Harvest Moon

This week’s big, radiant full moon marked the end of our fourth week in Germany.  The realization of our presence here is now commonplace (Hey, we live in Europe!), and is driven home not only when all the street signs are in German and I actually understand some of them, but when an accordionist ambles down my street playing “Besame mucho” (with mucho wrong notes), when I’m in the grocery and the overhead music plays “Here I go again” by Whitesnake, only to be followed up with Tina Turner singing the theme song to “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome,” (and 20 extra points to any of you who have actually seen that movie), and when I’ve had wonderful – but unfortunately infrequent – opportunities to sample food that’s so stereotypical that it’s actually wonderful: Brats the size of my forearm, maultaschen (which is a thick pasta-like pocket filled with finely ground vegetables, turkey, you-name-it), borscht (BORSCHT!!), and pickled everything.

Bach’s assignments are coming along – with a new one every day.  Most I’ve never heard, but are lovely, some still sound like bad theory exercises, mixed in are a few classics – Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott, and Herzlich thut mich verlangen (which American choirs know as O, Sacred Heart sore Wounded) back to back at numbers 20 and 21, respectively, and with harmonizations that put those in American hymnals to shame.  My fingers are becoming more nimble by the day, so to make it extra special difficult, I’ll play the two treble parts with my right hand, the bass with the left, and sing the tenor part, which is followed rapidly by a nap.

I’ve finally been settled enough to complete work on choral scores that were awaiting editing, (so that they would be made appropriate for publication), and sent them off to my publisher this morning. My publisher is great – encouraging, but honest – and seems to be working very hard at getting my charts out into the open. However, I never hear about it from them. I get email and Facebook flashes showing my pieces in strange and unsuspected places, much like a stolen garden gnome that someone has taken on an exotic vacation.  They shows up at conferences, new music reading sessions, and, in this week’s ransom photo, at a professional recording session produced by my publisher in preparation for the Fall release.  Huzzah!

come thou font

PS – apologies for my freakout last week. Alles klar.

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