Sunday, March 4, 2012

Soulish Symphony

Have you ever noticed how people can't resist finger drawing on condensation covered windows? Just why is that? It brings out the inner kid in adults. Elsie was drawing faces on my bedroom windows this morning. In the back of my mind is always the thought, "now I will have to wash those windows," but, my laid back self, who doesn't rear its head nearly enough, is more peaceful with it. I have smiley faces on my windows, and 4 beautiful kids to put them there, and I am content.
Mr. Hippie and I have been trading off parenting responsibilities and fun activities this weekend. We have a baby girl  who had a fever for over 24 hours. He and a friend attended the local home and garden show. And he also got the pancake breakfast yesterday, and church today. I got the Symphony last night. At a 3:1 ratio, I think I got the better end of the deal.=) Meres is better fever-wise. She has a yeast infection that is getting under control, and a cough that is making her hack up some lugies, but she is definitely better than yesterday. She has been sleeping a lot, and nursing, and snuggling. And it has been good. I am glad her fever is done. I feel most hopeless as a parent when my child has a fever.
For a laugh...Elsie asked me yesterday why we put "death" into Meredith's name. I told her it was with, not death. Oh...a laugh comes on.=)
The Symphony...we got the idea (last year when we were attending all our symphony concerts), to pick a concert this season to treat all our employees and their wives/girlfriends to. GR has a decent concert line up this year. There was the Lord of the Rings, Sinatra and Dorsey, the Music of Paul McCartney, Behind the Mask, and a Dancing with the Stars knockoff, to name a few. Obviously, this is the Pops lineup. I told you I wasn't going to spend(waste) my money on a sleepy classical again this year.=) Looking through the lineup, we picked "Symphony of the Soul" as the most crowd pleasing of the choices. Some people may not be into Paul McCartney or Andrew Loyd Webber. But, soul- it bridges all gaps. And it was an amazing show. The symphony was not at full strength, to make room for a number of guest artists. There were two concert grands on the stage, as well as a couple drum sets, and two xylophone areas. Percussion was a big part of this concert. Which is great, because I think percussion can really set the tone for some genres. The concert kicked off with "Lift Every Voice and Sing." This is an amazing piece that I must confess I have never heard before. I am so backwards sometimes. Here a woman soloist starts singing, joined by the entire standing audience. And the symphony is playing this majestic music. And I am at a loss as to what it is all about. But I followed suit, and then looked it up on Wikipedia when I got home. I found out that it is known as the Black National Anthem. It was written in 1900 by a school principal, Mr. Johnson, to honor Abraham Lincoln's birthday. Mr. Johnson's brother composed the music. And particularly in the 1970s, it was played after the National Anthem at sporting events where there was a primarily black audience. Interesting. Which is why everyone stood, and sang heartily. If you are ignorant like me, or not, you may enjoy this rendition I found. I think this could become a favorite piece of music.

Well, that was simply the beginning. David Lockington conducted a few pieces and then he handed the baton over to a local talent, Duane Shields Davis. This man has had quite the musical career-both teaching and conducting. He was wonderful. He led the Grand Rapids Symphony Community Chorus is some pieces. Mark Jackson, a tenor soloist, sang an outstanding African sounding piece called The Garden. Wow! What a voice. The song told the story of the Garden of Eden. I really enjoyed it.
After intermission, all stops were pulled out, with the introduction of Dianne Reeves. I like many different performers for many different reasons, but she was unbelievable! Her voice range was tremendous. She told great stories in-between and throughout her selections, which were all picked to honor Sarah Vaughn. I enjoyed this thing she did with her hand when she was singing. It was like she was playing a instrument...herself. She would move her fingers and hand up and down like she was pulling sound out of a bass or a saxophone. Very interesting to watch. She sang "Just my Imagination." It totally blew the Temptations version out of the water. In my humble opinion.
Anyway, I had a wonderful evening. Watching the instruments, and listening to the awesome renditions of different numbers. And, I brought a new date with me, since my regular date was babysitting. (he, by the way, was coughing up a lung, and wouldn't have been appreciated at the symphony anyhow. They tend to frown on coughing there.) I was accompanied by a tall, and handsome nine year old, in a necktie,
Mr. Bare Foot Hippie Junior.=) It was almost as fun to introduce him to the symphony and see the wonder and excitement on his face, as to experience it myself. And to give him a taste for what you can accomplish with lots and lots of practice. He has been dedicating himself to his piano playing. Hopefully this will be an inspiration to him to keep on.
Well, we are having a scaled down version of our Japanese meal for lunch...its called Ramen Soup. You use the packaged noodles, and way doctor them up. I hope its worth the effort.=)
Have a restful, restorative, and refreshing Sunday!