Monday, June 11, 2012

Calling Out Kolecki.

I stood up at choir rehearsal yesterday morning, interrupting the gentle, friendly chatter of the singers, just after Mark -- our conductor -- stepped out to find copies of some ancient hymnal, the only one that contains a certain arrangement of a song written in 1855, which Fr. Hamblin had designated as the communion hymn. (The hymn, btw, was musically complex and just gorgeous, written by Bonar, which fellow tenor Stephen Wilde and I decided he wrote just to counteract the effect of playground ridicule he must have endured for having a name that sounds like boner -- which will give you the 'tenor' of our level of humor).

In a very stern, sober voice, I loudly proclaimed, "If anyone here finds a piece of sheet music with the name 'Kolecki' on it, it is to be immediately destroyed! Do not sing it! Do not even touch it!  I came in here and saw a Psalm with Paul Kolecki's name on it! I'm the court composer here! And I'm calling you out Kolecki! What is going on behind my back??"

Paul Kolecki (a young singer and writer who came to the choir through Mark Janas' opera community outreach program at Manhattan School of Music; we are also in Andy Gale's acting class together) rose from the bass section, doubled up his fists and challenged me to a Psalm-down.

"Okay, buddy, we're on!"

By this time, the choir was laughing at us, knowing we were putting them on.

But what Paul and I -- and fellow choir member, Stephen Elkins -- are doing is trying to find fun ways to incite each other to compose more music.

A bro-down throw-down!

Plus, the image of characterizing the writing of sacred music like a professional wrestling match is an image that makes me laugh.

"I guess we're going to have to have a kyrie-off and a sanctus-off, you bastard!"

I wonder if we should design garish gym-locker type posters.

UPDATE: In the subway after church, "Kolecki" walked up and really threw down. He said, "A shack is a poorly built structure that can be blown down by the buzz of a blow-fly." I had no response. I'd been made.

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