this semester, i play for a local community choir, every monday night. as the winter creeps on, everyone shows up through the darkness, steps light with excitement, to a beautiful church in midtown toronto. i first got to know them as an assistant engineer, recording their winter and spring concerts. always interesting music and congenial people. liked them enough as an outsider, that once an opportunity came up to audition for the accompanist job, i jumped onto it.
re:choir members, i dont really know the individuals too well yet. they are a bit older (than univ kids); they got stories and histories to share, but because the rehearsals run so efficient, there is not enough time to catch up on people! i find this bit funny. ha ha. may be next term, i can be more strategic to get to know them better!
what i do know is that the group works very well. that they got a great atmosphere and they really do want to/do sing out. every monday night. probably at home as well.
this season, they picked britten's ceremony of carols. not an easy music but incredibly beautiful. and they worked constantly. every rehearsal. i wish i could contain that energy in on a to-go box and share it at schools, where things can be little tired and little lost.
the main difference may be that they have lived. they have seen the wider world. that they know life does not always guarantee the chance to sing. to see beauty. and that beauty does not come to you necessarily in a silver platter. one must seek beauty and constantly crave it.
once we take beauty for granted,
it loses its luster.
it loses its leaves.
it shrivels to... mundane.
i thank them for having me in their group.
it's a good-paying job. im sure there are people who wanted this consistent, dependable income. they did not have to choose me.
however, it worked out so that i am part of it for the fall 2015, and im genuinely happy to be there. of course, work should pay, but the kind of work that one does, determines the quality of the work required, i believe.
i tend to guard self from working purely for money. living costs dollars and there's no shame in working. but if i am to work in a field where humanity is concerned, i should at least have my primary focus on being a good human- and be a good person.
i see too many people around me who can no longer see their work as integrated part of a larger entity- of society, of people, of humanity. then life digresses into boring and meaningless bits, such as paying bills, doing as least work as possible, dismissing peoples lives and stories, and the ultimate unhappiness and emptiness, which leads to anger, dissatisfaction, delusion and... changed persons.
it is not to say that i am better. i am as good as the company i keep.
this past friday was the concert and i was proud of it.
i write love letters and i will be so happy to see them tomorrow night, for a outreach concert.
life can be beautiful. i just have to keep looking for the beauty. and it helps tremendously to have such lovely people in one's life regularly. thank you, choir! how did i get so lucky!
ive been kinda sickie so now i write... (sniff)
there's two more concerts and im looking forward seeing everyone!
the fri concert was impressive! (it was a super easy one for me as i just sat in the corner and enjoyed the intricacy of the britten ha ha)-
it was impressive because technical things were fixed and was presented in our best. the selections were beautiful. the calmness of the backstage (with just enough buzz) was awesome.
and your energy during the performances- that was my favourite part.
anyone can sing anything on a given day, sure. and we all can sing, as humans. if we can distinguish people's emotions through the phone conversations, we can all sing, i believe. but to sing with others, to learn new things and continues to learn, knowing that learning can be illusive (sometimes it works, sometimes it is back to square one, argh), and willing to put it out as personal and collective expression, that is a big investment.
and like other investments, there is no guarantee there will be any dividend at the end, haha.
and on friday, there was a great payout.
i hope some audiences took pictures. you all looked radiant and happy.
and you all worked hard. and you were proud.
so my hats off to you, choir,
i am so happy to be associated with you all and i really hope i can get to know you all better next year. thanks for sharing yourselves so generously.
see you tmrw!