Thursday, February 26, 2009

On Analogies for Monogamy

Disclaimer: I don't know if any of you will be able to understand or relate to this (save for K), but I"m posting it anyway. Please, comments.

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I've been singing in organized choirs for over thirteen years. I have sung under a dozen different choir directors, and done music ministry under at least half as many music leaders. I've sung in impromptu choirs or praise bands, and I've sung in choirs that practiced for months and months before the big event. And I'm not even counting years of school musicals and Christmas concerts. In short: I'm used to this.

It's particularly apparent in a music ministry setting, when there are fewer people and I often end up being the leader's right-hand man (if you will) - helping him with whatever he needs to lead music, and trying to anticipate his needs: setting up the microphones beforehand, making the photocopies he forgot to make, writing down the hymnal numbers on his list. In addition, of course, are the technical music aspects - singing whenever he does but not otherwise (no false starts on a verse and that sort of thing), ensuring that my syncopation matches his, even along with him on a song I've never sung before.

And last night, as four of us were running through the Mass's chants, it suddenly hit me: Singing under different music directors at different times is kind of like having multiple sexual partners throughout life.

It's not a perfect analogy, of course (far from it). But hear me out.

I'm good at what I do. I'm no musical genius, but I can generally jump into any choir or praise band and supplement the fullness of the group's sound, often adding harmony. I know how to follow any musician who can lead, and have a good general sense for things like tempo, dynamics, and group balance. But my talents are usually underused / underappreciated. Which is fine - I'm not primarily there for my own enjoyment but to offer back to the Lord a part of the gift He's given me.

But sometimes I feel like it would be really nice to have found a home, to be singing consistently under one director, who knows my strengths and weaknesses, knows what I can pick up without practice and where he can put me to make or break the beautiful blend of voices. I had a glimpse of such direction under DB, but lasted mere months.

Let me refine my thesis: Where I'm at now musically gives me an analogous glimpse into the tiredness of living a sexually promiscuous lifestyle, and the desire for a depth and consistency that seems impossible.

It would be hard to settle down into only one choir. There's a certain thrill to being able to just drop by and augment the group, to fill a hole, whether they knew it was there or not. For several events I've sung for, that was the only option; there was no time to practice, to develop a relationship with the director or the vocalists around me. And the music is always beautiful, always rewarding and enriching. And besides, it's unrealistic to sing under only one music director for the rest of my life.

But what a beautiful relationship we could build if I did. And the music itself would become ever deeper and more glorious.

A girl can dream, can't she?

1 comment:

  1. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase to "make sweet, sweet music together".
    Well... actually, I guess it retains the same old meaning.



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