Thursday, November 29, 2007
I was very encouraged by our rehearsal last night. You are learning the music so quickly and doing so well. Thanks for you hard work.
I'm on my way to the West Coast again today, and it will be crazy while I'm there. So, I may not post much between now and Wednesday. I'll see you then!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I'd like to ask you to pray for my oldest son. On Wednesday afternoon, he and a friend were victims of an armed assault. The assailant broke into my son's house, held a gun to his face and threatened to kill him. My son was able to escape and call for help. The assailent held the friend hostage for several hours until SWAT was able to talk him into surrenduring. It was a very frightening experience but we took comfort in the fact the guy was behind bars. Then last night we got a automated message saying the assailant had been relearsed on bond. So we're trying to sort through the realities and find the best way to keep life going and my son safe.
I appreciate your prayers.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I'm sorry I've been so disconnected. I'm slammed at work. I worked 80 hours last week and traveled back and forth across the country. If it weren't for the holiday this week, it would be about the same.
I'll be finished with this project in early December. I'll do better about supporting you then. In the meantime ... Thank God for Jerilin!!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
This Wednesday, we'll begin working on our December songs. Of course we've already been working on "Holly Jolly Christmas." We'll roll out several more at rehearsal.
Have a great week. Walk where He leads!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
An Italian musician and computer technician claims to have uncovered musical notes encoded in Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Supper," raising the possibility that the Renaissance genius might have left behind a somber composition to accompany the scene depicted in the 15th-century wall painting.
"It sounds like a requiem," Giovanni Maria Pala said. "It's like a soundtrack that emphasizes the passion of Jesus."
Painted from 1494 to 1498 in Milan's Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the "Last Supper" vividly depicts a key moment in the Gospel narrative: Jesus' last meal with the 12 Apostles before his arrest and crucifixion, and the shock of Christ's followers as they learn that one of them is about to betray him.
Pala, a 45-year-old musician who lives near the southern Italian city of Lecce, began studying Leonardo's painting in 2003, after hearing on a news program that researchers believed the artist and inventor had hidden a musical composition in the work.
"Afterward, I didn't hear anything more about it," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. "As a musician, I wanted to dig deeper."
In a book released Friday in Italy, Pala explains how he took elements of the painting that have symbolic value in Christian theology and interpreted them as musical clues.
Pala first saw that by drawing the five lines of a musical staff across the painting, the loaves of bread on the table as well as the hands of Jesus and the Apostles could each represent a musical note.
This fit the relation in Christian symbolism between the bread, representing the body of Christ, and the hands, which are used to bless the food, he said. But the notes made no sense musically until Pala realized that the score had to be read from right to left, following Leonardo's particular writing style.
In his book -- "La Musica Celata" ("The Hidden Music") -- Pala also describes how he found what he says are other clues in the painting that reveal the slow rhythm of the composition and the duration of each note.
The result is a 40-second "hymn to God" that Pala said sounds best on a pipe organ, the instrument most commonly used in Leonardo's time for spiritual music. A short segment taken from a CD of the piece contained a Bach-like passage played on the organ. The tempo was almost painfully slow but musical.
Alessandro Vezzosi, a Leonardo expert and the director of a museum dedicated to the artist in his hometown of Vinci, said he had not seen Pala's research but that the musician's hypothesis "is plausible."
Vezzosi said previous research has indicated the hands of the Apostles in the painting can be substituted with the notes of a Gregorian chant, though so far no one had tried to work in the bread loaves.
"There's always a risk of seeing something that is not there, but it's certain that the spaces [in the painting] are divided harmonically," he told the AP. "Where you have harmonic proportions, you can find music."
Vezzosi also noted that though Leonardo was more noted for his paintings, sculptures and visionary inventions, he was also a musician. Da Vinci played the lyre and designed various instruments. His writings include some musical riddles, which must be read from right to left.
Reinterpretations of the "Last Supper" have popped up ever since "The Da Vinci Code" fascinated readers and movie-goers with suggestions that one of the apostles sitting on Jesus' right is Mary Magdalene, that the two had a child and that their bloodline continues.
Pala stressed that his discovery does not reveal any supposed dark secrets of the Catholic Church or of Leonardo, but instead shows the artist in a light far removed from the conspiratorial descriptions found in fiction.
"A new figure emerges -- he wasn't a heretic like some believe," Pala said. "What emerges is a man who believes, a man who really believes in God."
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Friday, November 09, 2007
We spend all month getting ready for that rehearsal. It's hard sometimes to remember that the folks in the band and praise team are rehearsing together on our music for the first time. Last week, and the week before, when we were working on music for this Sunday, they were working on music for other Sundays. We can rest assured that they will be ready for Sunday.
If you find yourself worrying ... pray about it. And I mean that seriously. Pray. Let God take responsibility for the outcome! That, I think, is one of the main things God is trying to teach us.
By the way, I'm writing this from my smartphone. Please forgive me for any typos or failures that are due to typing on this small device.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Tonight after rehearsal, I'll ask you to do a quick self-assessment as to whether or not you are prepared for Sunday. Remember, we're defining "prepared" as no more than two personal errors on each song.
In case you are wondering what to wear on Sunday, we'll go with the same thing as last month, since it's still Fall ... black and fall solids.
See you tonight!
Monday, November 05, 2007
My dad has been battling AML (acute myelogenous leukemia) for the past almost four years. He's undergone several chemo treatments, almost losing his life on two occasions. He's been in remission for almost a year. He was found with active leukemia again in early Oct. and is currently on a new treatment called Dacogen. As his white blood cells diminish with the treatment, he's developed a blood infection and cellulitis in the form of a hard swollen red area on his neck. This is causing difficulty swallowing/talking and is causing significant pain. I'd like to ask members of our choir to keep him and his wife in their prayers. His wife, by the way, is my step-mother, and she lost her first husband to cancer 30+ years ago, which is also causing great distress to my dad.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Remember that our technical rehearsal is Thursday night at the regular time. Please, do a self assessment today and see where you are with your music. If you know it all ... great! If you don't, please make a plan to master it before Thursday night. Please, come to rehearsal prepared.
You may be wondering what I'm thinking about Jon's departure. My main feeling is sadness. Sadness for Jon and Jen, and sadness that we are here again. That's about all I'm going to say about it. But the main thing is that we have a mission to accomplish. We are worship leaders in this congregation of believers. We have been called to and accepted the responsibility to lead our congregation in praise and worship. Regardless of what happens around us, we must be prepared spiritually and musically to lead. So, let's focus on preparing ourselves to serve, then let's watch God do His thing. He is an awesome God. HE is the one we serve.
I'm looking forward to being with you Thursday night.