of flamenco rising above and dancing with the orchestra in  Dave Soldier’s piece Seguiryas based on a passage from Julius Caesar. It’s a good way to start the day.

Milica's on her way to the Gate to work out final details with Paul.

Pat O is in because Jerry our contractor is finally back and we’re ready for the work to begin. Ongoing protests and disruptions over the non-indictment in the Eric Garner death are making traffic crazy and our roof people don’t make it in, but Pat and  Jerry go exploring anyways.

Arcadia stops in to sign checks and give me two very thoughtful birthday presents.
A paper weight and a pen to use with an iPhone. The paper weight has these words:

Live simply
Expect little, give much
Fill your life with love
Scatter sunshine
Forget self
Think of others and
Do and you would
Be done by.

She’s on her way to Pennsylvania for her weekly visit to her sister.

Another bunch of fresh flowers arrives from New York Hair. They’ve been arriving weekly since Stephen W started getting his hair cut there.

Our faithful volunteer Thomas from Brooklyn  arrives as he does every Friday. Helping with posters today.

Charles is in in his day off to clear some work.

Our rehearsal is expanding. Mandola Joe and Jeremy M have joined Esther, Pat and I. Jeremy shaping and forming our performance. He shares with us a lesson from Jack Hardy, that it’s better to behind the beat than in front of it., And from a reggae musician, that you let the beat, the groove, be like a rocking chair you settle back into. And then he works very hard on our harmonies. Each note. The sounds, the spaces between our voices. And all of a sudden it’s there. A damn near perfect sound for just a moment.  And something like a golden glow comes through the late afternoon windows. Seems like anyways. I’m discovering how much work this is. That there is a choice with every note you sing. A decision to be made. This is where joy is for me right now.
Dion brings his best

I go off to Alistair’s Christmas party and then back for Open Mic. I miss Graciella who Pat and I heard Wednesday night at Barley & Grain. Very happy that my friend Beppe has come again just to hang out. 
David L
David L’s wife Rachel is,
Rachel R sings
like David, beginning to push herself out further as a performer and  Steve B is giving her support on piano.

NEB from France
NEB from France
has joined us tonight keeping our international connections going.
Mandola Joe is acapella tonight, his strum finger still recovering from an accident with knife.

The surprise of the night is a young comedian by the name of Yu Jean Chung whose observational humor was clever enough to puncture all kinds of holes in liberal pc conventions. Great at portraying the insider/outsider persona of an Asian American. 
Yu Jean Chung

Mandola Joe acapella

It’s late by the time I come on. I’ve been back and forth on my set all day but finally decide to open with an acapella version of my song from the Composers Concordance Wingjammer concert. Then my Queen of the factory town…and because I can’t avoid it, feel compelled to finish with Dylan’s (still, sadly) timely A hard rain’s gonna fall…so much still connecting with the Eric Garner tragedy. I end Hard Rain with the words….I can’t breathe….

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