Season after Pentecost, 2023
I've had a lot of exposure to new music lately, but I haven't written very much about it because my time has mostly been consumed by the pursuit of perfection.
I have to be honest here: it's pretty slow in coming.
What even constitutes perfect music? And who would want to listen to it?
I suppose, if one (an organist, in this case) took a score (an organ score, in this case) and entered into a computer (a Mac, in this case) in MIDI format, one would receive a note-perfect rendering of the composition.
But a MIDI rendition wouldn't really be that exciting to listen to because it wouldn't be "musical." You need a human for that. Ideally, someone who can play all the right notes and make music too.
One of the most fascinating things about organ pipes is their inconsistency of speech. Sometimes I feel like I've caught a pipe by surprise, and it sounds differently than it usually does. I'll stop what I'm playing and return to the offending pipe, and usually things are okay. But it often happens again, and sometimes other pipes sound in unusual ways.
This esoteric knowledge admittedly does come from playing organs for thousands of hours, but it too enters into the realm of perfection.
A pipe never sounds exactly the same way twice. In this sense, every noise a pipe makes is like a snowflake. Even if the organist could hold a key for exactly the same duration for several successive repetitions of the same pitch, the number and manner of the air column vibrations inside the pipe would be different.
Also, pipes talk to each other. Windchests allow pressures in one pipe to be affected by the opening and closing of others nearby.
So, I guess what I'm getting at is that these pipes are created in our image. They are designed to do certain things, but sometimes they don't do it correctly, and even if they do, they're often doing it in different ways.
So are our efforts as musicians snowflakesque. There's all kinds of variability in our performances, despite what recording engineers would have us believe.
Perfection is an illusion, though increasingly available (and necessary?) to the modern world.
A post-modern world that has no need for a perfect God must believe it is capable of its own perfection.
I, on the other hand, believe in an all-perfect God. Yet I'm still seeking perfection.
The page you're reading is part of Sinden.org
©MMXVII Sinden.org: a site for fun and prophet
Looking for Carol Spreadsheets?
Hungry? Try the Liturgical Guide to Altoids Consumption
Thirsty? Try the Tibia Liquida
The Eric Harding Thiman Fan Page: The greatest composer you've never even heard of.
Questions? Problems? email the sexton.
Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise
Book of Common Prayer
The Daily Office
The Lectionary Page
Ship of Fools
The Sub-Dean's Stall
Vested Interest - Trinity Church in the City of Boston
Andrew Kotylo - Concert Organist
Bonnie Whiting, percussion
conjectural navel gazing: jesus in lint form
Friday Night Organ Pump
Halbert Gober Organs, Inc.
in time of daffodils
Joby Bell, organist
Musings of a Synesthete
My Life as Style, Condition, Commodity.
Nathan Medley, Countertenor
Notes on Music & Liturgy
The Parker Quartet
Roof Crashers & Hem Grabbers
That Which We Have Heard & Known
This Side of Lost
Zachary Wadsworth | composer
Advent (Medfield MA)
All Saints, Ashmont (Boston MA)
All Saints (Indianapolis IN)
Atonement (Bronx NY)
Broadway UMC (Indianapolis IN)
Cathedral of All Saints (Albany NY)
Christ Church (Bronxville NY)
Christ Church (Madison IN)
Christ Church (New Haven CT)
Christ Church Cathedral (Indianapolis IN)
Christ's Church (Rye NY)
Church of St. Stephen (Hamden CT)
Congregational (Belmont CA)
Coventry Cathedral (UK)
First UMC (Lancaster SC)
Gloria Dei ELCA (Iowa City IA)
Immanuel Lutheran (St Paul MN)
Immanuel Lutheran (Webster NY)
John Knox PCUSA (Houston TX)
St Andrew (Marblehead MA)
St Andrew's, Oregon Hill (Richmond VA)
St Bartholomew the Great, (London, England)
St James's (Lake Delaware NY)
St James's (Richmond VA)
St James Cathedral (Chicago IL)
St Mary's Cathedral (Memphis TN)
St Matthew and St Timothy (NYC)
St Paul's (Cleveland Heights OH)
St Paul's (Indianapolis IN)
St Paul's Cathedral (Buffalo NY)
St Paul's, K Street (Washington DC)
St Peter's (Lakewood OH)
St Peter's ELCA (NYC)
St Stephen's (Richmond VA
St Thomas (New Haven CT)
St Thomas ELCA (Bloomington IN)
Second PCUSA (Indianapolis IN)
Towson Presbyterian Church (MD)
Tremont Temple Baptist (Boston MA)
Trinity (Indianapolis IN)
Trinity on the Green (New Haven CT)
Yes, but they're not the kind you buy on Wheel of Fortune.
the owner of a bower at Bucklesfordberry?
Full daintily it is dight.
interested in touch lamps?
And fountain pens.