I found some really great text to use for a choral composition from the Confessions of Saint Augustine:
Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you. And see, you were within and I was in the external world and sought you there, and in my unlovely state I plunged into those created things which you made. You were with me, and I was not with you. The lovely things kept me far from you, though if they did not have their existence in you, they had no existence at all. You called and cried out loud and shattered my deafness. You were radiant and resplendent, you put to flight my blindness. You were fragrant, and I drew in my breath and now pant after you. I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you. You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain peace which is yours (St. Augustine, Confessions X.xxvii.38).
I discovered it in a book I just started reading called The Nature of Music: Beauty, Sound, and Healing. The author was challenging the reader to consider why some music strikes us as beautiful, and why we deem it so. “Beauty is the response to the perfection we sense around us, and within us.” And then the author stated that there was no one who embraced this idea more than Saint Augustine, leaving the readers with the above text.
I think the reason this text really stood out to me is because I realized how much I am relating to it in this current time in my life. I have only recently looked around me and noticed the little things that make up our world, and I’m noticing that it relates to my music too. I’ve become more critical in my listening, distinguishing songs on the radio as true art and poetry, genius melodies, or just plain catchy-money-makers. I am now noticing my personal tastes in what “beautiful music” consists of, and how disconnected from it I used to be.
So I decided to start composing, and have drafted about half of the text so far. I’ve been researching alternate text and such and found some versions with more lyrical lines. I haven’t found any previous choral compositions of it either, which was actually comforting to me because I feel like I have more freedom for creativity. I’ve been back and forth to the piano to play with different chord changes and harmonies, in hopes of utilizing everything that I find beautiful in melody and harmony. So far I’m pleased with it, but it is nowhere near finished, and certainly not the final product! Though I will admit, I’m very excited about this, and think about it throughout the day.
I also wrote another song a week or two ago. Second one of the year! Wow…I’m really cranking them out. I’m not too impressed with the guitar part, but I think the lyrics are finally an outburst of my own emotions, rather than feeling for others. To make up for the cheap guitar part, I tried to make the melody more vocally demanding, which is something I’m trying to make more of a priority because I’m beginning to be more comfortable with my own voice, and have noticed how “safe” my melodies have been in the past. I don’t think I’ll be playing it at any gigs soon…I’d rather premiere it where my audience isn’t wasted at the bar or in conversation at dinner with their friends and family so that the lyrics can be absorbed, or heard for that matter.
In other, and less geeky, news, I let my curiosity take the wheel and created a Twitter account to see what the big freakin’ deal is. It seems like a lot of people are just following celebrities, because their lives are actually interesting, and who wouldn’t want to know what John Mayer is doing RIGHT NOW? But I figured maybe Twitter could be another networking tool for my music and whatnot, so I’m going to keep it around for a bit. I think I have “tweeted” two or three times, none of which were of any interest or appeal to anyone. Unless you care that I think Twitter is lame city, then by all means you are my audience. I’m considering making it a mock-Twitter kind of relationship for the time being.
Congrats, you made it to the end!…or maybe you totally cheated and scrolled down…you dirty cheater.
That’s all for now, folks.