Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ice and Fire

Cold and, surprisingly enough, wet, here in southern California. The humidity is nice because it keeps the heater from drying me out (I always get what Chinese doctors would call "Wind Heat" attacks from the hot and dry of the heater), but it makes for thick, damp cold. Which is just wreaking havok on my legs, especially my right leg. It's not cold to the touch, but when it's not under three blankets, it feels like it is radiating enough cold to be solely responsible for the chill in the environment.

Some good--mild, but good--creativity on the music front. Just finished a big processional for Palm Sunday (choir, soloists, organ, handbells), have to do some orchestrating of another piece over the next few school-free semester-break days. I don't know if I'll be able to finish what I'd like to finish, but I can at least get a good start on it.

And some very, very good news. I was at the Magic Castle the other night (I'm part of the committee that auditions applicants for magician membership), and something struck a spark. There's a big difference between "doing a trick" and "creating magic"; the first is mechanical, the second is theatrical, and when it's really good, it can actually become spiritual. I saw a lot of tricks during the night of auditions, but I didn't see a lot of magic--except from a couple of people who were just on the edge of doing something truly wonderful. And they would have, if someone would have only showed them how, as Emeril likes to say, to take it up a notch.

That was the spark. That's what I want to do. I want to show people who want to be magicians how to do magic, rather than tricks. I don't want to teach people tricks. I want to teach them how to convert the tricks they already know into something truly magical.

I haven't simply wanted to do something for way too long. I forgot how good it felt.

Now, I'm not there yet. I have some work to do, I'm going to talk to some of my professional-magician friends, I've got some "flight time" to do, performing myself; but I think I may be on to something. I'm definitely still going to stick with writing music, of course, but this... this may be what I've been looking for. We'll see how it plays out.

I already do this with my 9th-grade students; I try to show them how to let the magic within themselves shine out through their work. It's what I do when I write music--I want the performers to use what I write to let their light shine. It's what I did when I was a conductor. It's all the same thing, interestingly enough.

It's going to be an interesting ride. We'll see whether I have the energy to take it. I think I do. I hope I do.

We'll see what happens.

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