11.28.2009

the older I geti

I really really like choral music.

here are some composers you should check out.


Tomas Luis de Victoria.
GP da Palestrina.
John Taverner (with two Rs)(from the renaissance)
Mendelsson's Elijah is amazing.
Britten's war requiem is quite impressive too.
everyone loves Bach, and for good reason.

that should get you started.

11.25.2009

tough city

I really look forward to listening to the new CBC Canadian Songquest album. I heard some snippets, and I love some of the musicians. I think Radio 2 Drive is really beginning to reveal a canadian cultural identity that is either just emerging, or just being discovered. But I think it is there. I suppose it could be also that I am growing up and used to want to identify myself with commercial culture, and now I find it abhorrent, is that a word? Commercial radio makes me ill, but I love all of the good music I discover when listening to radio 2 in the morning and in the afternoon. The classical stuff is fine, but I already have a pretty good understanding of where I want to go with my art music time.
I can't wait to be a teacher. I look forward to experimenting with popular music in the classroom, digital media, social media and its ability to unite groups. Today I was thinking about how I could have a contest where kids would have bands and they would have to recruit a songwriter from outside the group, where perhaps it's the outcasts who don't have a voice but have a lot to say who would be better equipped to communicate with music and words. I find I have no motivation to write lyrics, though I love being creative with music, because I am so comfortable with words, regardless of my facility with them. I find Dave Matthews, one of my favourite songwriters, to be not very articulate when he speaks in public (perhaps a variety of factors are involved) but his songwriting is excellent in that it conveys little moments in ways that I think are rare among successful musicians. It also has to do with the chemistry of the band. But I digress, I want to show students that music and creating together can bring unexpected people into a creative process that binds in ways not much else can.
Liturgy, the work of the people, is meant to be like that. When we work together to create beauty as an offering to God, we are bound together in a non-physical way. A spiritual bond is made when we work together on something that is a spiritual offering. We all have different reasons (motives) for being in church, but we go there. I think the worst thing when it comes to church is apathy, not apatheia. Lacking in passion in the western sense. I am having a hard time with church these days, and I think it is largely because we don't have choir practices. I miss everything about the practices, the community, the awkwardness, the progress. I miss the difficult times because it is exactly those difficult times that brought us closer together, that showed us we could trust each other with vulnerability. Better yet, the musical progress made it so exciting to be working together, challenging each other.
I can't exactly remember where I was going with all of this, but I really miss choir practices.

11.23.2009

Port Townsend

We returned home from our weekend away in Port Townsend. It was a fabulous weekend, very relaxing and an excellent time to catch up with old friends. The three men involved had spent a fateful weekend together on the sunshine coast, hiking and enjoying nature and also happened to meet the monks for the very first time. It was a weekend sometime in August of 2005 I believe, perhaps even near august 6th. I can't remember exactly, but it was great. we three had fun then, and I remember talking about how we should find a way to have a weekend like this in the future with our wives, and we did! It only took four years, but it was great. We are all married, and there are two babies, and a lot of different thoughts have passed through our heads over the years. We had worked together on the newspaper at TWU, and it was less a newspaper and more an intellectual excercise, a bi-weekly jr sort of peer review publication, involving all sorts of genres, but excelling in general and giving us a taste for creative pursuits that had themes and possibilities. I am sort of rambling, but we really enjoyed working together. They live in seattle now, and we in Victoria, so Port Townsend was a great middle ground.
We played games, we talked about important issues, like babies, church, vegetables, weather, man it was windy while we were there.
It was kind of weird to be so far away, but only drive for about an hour. The ferry we took leaves from downtown victoria, which means we drove for about ten minutes and then took a ferry for about an hour and a half, and then drove for another hour, and we were there. Weird. But the town of port townsend is really cool, very picturesque, lovely buildings, a nice antique store to get lost in, and a great food co-op. I have been working both friday and saturday nights this shift, which has been a bummer, no trips away, but next semester will have me super busy, so I don't know what will happen.
We miss our families, I had a great chat with my sister on the phone today.
This is a string of random things, but there you have it. we are going to watch less TV.
I really like samcro. If you know what that is great, but if not, don't worry about it. I am also really enjoying my terry pratchett books. what a clever writer.
I think I mentioned this before, but I don't remember. We have decided not to go to montreal. I even decided not to take the test, because I loved my time in band class so much the other day that I know I need to be a teacher. So I will do my practicum in the lower mainland and eventually we will go back there to work. In the meantime, we have to deal with living across the street from the ocean. ah well, you can't win em all.

11.14.2009

The Poor, Pt 3

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Memory Eternal, Willy.




11.12.2009

The Poor pt II

I appreciate the discussion that the last post caused, and hopefully this will clarify.

Matthew 25, like the rest of the Bible, is incredibly important. Most of Jesus' life was spent dealing with poor people, talking about money, and getting people to understand the connection between how the spent their money (and time) and what that revealed about their soul. Matthew 6 also focuses on that briefly, basically saying that its your actions that matter. Just like 1 Cor. 13. Nobody, (well, some of us actually are swayed by words) but almost nobody cares what you or I say, but our actions are really what matter. This is why a blog, while interesting and perhaps an enjoyable way to pass time and stay connected, is not a way to measure anything of substance or significance. (generally, I know there are some really good things written down, like, the Bible, the fathers, etc, this is not a critique of writing per se)
That said (written) the point I was trying to make is that when we minister to the poor, I think we need to think deeply and carefully about that. How, why, what, when, who, where etc. We shouldn't spend so much time contemplating our options that we never do anything, and I am all for giving a random guy on the street the food in my front seat as we stop at the red light (vancouver+pandora anyone?) Just a simple, stringless gift. but if we are going to make an organized concerted effort that is meant to represent the Love of God, why should it have any less of a foundation in history than the way we do the rest of our life in Christ?
I don't think we should ignore the poor, I think we should love them, just like the Bible teaches, because God loves the poor and needs arms and hands (well, not really, but we are supposed to do it) but lets do it thoughtfully. How can we do it best? I think slowly and deeply, in relationships that will last and allow for loving confrontation on both sides, just like in any other relationship.
IN FACT< I just had a bit of a eureka moment, I think part of the problem is when we look at any group as an 'other' it continues the marginalization (I am guilty with my posting titles) if we call someone 'other' they are not our brother. So by looking at poor people and seeing them as poor, they are not even eligible for brotherhood. But if we are less intentionally directed towards one group, perhaps everyone would feel welcome at our table for a meal.

11.08.2009

The Poor

What is our duty to the poor, living here in Canada?
I was involved in outreach to homeless people for about 8 years in a semi-official capacity (weekly, name signed up-background check) with the Union Gospel Mission. One of those years, I led a group of 100 University students. Other times, I was going because of the girls I knew in high school. Whatever the motivation, I had the chance to speak with hundreds of homeless people, sometimes just one time, sometimes I knew the same people for years. I know a woman who left her life of prostitution and alchoholism to follow Christ. She has maintained that path.
In Canada, there are so many social safety nets, what is our role as the church? It is a very hard thing to be hungry in Canada, and also hard to be without clothes and food. I think Ghandi said that it is violence to give a man who can work a piece of bread that he didn't earn. I have spoken to people who beg, and they have said that they don't want to work. I have offered food, and they reject it and ask for change.
I don't want to enable laziness, and therefore when doing ministry to the poor, I think it requires a great deal of effort and commitment.
I almost dropped out of my undergrad degree to live downtown with the homeless and destitute. Instead I finished my degree and stopped being involved with outreach.
In Canada, you can't starve.

11.06.2009

Dave Matthews on Q





And, surfing was good, though I am still not good at it.

11.04.2009

decisions etc

Sometimes its hard to figure things out, like, what to do in life.
The other day, I had another opportunity to conduct the band, its a middle school band, and I LOVED it! with exclamation points! It was great, so it makes me think that maybe I should just suck it up and finish school regardless of what happens with the job in montreal (or abitibi, for that matter)
but who knows.
In other news, my Dad is having an opening of his photos at On The Rise Gallery on south granville. I am very proud of him. He has been doing very well with photography lately, and this is evidence that I am not just saying that. He will have an entire wall of his work displayed. If you can make it, check it out. On The Rise, South Granville, all month long. Opening night is tomorrow night, wine and cheese. Check it out if you can.
oh, and the swell is coming on friday, if things go well, I might just get up on the board this time.

11.02.2009

in the key of Grrrrrr

well, today is a grouchy day.

One of my teachers is using interesting techniques in her pedagogy class. She is teaching us how to teach, we have ten minute moments with which to teach a class of grade six band students. Except that the students are actually university music majors who are much quicker to pick up their instruments, and already know what 3/4 time is.
I think it is a terrible idea to take this class concurrent with a class that covers the same material but in a REAL context. I love teaching the actual middle school students, because they react like real people because they ARE real people. It's really hard to take it seriously. ah well.
In other news, I have an interview next monday for a job in Abitibi, of all places, which is like the boondocks of quebec, I don't think there is an orthodox church too near by, so I don't know that we would go, but we'd consider it I think. It's a pretty good job.
I spoke french today with the lady who was driving the bus (it's raining, so I wuss out on part of my bike ride) and it was great, I think my french is improving, but its nigh impossible to tell. we'll see. She said the test is easy, her sister worked for the feds in Ottawa and needed an english course, I would happily take a french course while there.
I love Victoria, but I would also love to pay off debt faster. It's all about the benjamins baby.

I had a hermannator last night, I forgot what that was like. It is an experience. It is very dark, and strong. It hits pretty hard, but not on the palate, I find. But you really couldn't drink more than a few, unless you were out in the rain at backyard fire, in winter. or perhaps the snow.

A demain, je vais aller a habit pour parler le francais avec un amis qui aussi est pratique le francais pour les examens meme que moi, mais j'ai les examens dans le 17 Novembre. Cette semaine, je voyager a www.flashcardexchange.com beaucoup, parce que il y a beacoup des cartes de eclair de francais.

Bon soir!

(I doubt very much that my grammar is perfect, or even close, just a little caveat)