Last week I was doing some shopping online, and I was close to purchasing a new book. Suddenly I visualized my friends and family enjoying that book, or perhaps a scarf, or a new gadget. I was Christmas shopping! It was only four days after YNYC’s wildly successful Halloween event. I’m not one to rush to the end of autumn, and I have not yet seen the gorgeous new Target holiday commercials. We march to the rhythm of life, measured by a parade of holidays. These holidays are often vilified as products of industry, but their inherent poignancy illuminates our journey through the years.
November has a way of planting the seed of giving. A warm feeling of gratitude inspires us to think of gestures that will give pleasure to our loved ones. Our grateful reflections on the closing year give shape and purpose to our dreams for the New Year. Here, at the intersection of nostalgia and hope, we see our lives clearly.
The conductor’s journey is measured in concerts. An exciting clarity occurs several weeks into the process of putting together a concert program. We know it is happening when the music we have been rehearsing begins to tell a sonic and poetic story. Disparate elements begin to fit together, and a narrative emerges.
Our next performances will use sounds and atmosphere to tell the story of Christmas, and while we have made the Christmas concerts an annual event, the creation of the concert is different every time. Events of the passing year highlight fresh aspects of the story, and we curate music to reflect those events. In early November the concerts exist as beautiful ideas. In the next few weeks these ideas will become living and breathing performances. What story will they tell? What part of our journey will they illuminate? My next musings on the first of December will tell that tale.