Musical Birthing Pains

The little party by the white rock watched these doings and whispered to one another. They had found a trickle of water coming down the rock and all had drunk eagerly—Jill and Poggin and the King in their hands, while the four-footed ones lapped from the little pool which it had made at the foot of the stone. Such was their thirst that it seemed the most delicious drink they had ever had in their lives, and while they were drinking they were perfectly happy and could not think of anything else.

In a way it wasn’t quite so bad as you might think. When you are using every muscle to the full—ducking under a spear-point here, leaping over it there, lunging forward, drawing back, wheeling round—you haven’t much time to feel either frightened or sad...
These two quotes from Lewis’s Last Battle offer a reflection to my music-making this week. I’m struggling with the trills and runs of Strainsky’s Rite of Spring, arranged for four hands. I’m substitute choir directing for the Spokane Area Children’s Chorus. I’m leading the Symphonic Choir men in sectionals and directing complete songs, one of which I composed. At it’s best, music-making is like a drink of water and also like a battle, delicious and beautiful and refreshing to the hidden parts of your heart, and also a wild struggle, a daring feat of listening, reading, counting, speaking, flexing, leaping...

I’m just so thankful that the night is here to tuck me into bed. I’ll need my strength for tomorrow.

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