Thoughts after singing a premiere work in concert

Our LGBTS community chorus did the premiere of a new piece of music by Nathan Hall (I am in Love with the World), and now I’m sorting out my feelings about it. It was like 40 of my friends all chose to go out on a vocal tightrope, and trust that we were singing the music the way the composer wanted, based on the thoughts of our director, who had only heard the notes played on piano/electric keyboard. It’s based on Maurice Sendak’s words (not his creations), and many of us are fans of his work — The Night Kitchen, Where the Wild Things Are. So we wanted to do justice to his life with an amazing 15 minutes of song.We got so much help. We focused so hard on the parts since December, if not before, with recordings of our notes tapped out on an electric keyboard. And then we all crammed into the front of a church (around the marble baptismal font, and trying not to lean on the lectern), and sang the piece for the composer (who had never heard it sung) and the librettist (ditto). The piece is based on an interview done with Maurice Sendak, and it’s based on what he said about his life. It’s deeply moving. It was amazing to be surrounded by all the sound, and see the connections with the audience. Some audience members were sobbing at parts, laughing at others. I was told that Nathan, the composer, was a bit of a wreck, which makes sense, because he’d never heard the whole piece except in his head.

I’ve been told the composer is being interviewed on Minnesota Public Radio. Here’s a link to the information: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2014/06/13/daily-circuit-sendak-music.  I’ve been told that a bit of our recording will be used in the background. You might be able to stream it online if you’re not in the Minnesota area. Another chorus on the West coast will be doing the same piece. If you’re near San Francisco, and you have a chance to go hear their performance — please do! San Francisco: it’s an amazing ride, and a truly lovely piece of music. I’m still sorting out my feelings, now that it’s over. And wishing I could have been in the audience — I still don’t really know what we sounded like, since I was surrounded by everyone else and too close to it.

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