Back in October I aimlessly pounded out some thoughts on the Evolution of our merry band but I think there’s more to explore. I’m specifically pondering the Music that we sing and how we sing it. We started those many moons ago (2008? Wow.) with music that challenged us but was never over-the-top crazy hard. The repertoire was beautiful and thoughtful and a great deal of our energy and focus was on getting all the languages right.
Fast forward to now and John Starr Alexander’s “Requiem” and I got some news for ya’: this buggah is HARD. Seriously difficult with lots of not-so-intuitive intervals and dynamics that move a LOT and a blind entrance at the beginning of a movement for the basses (fear not, gents, you got it…right?). Quarter note triplets and eighth note triplets…in the same line. And we haven’t rehearsed with orchestra yet AND the singing and the accompaniment do different stuff and don’t always even have the same dynamics.
Like I said…hard.
With all the respect and appreciation and love for our gang of 10 years ago, there is no way on God’s green earth that group was performing this piece. We were too new and didn’t have the confidence and experience that we have now. Are there new people added to the mix? Yup. However, they’re surrounded by seasoned vets who can help fold them right in. There’s a support system that gets them up to speed right quick.
So what about now? I have absolutely no doubt that we’re going to crush it. The long-term evolution over the years put us in the right place and the short-term evolution of this semester’s rehearsals have it nearly ready from prime time. We’ve gotten past the notes and the words and are starting to reflect Susie’s interpretation of the work and we’re not just singing it. We’re understanding and conveying it and have a comfort level that will make adding the orchestra just the final piece of the evolution. (It’ll also be VERY cool, I can’t wait to hear what it sounds like.)
We’re in uncharted territory but we’ve got the right boat and a navigator. It’s been quite the journey, I wonder where we’ll go next?