Archive for December 6, 2017

ADVENT’S STATE OF THE WORLD – MUSIC

December 6, 2017

notes

Part of preparation for Advent is, of course,  cleaning up!  Getting rid of the old trash –   physical, spiritual, or digital.

I’ve got to get rid of all these half-written posts with their attendant numerous open Browsers and Tabs.     My computer is a mess!

So.    Music first.   Music and Unmusic.   

  Here are the Vienna Choirboys:

vienna on stage

A couple dozen of the most pure and sweet and musically accurate voices you will ever hear.      Yes:   “angelic.”

This was Son’s birthday present to me –  tickets to see the Vienna choirboys when they came to our area –  and he came with me!   Here’s what we saw:

vienna front stage

The boys are approximately age 8 to 12 years old.    They were talented and well-trained, and their  choirmaster was at the piano leading them in a variety of music, from classical to Christmas.

The “sound”  was melodious, harmonic,  pleasant,  engaging, and –  real.    Somewhere in all my files I have kept a scientific article describing the effect that live music has on a person, as opposed to recorded-and-replayed music, whether it be on  vinyl, on cassette,  or digital, some kind of MP3.

There are specific and beneficial changes to a person’s physiology that occur with live music that does not happen with recorded music, although there is enough benefit in good music to make it worth hearing, when you cannot hear or produce live music by yourself.

So-called “modern” music does not count.   The anti-rhythmic, inharmonious,  discordant, constant off-keyed, repetitious  cacophony that passes as  modern “music”  does not have the same beneficial physiological effect.  Indeed,  in the long run  it does harm to one’s spirit.

In pursuit of more good music,  I turned to YouTube and was delighted to discover two young pianists  – boys, really –  who were new to me.      First:

PIANO Michael Andreas Haringer

His hands!      His hands go blurry in the camera;  they are that fast!    Note his name:  Michael Andreas Häringer, shown here when he was 10 years old.   I watched him play Beethoven’s  Appassionata (Piano Concerto # 23)   when he was 8 years old.     He had a teddy bear set on the lower keys as he played.

All I could say is “Now I believe that there was a real Mozart, boy composer.   It can happen.”

Then I discovered Lucas Jussen, concert pianist.  he has a different technique, using the style of holding his fingers high off the keys, yet they are just as fast and brilliant.

lucas jussen

15 years old.   Piano prodigy.     He has a brother:

lucas and arthur

Lucas and Arthur.

Now my Preparation for Advent includes music,   practicing Christmas songs on recorder and piano and guitar.   Learning new classical pieces.       Taking out my Beethoven and feeling so . . .  inadequate!

But as GK Chesterton said:  “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.”     Too late for me to ever be a prodigy in anything,  but I can do it, pretty badly sometimes!      I love real music,   and music stirs up the very soul.

Alive!  Awake!   Ready to receive!

Of course, real music is part of Advent preparation!

Thanks to Son for starting it all!

 

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ADVENT-TIME AT OUR HOUSE

December 6, 2017

We all experience it –  at least up here in the Far North –  that transition from Fall to Winter.  From morning to night – So beautiful!

I woke up one morning . . .  opened my eyes . . . and this is what I saw out of my window:

Morning Leaves

I wanted to close my eyes again  (as usual)  but the trees were so pretty, I had to get up to get my camera  just to hold on to what I was seeing.

Well, it was nice,  but “nice” comes with a price.  As always.

When I finally did get up, I confronted my front window and  realized there were more leaves.   I must unconsciously like leaves.

Leaves on curtains

Later in the day,  outside:

Daytime leaves

More leaves.  It’s  a problem this year.    We’re all trying to keep our lawns raked, but the leaves are stubbornly staying up on the trees this December, coming down a few at a time, enough to keep our lawns . . .  unraked.

Lawn and Leaves

It looked nice like that for one day.   Then it looked like under the rake, as though no one even owned a rake.

A lot of time spent on hard work,  only to have your work “disappear.”     You have to keep doing it!

Clip Advent 1     Advent:   Christ is coming – Winter is coming.    Work and preparation  for both.    Spiritual and physical preparation.

Son has helped to get me ready for the coming of winter,  here –

Woodpile 1

Handy right outside my front door;  and plenty of back-up –

Woodpile 2

Looks neat and ready,  right?    But it got that way with hard, physical work:  chainsaw; wedge and sledge hammer;  splitter thing; saw, maybe;  lots of lifting, dragging, carrying, hauling, and stacking.

(Gee –  do you think “feeding him”  was thanks enough?)

I want to make this about having an Advent Attitude,  but all I can show you is that preparation is worth it:

Woodpile burning

Chilly nights;  cozy fire.

One more set  of preparations.   Here’s that front window again.

Front window leaves

Advent becomes Christmas.     We’re slowly getting ready.     The manger scene is mostly empty,  but the blue-green light shows the way.

It’s there, a light in all of us,  waiting.

He comes.

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