Sunday, April 8, 2012

update and music

OK, this is an update to say that I'm not going to update - yet. I DID work on the spare bedroom project of 2012, but I did not get it done. I made some good progress, but it is NOT done.

So, I'm going to put it on hold, until school gets a little less crazy. This means I'll be back sometime in May with the final picture. I know, you can hardly stand it...

On a very exciting note, today I watched a segment of 60 minutes that made me cry. And it made me smile. And it was possibly one of the coolest things I have seen in a long time.

It was on a symphony orchestra. But not just any symphony orchestra - it was on L'Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste. It is based in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This report talked about the hardships that people face living there, in one of the poorest places on the planet. They talked about the struggles that many of the people face, often living on less that $50 a month. They talked about how there is not really any culture to speak of in this city, but...yet...there is a symphony orchestra.

What a fantastic feat of human resilience, to start, nurture, procure instruments for, teach lessons in support of, and direct this symphony orchestra and chorus. I am in awe of this man, Armand Diengienda. He put everything into making this project work, and it has become his life.

What a great life.

In the segment, they were performing Beethoven's 9th Symphony finale, and it was majestic. Having personally sung this piece at least 3 times, it gave me a special connection to people on the other side of the planet.

I got it.

And it gave me a little tear as well. The first time I performed this piece, it was the last thing that Pierce Arant performed. He passed away soon after, but he was a fantastic conducting professor, and I learned a lot from him. Whenever I hear Beethoven's 9th, it makes me think about Dr. Arant and how lucky I was to study under him.

And this piece also makes me think about the common condition of man, and how much I have in common with French-speaking people living in the DRC. What a small world.

So I give them and Mr. Diengienda a huge round of applause and a couple high-fives. Keep playing, and making great music. Even if it is an abandoned warehouse in Kinshasa, keep at it.

And thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for keeping music alive everywhere.

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