Yesterday I was scheduled to play keyboard for the funeral of our church secretary’s dad (her sister is also a member of the church; both are strong members of the church’s music ministry as well). I stopped on the way at church to pick up my keyboard, speakers, various cables, keyboard stand, music stand, and music–and somehow fit them in the car around my golf clubs and assorted music books, Starbucks cups, and other detritus that comes from almost living in one’s car…or, in my case, just really bad housekeeping.
I had some time before I needed to leave for the funeral home, so I did some organ practice for Sunday and looked for a last few pieces of music to fill out my music chart through Easter. Well, I started to work on the chart, then noticed that I needed a men’s piece for the women’s retreat weekend, and that I needed about 6 choral introits. “Why not just write my own?” I thought. I was thinking of the introits, and that six would make a nice set. But I decided to check the scriptural references for the Sunday of the men’s piece. The Isaiah reading (Is. 43:18-21 for those who are keeping score) looked promising.
The text suggested an interesting melodic fragment…and I didn’t need much more. I finished seven measures–it looked like that might be the intro–and knew what my next chord would be. But it was time to go to the funeral. While there was a sense of sadness, there was also joy that the pain of illness was gone, and a sense of hope for something believed but not seen.
As soon as I returned to the church to put my gear away, the piece took over and within an hour was done. I wanted it simple but not simplistic (although I can never be as simple as I’d like!). Contemporary but appropriate for a choral group. And just plain fun to sing. I’ll know when we start rehearsing the piece whether I succeeded, but it was a joy to write. You can find the score at adamsworks.com. As soon as I have an mp3 I’ll add a link for it.
Rest in peace, Ken; this piece is for you. You were clearly music for the ears of family and friends.
A piece of you will be music to my ears.