We may have hit a new low in choir practice.
There was the usual amount of complaining and bickering. It is all good-natured and is sort of a tradition. The kind of thing where, as a newcomer, you have to be assured that it is in fact appropriate in the culture of these people, and then you listen respectfully like a good cultural pluralist.
“Where’s the bump bump?” asked The Chemist querulously. “I think he’s playing it twice, and it should only be once.”
“It’s not that,” said Suwanda. She was a bit shrill. “You’re having us come in on three and there should be three counts on that ‘joy’. That’s why we can’t get it.”
“If we just turn the page and look up,” I said helpfully, “Bigsax will bring us in and we’ll be fine.”
The other Suwanda (or one of the others; we have anywhere from one to five of them) shook her head and murmured, “She’s so naive.”
The quarrel went on, culminating in Suwanda’s getting up and shaking her music in Bigsax’s face and then hitting him (playfully, let us hope) on the side of the head.
That was not the end of the quarrel, however. That was just the climax. It continued for quite a while after that.
“See,” I said to my neighbor, “I think this is a waste of time. He’s the director, so he’s right by definition.”
We pondered a bit on whether this event was related to the question of whether absolute good and evil exist, a topic we had been discussing earlier that afternoon in another group.
“When you said that about the multiplication tables having objective reality and being there for us to discover,” my neighbor said, referring to an argument I cribbed (with attribution, of course) from C.S. Lewis, “it reminded me that that was what I had liked about math. It was so absolute, unlike good and evil. And since music is based on math…”
“I don’t know about that,” I objected. “It wasn’t till Pythagoras that anyone really brought math into it, and music had been around a long time by then.”
She checked the publication date on the music. However, since it was of course in Roman numerals, she had to say, “This was printed in… ummm…. after Pythagoras.”
I conceded the point.
By this time, the choir had finished roughing up the director, and we were about to sing again.
We got through rehearsal and have an anthem chosen for Sunday — chosen not on the basis of its fitness with the sermon or the season, but on the basis of what the choir members declared themselves willing to sing.
Maybe I should think of this as an empowered choir, rather than a badly behaved one. Fortunately, it’s Not My Problem.
The bells are also playing this week. It is entirely possible that I will play the piece correctly.
I did get the answer to a little mystery I’ve been having. For several weeks now, I’ve had occasional mysterious twinges in my left arm. It has sort of worried me, because I couldn’t figure it out. Usually, if I have a symptom for which I can’t imagine any reason, I figure it’s a rare tropical disease that I will soon die from, or possibly allergies. This strange pain couldn’t be explained in that way. It was almost like… sore muscles. However, since I haven’t been getting around to my weightlifting lately, it couldn’t be that.
Yesterday, I did get around to weightlifting. I did a nice upper body workout with free weights (light, since I’ve been skimping in this area). When I started playing the “Processional Rondo,” with already somewhat fatigued arm muscles, I noticed that pain again. It hadn’t occurred to me, but swinging a 1.5 pound bell (I looked it up) in a circle four to eight times a measure for most of an hour could actually be a bit of a workout. I suppose that my right arm is enough stronger than the left that I didn’t notice it.
What this tells us, of course, is that I need to quit skipping strength training.
And here is Erin, showing the current colorwork on the sleeve at the right hand side of the picture. The pattern is written with dropped sleeves and I have changed it to set-in. It is also supposed to have the same big elaborate colorwork as the body, which you can see on the left, but I have decided to use the small geometric band only.
We’ll see what happens.