This afternoon I stood up in the choir loft at church, with the sun shining warm and colorful through the St. Cecilia window, and listened to a family friend play the old pipe organ.
It felt so odd to me, standing in that immense space with all that sound gusting through the pipes and vibrating outward, that the organ has become such a lost art. All that tremendous majesty, all that colossal reverence, all the challenge of the console with its keyboard levels and stops and pedals and its variety of possible sounds... and we glue acoustic tiling onto the high ceilings of a Gothic church and bring in guitars and drum sets.* It's a strange world.**
Here's a recording of organist Sean Jackson playing one of the pieces our performer pulled out: Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Splendid. Just—splendid.
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Spring is teasing us, what with the sun out and a hint of something vaguely like warmth in the air. It knows full well it's only going to poke its head around corners and wave for a couple of months yet. But I'll take every hour I can get of it. The earliest flowers are confident, at least:
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And here are your gratuitous pictures of the sock-loving fiend:
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It's late... happy weekend!
* I love me some guitar and drums—I do. I play the guitar, and I'm not outright opposed to it in principle even at Mass. And our parish has a very respectful drummer. But generally speaking, that kind of on-all-fronts battle against an artistically designed acoustic space is a monstrous aesthetic mistake. Why yes, I do have opinions on the subject.
** But sometimes things turn around... and there are good things afoot in our own choir, from the beginnings of including chant and polyphony and more four-part hymns to the hope of more frequent organ before long. All is not lost. I have all kinds of hope... :)