21 April 2007

A Collaboration

When a singer truly feels and experiences what the music is all about, the words will automatically ring true.
~ Monserrat Caballé

Jon is leaving for the Holy Land on Monday. Since he will be without a piano for two weeks (that is brutal!) he came over to play mine the same night the American Inklings were over. So, although I had nothing to contribute to the group at large, Jon and I ended up collaborating on a new song ~ he wrote the music, I wrote the lyrics.

This is now only the third time I have collaborated on a song with someone. There is no set “way” of composing. Sometimes the lyrics come first, sometimes the music, sometimes both at the same time. This time around, I had mentioned to Jon the idea of collaborating and then he mentioned it again Saturday. So I said, well, let’s do it then ~ play something and I’ll see what I feel the music is saying.

His music painted a picture of rain, city streets and a broken relationship with a twist: the singer has recovered from the break up ~ she just can’t forget her lover’s eyes. I am still tinkering with the verses, tightening up the imagery (something I need work on in my other writing as well) and making sure it flows and helps define the story that the music tells.

Not bad for a Saturday evening! ;-) One of these days I will figure out how to add music files to this blog so you can actually hear what I am talking about!

Oremus pro invicem,

Cocktails & Writer's Block

Good work doesn't happen with inspiration. It comes with constant, often tedious and deliberate effort. If your vision of a writer involves sitting in a cafe, sipping an aperitif with one's fellow geniuses, become a drunk. It's easier and far less exhausting.
~ William Hefferman

About a week ago, the American Inklings got together and sat, not in a café, but a living room and ate and drank with fellow writers. :-D However, none of us suffers from the illusion that just doing that will produce good work! It’s the time spent at the laptop or desk or wherever genius strikes that the real work is done.

Alas, I must confess that I ignored the cries of the writer inside and busied myself with other things and so had nothing substantial to contribute to the discussion. I did not even touch my two poems that I had wanted to revise and submit again to Dappled Things (which by the way, the Lent/Easter has been published and is online for your reading pleasure). Sigh.

Sullivan did keep us on track for the most part and our new assignment is to:

Think about all the things you would like to imagine you will write during your life, or the one special work you would like to be able to say you have written. Write the text of the dust jacket for your work or for the anthology of your works.
Whew. Note to self: make an appointment with self to write, write, write!

The next meeting is yet to be determined, but we will keep you posted!

Oremus pro invicem,

11 April 2007

American Inklings: April 14 @ 7:00pm

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
~ Albert Einstein on Science

The next meeting of the American Inklings will take place this Saturday, April 14, 2007 at 7:00pm at the Divine Mercy House. Among other things, we will be doing some writing exercises, vetting each other’s works in progress and gearing up to submit some of those works to Dappled Things for the next edition ~ which will be the first one in print ~ hooray!Submissions are due by Monday, April 16, 2007.

Writers ~ dip your pens and get crankin’!

Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Oremus pro invicem,

10 April 2007

Organ Concert at Saint John the Beloved

Only an artist who is profoundly steeped in the sensus Ecclesiae can attempt to perceive and express in melody the truth of the Mystery that is celebrated in the Liturgy.
~ John Paul II

One of those artists steeped in sensus Ecclesiae is Jonathan Laird ~ our very talented and humble assistant organist at Saint John the Beloved. Jon was over last night hanging out and unwinding after a long day of practicing and still itched to play my baby grand. After listening to him make it sing like it as never sung before, I am considering giving up the piano!!! :-) He is a truly gifted and amazing pianist, not to mention a deeply spiritual and thoughtful person. I am grateful and blessed to know him.

Tonight, he is giving an organ concert at the church at 7:30 in the evening. Pieces by J.S. Bach and his great, great, great, great, great, great grand-student, Marcel Dupré will be performed. If you are in the area, make time to attend and be uplifted and impressed.

See you there!

Oremus pro invicem,

02 April 2007

Music for the Sacred Triduum

There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is.
~William P. Merrill

The Easter Triduum has to be my three favorite days of the year. I remember as a child, going to the Good Friday service and hearing the timpani beat out the steps of Christ on the Via Dolorosa at the Veneration of the Cross. And nothing comes close to the Good Friday Reproaches in moving the heart to “Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow…” (Lamentations 1:12). I have yet to find a musical setting of the Reproaches. If any of my readers know of one, please let me know!

One of my favorite pieces of choral music at this time of year is the Crux Fidelis ~ the same tune of which is sometimes used when singing the Pange Lingua. It ranks up there with Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence as a great piece of melancholic music.

We will not be singing that particular hymn, but here is a list of the music we will be singing for the Triduum at St. John’s in McLean, Virginia.

Holy Thursday April 5, 2007
Missa Pange Lingua – Josquin des Pres
Processional # 610 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross / Introitus
Washing of Feet Antiphons / Maneant in Vobis – R. Rice
Offertory Offertorium / Motet: – Ubi Caritas – H. Mardirosian
Communion Communio / Motets: Panis Angelicus – F. Peeters
O Esca Viatorum – Isaac / O Salutaris Hostia – G. Rossini
Recessional Pange Lingua / Tantum Ergo - Chant

Good Friday April 6, 2007
Processional # --- Silence
Gradual Christus Factus Est - Chant
Veneration Ecce lignum Crucis / Improperia / Miserere Mei – G. Allegri
Communion Motets: That Virgin’s Child – T. Tallis / Improperium Expectavit - G. Casali / Ave Verum Corpus – F. Poulenc / In Manus Tuas, Domine – J. Pujol
Recessional # --- Silence

Holy Saturday April 7, 2007
Coronation Mass – W. A. Mozart
Opening # -- Humbly We Adore Thee / Introitus
Offertory Offertorium / Motet: Haec Dies – J. Arcadelt
Communion # -- Communio / Alleluia! In Resurrectione Tua – J. Gallus Solo: The Trumpet Shall Sound – G. F. Handel
Recessional # 376 Jesus Christ Is Risen Today

We will also be singing a Tenebrae service on Wednesday evening, April 4, for which we will be singing Vos Omnes, Christus Factus Est and Jeremiah's Lamentations. I have also included a list of the Holy Week schedule for St. John’s, which also be found on their website.

Easter Schedule 2007
Holy Week & Easter schedule April 2 – April 8, 2007
{Please note changes in time from the regular schedule
at bottom of page}
Mon. Apr. 2: Confessions after 9:00 am Mass
Tues. Apr. 3: Confessions after 9:00 am Mass
Wed. April 4 : 8:00 pm--Tenebrae Service
(Confessions after Tenebrae)
Thur., April 5 : 7:30 pm--Holy Thursday --
Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Thur. April 5: 11:50 pm--Compline (Night Prayer)
(No Confessions on Thursday)
Fri., April 6: 12:00 Noon-- Divine Mercy Chaplet,
Terce, Stations of the Cross, & Dramatis Personae
Fri., April 6: 3:00 pm---Solemn Good Friday Services
Fri. Apr. 6: 7:00 - 8:00 pm Confessions
Sat., April 7: 8:30 am--Morning Prayer
Sat., Apr. 7 : 9:00 - 9:30 am-- Confessions
Sat., Apr. 7 : 12:00 Noon --Blessing of Easter Food
Sat., Apr. 7: ( NO 5:00 pm Mass)
Sat., Apr. 7: 8:30 pm – Easter Vigil
Sun., Apr. 8: Easter Sunday: Masses at: 7:15* am,
9:00 am, 10:30 am and 12:15* Noon (*please note 2
Mass times are not regular Mass times)

Oremus pro invicem,