Quiet City

I’m listening to a Spotify playlist I made called “Kiss My Brass” and relaxing to the sound of Wynton Marsalis’s horn. When I was at HSPVA, I got to take a master class with him. He even let me play his horn. I doubt he would remember me, but it was a life-changing moment. Sometimes I miss being a trumpet player. However, when I pick up my horn, it makes me upset that I’m not as good as I used to be and knowing within myself how many hours it would take to get back there. It seems like more trouble than it’s worth. I wasn’t THAT good to begin with. Just good enough. I have a huge, lazy, fat sound…. and that pretty much ends what I bring to the table. I’m also a good mimic, so I can play classical or jazz. I just don’t have any endurance. After about half an hour, my lips feel like they’re just going to drop off…. and that was true when I was a kid, too. I never got my embouchure to the point that it didn’t hurt to play. I picked up some bad habits and never corrected them. Maybe when I retire. We’ll see. I’d rather focus on singing because I’m so much more confident about it. Because I had so many problems with endurance while playing my horn, I couldn’t get to the point where I could play solos without a tremendous amount of stage fright. With singing, that never happens. If anything, I become somewhat of a ham (“descant whore,” as Wendy & Dana would say). Plus, I am lucky enough to have a choir that needs me, and I need them. That pretty much settles the argument within myself right there.

I didn’t make it to practice last night, though. It was imperative to me that I get there, but I got on the wrong train and went quite a bit out of my way. By the time I finally got to the church, there was only 20 minutes left of rehearsal, so I just walked home. I’d left the house at 6:30 that morning and it was 8:40 at night. Not only was I late, I was so tired I could barely hold my head up. It’s not a good excuse, but it’s an excuse.

I’ll see everyone on Sunday at AM rehearsal. I am lucky that we’ve been working on these pieces for a while, so I won’t be sight-reading or anything. I am unusual for a choir member in that I was taught to read music in band before I started singing. Solfege drives me up the wall and I will never understand it, mostly because I won’t put any effort into it. I see it as totally pointless. Actually, I think less of it than that. When Nae uses it in choir, I have no idea what’s going on. I just concentrate on the notes and try not to stick out because I don’t know the words. I’m all like, “just learn to read music.” Reading music is not rocket surgery, but for some reason choir directors love solfege so I am stuck with it.

I am excited that none of the pieces we’re doing for Christmas are things I’ve heard before. There’s a whole swath of music that lots of choir directors use for Christmas, so there’s been a lot of them where I’ve sung the same thing. I love straining my brain. For instance, right now I’m listening to Variations on “America” by Charles Ives. If that doesn’t get your brain in gear, nothing will.

The Mozart Effect works on me, but it’s not just him. All music that bends math to its limits will do. I adore J.S. Bach, Dave Brubeck, Paul Hindemith, etc. It keeps my brain from getting tired, which is good, because coding requires a ton of focus for a very long time. As someone with ADD, I have to double and triple check my work to make sure I haven’t flaked on a tiny piece that will cause big problems later. I can’t even imagine how sick to my stomach I would get if I sent out an e-mail with broken tables or links.

I have been working so hard that I’m ready for the weekend. I plan to spend Saturday in my pajamas cleaning my room and watching Covert Affairs. Then, on Sunday after church I’m hanging out with………. wait for it………. PRI DIDDY!!! She’s only one of my favorite people of all time and space. I also have youth group Sunday night, which also feeds my soul in a way I don’t get anywhere else.

Also, don’t let me forget to call Aaron. It’s his birthday today. He’s 29……….. again.





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