Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Inattention symptoms:What do you think? Any of that ring true?
Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace Difficulty organizing tasks and activities Avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork) Often loses toys, assignments, pencils, books, or tools needed for tasks or activities Easily distracted Often forgetful in daily activities
Monday, February 15, 2010
Not all European chant was meant to be sung against a drone. A drone is a single note, usually the “base” note of the scale (the "do") or the fifth step up from the base note, held for the duration of the piece or until the mode changes.
Although you could sing Gregorian chant against a drone, it wasn’t really done that way. Hildegard’s chants (she lived from 1098-1179, by the way) are often sung against a drone. A lot of Celtic music (chants included) are performed against a drone.
Something amazing happens when you provide a drone. A drone builds a kind of foundation upon which the other notes depend. Sometimes the drone provides a rudimentary harmony, at other times a dissonance. But there is a kind of homing sensation about it. You feel the tension created by the changing notes and look forward to the resolution when the melody note matches the drone. The same thing continues to hold true in modern music; you wait for the root chord (the base note's chord) of the scale of the piece to know that the piece is finished.
As a singer, performing against a drone provides a real sense of time and space that I have never experienced with any other kind of music. I become more aware of the personal space that I occupy--my own size and shape--and the size and shape of the space or room in which I stand. I am more aware of my breathing, and of how much breath I spend when I sing, of the sounds coming from the room itself, of any sounds outside the room. I slow down, and really get the point of the chant, really feel it in my body, hear from the space when the notes should change to make the meaning clear. I become part of the chant, and the chant becomes part of me.
I had a conductor (David Babbitt of the San Francisco Bach Choir) who said that chant is like a garden hose. Since humans began to vocalize, someone somewhere has chanted. If you take a moment and breathe quietly in the space where you are, you can feel when it’s your turn to come in. Chant is passed along through time and space from person to person, like water through a garden hose. For me, the drone helps my hectic modern mind connect to the hose of history and the future and take my turn.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I was surprised that I was able to find Liber usualis chants hit our concert at the beginning, middle, and ending . . . that made me pretty happy.
I've also been corresponding with composer Cecilia McDowall today - we talked a little about the Regina caeli and I found the original plainchant in the Liber usualis and sent it to her after her first email.
I remember looking at Regina caeli plainchant before writing the motet and something of that footprint stayed with me, only speeded up! The Alleluia’s seemed opportunities for contemplation after the faster passages and each harmonic shift downwards allowed for a return to the opening statement as the climax of the work without pushing the soprano line higher.
Wow, you are most impressively on the case!
Thank you for the Liber usualis download. Looking back, I can’t be certain of how I thought about the writing of Regina caeli; nothing literal from the plainchant, more a feel of the stepwise shape of the chant phrasing, I think.
You raise an interesting point about the ending. A final, plangent conclusion could indeed bring the work to a resounding close and yet I wanted something which might be a little subtle, something which could melt into a big acoustic of, say, our larger cathedrals or College Chapels, something to slip away into the distance. Not an apologetic ending, more one that might just bring the listener back to a mood of meditation.I worked some of her comments into the program notes. Let me know what you think.
Friday, February 12, 2010
How sweet is that?
Thursday, February 11, 2010
And congrats also to Lindsay Warner for her 3rd place award in the same competition.
It's about time everyone realized where true beauty and talent resided on the UAB campus!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Thursday, February 04, 2010
May be some of UAB teachers or students will be
OLA -catholic church /1728 Oxmoor Rd, Homewood. Cross
from the Homewood library/ have open position: Director of Adult
Choir. It's a good paying job for educated, talanted. dedicated,
responsible person. Need min. bachelors degree in choir conducting,
friendly personality, high spirited and motivated to do this job.
Please apply by sending your letter to SANSN234@gmail.com or call for
more imformation: 981-2773/533-4802, Alexandra Naylor -OLS music
director. Thank you!