We had rehearsal in the concert hall with the orchestra last night. Mmmm.

You know how good music caresses your eardrums? Well, when you get in the middle of a big orchestra with choir, you get all that music on the ears, plus vibrations throughout your body as well. I hope this doesn’t sound salacious or anything, but it really is a marvelous sensation.

Our mild-mannered conductor (truly; he is Canadian) was directing the music as though he was at the helm of a great ship. A small man controlling an enormous force (there’s a lot of fortissimo in this piece). What a marvelous sensation it must have been for him, too.

The Poster Queen told me at work yesterday that the conference she just attended was buzzing about the Intelligent Design question, too, and it was on the radio again yesterday. Surrounded as I am by it, it is no wonder that it came to my mind at one point last night.

Now, I have no trouble with eyes as adaptations, but what could be the point of big music, from a biological point of view? I have finished Dawkins’s Unweaving the Rainbow and sent it on to #1 daughter, so I cannot go back and reread his comments on music. I remember them well enough to know that Dawkins would claim that big music and little music, too, were just by-products of biological processes. Vibrations, like colors in the rainbow. Barcodes. Unimportant, except insofar as they encourage reproductive success (and I am not at all persuaded that they do). Or they could count as memes, I suppose.

But the central idea is that Dona Nobis Pacem is like the scent of the rose, a rather cool by-product of the genetic code. Dawkins, if asked, might respond with the story of some mollusk that does amazing things with no greater impetus than reproductive success. Think, he might say, of the arachnids who spend 40 years in suspended animation, waiting for one day when it is suitable for them to emerge, mate, and die.

I have to admit that, last night in rehearsal, I suffered from the mind-bogglement I have spoken of before. The music just seemed more important than that, somehow. Which proves that I, rational though I am, am susceptible to that sense of wonder.

So the concert is tonight. Here is the sad thing: no one is coming to my concert. Well, there will be hundreds of people there, of course, but my family will be staying home and watching football. Sigh.

At one point last night, the soprano soloist, whom we had not heard before, sang so beautifully that the rest of us just sort of petered out and listened to her. “Note to self:” said the conductor, “Remember to conduct.” This is the kind of moment that you get in rehearsals but miss in concerts.

Good thing, too.


I just moseyed over to She Just Walks Around With It, where she has posted that she can’t believe in a Creator because of Trading Spouses. Of course, I see her point. I am not dazzled by the coincidence of her having posted what is in essence a response to my post, before I even posted mine, because I have just recently read Dawkins on coincidences.

However, I can tell you which of us made better use of her time last night πŸ˜‰