I read this today and thought of you. Yesterday's rehearsal was splendid and motivating for this conductor. You are more than a choir, you are an instrument capable of great musicality.
This describes a bit of what I go through inside my head as I prepare to stand in front of you:
It is with himself that the artist debates as he thinks out his colors, harmonies, or characters.
What this act of meditation, which is like the labor of childbirth, strives to fix and deliver is something which wants to be. The work which the artist bears within him is, on this plane, already a demand. But it is only a demand, one entirely inside the creator.
It is nothing he can see or imitate. In preparing himself for the execution-performance,the artist puts himself into a state of grace, and the demand which induces it is the expression of an inner logic-the logic of a certain technical development, of a peculiarly aesthetic searching, and of a spiritual maturation.
All this comes together in the artist, who is precisely that individual in whom it all merges. More deeply than other men, he creates himself by creating and he creates because he creates himself.--Mikel Dufrenne, The Phenomenology of Aesthetic Experience