alla breve

Just a quick note (thus the title) as we try to finish packing before midnight for a short trip to Kauai: this last Sunday at church was quite satisfying, both because the service came together well and seemed to have meaning and import for many in the congregation and because I had three pieces performed (thus satisfying my composer’s soul ).

[For those not up on their music notation, “breve” refers to a half note, a l’Americaine–the oval with a stem going up or down–in a piece of music fast enough that it’s easier to count half notes than quarter notes–filled-in ovals with stems–but the whole point of the title is that I don’t have any more time–but do read the rest of the note after clicking on the link below.]

The service was built around our contemporary, guitar-based Praise Team. I still wanted some organ presence, so I played a meditative piece that references How Great Thou Art (O Store Gud) for prelude, and wrote a variation of the closing song, Shout to the Lord, for postlude. At the offering, my wife Marianne sang my setting of the ubiquitous Footprints in the Sand poem of greeting card/wall poster/coffee mug/et cetera fame. I provided some background vocals and played piano (a quasi finger-picking style–as much as the piano can handle that particular guitar idiom).

We’re down to the wire, and may soon start intruding on sleep time, as we do our usual last-minute rush to the finish line. We still have 9 hours until we leave for the airport: plenty of time to pack…and at least nap a couple of hours…and although the packing is not my favorite part of the trip, there is plenty else to look forward to that is…

music to my ears.

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