Friday, August 19, 2011

the creative process

This summer, I set aside many of my ordinary
pursuits (particularly the creativity-oriented ones --
the laundry must go on, as you well know) in order
to be fully present to my kiddos. However, one thing
I took up anew was the arrangement of choral music.

My little church holds the belief that creativity is one of the ways that 
we as people made in the Creator God's image can worship and reflect Him. 
So we do a lot of song writing, as well as painting, cooking, poetry writing, 
building construction, computer programming (once again I say, "who knew?"), etc. 

Sometimes our creative efforts equate to
reinventing the wheel, but we don't mind having lots
of freshly chiseled, slightly lopsided stone wheels around.
So, as we established a choral group for the first time
this year (our musical style usually leans toward 
"hippie punk"), we thought it important to take a song that
our community is already familiar with and completely
re-orchestrate it for Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass.

A very exciting endeavor, indeed. But this journey has 
been frought with complications and a huge learning curve
for Yours Truly. The first software I used for transcribing
the music took a long time to learn, and then once the information 
was saved, it would not print the words in the correct place
on the page. Then it stopped printing altogether.
So all that data must now be transcribed into another program
(I'm using Finale NotePad at this point), which I am learning how 
to use, and which takes quite a bit of time to redo. 
I am also learning about "tenor clef" and other new choral 
notations and how to direct a vocal group. 

Now, please don't hear this as a ranty complaint. This whole
experience is great fun so long as I keep the long view and
allow each step to be a natural part of the creative process,
rather than a bump in the road or some sort of wonky detour.
It's very rewarding to develop something totally new from 
something familiar, and doing it with a group of people who 
love to sing and who come up with harmony lines I would 
not have envisioned is the best!

I also think that this view of life as a naturally curvy road
is helpful as I go about the daily stuff of life. Surprises 
always arise which differ from the agenda I have planned,
but they are much more enriching when taken in stride.That 
idea seems to be something that's sinking in, or resounding
through the different canyons of my life, as a result of this 
music arranging process. So there it is.

The photo, by the way, is a candle made from a 
wine bottle -- it's in a nook in the wall of our garden.

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