Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Big Ass, small pews

My good buddy Sandra used to tell me how incredible it sounded when she'd go to musical performances. I'm not talking rock and/or roll bands, although they sound nice, too. She'd go to orchestras and choruses (chorii?) and such. She'd rave about them. I figured, meh, Sandra's all smart and stuff, and more cultured than I. She's probably right, but it doesn't sound like my bag.

Well, Amanda told me she'd be going to a thing this past weekend at a church up the street, and I figured ... why the heck not?

Friend-of-a-friend and super-nice guy we met at Laura's wedding, Andrew Killawee, runs a choral ensemble called Eventide. They were set to perform at Saint Patrick's Church on Brunswick Street. I saw Andrew at a party the night before and chatted a bit about it, and again figured ... why the heck not?

Saint Patrick's is beautiful. I'm not into churches all that much, but, jee-zus, they's pretty. This one, especially. Building began in 1883. It's a gorgeous building inside. Outside -- well, it was dark on Sunday night, and I've never really looked at the outside.

The most famous thing inside is the statue of Saint Patrick. His right hand was blown off in the great Halifax Explosion. (Great meaning large or immense, I use it in the pejorative sense.)

The church was scheduled for demolition after being delisted by the Big Catholic Church. It seems they've put that off, pending the raising of $600-thousand by next June. I think they're calling the campaign "Give Saint Patrick's A Hand" -- pun intended.

Anyway, the show.

Andrew's Eventide Choir was phenomenal. The church's high vaulted ceilings carried the 18 voices and let them float gloriously through the hall. Excellent tonality and timing. Even though I didn't know the words to any of the Renaissance-era tunes, I was impressed with the work. Fabulous stuff.

For an intermission, Andrew's roommate, who we'd met at another party at Andrew's house, came out to perform a piece he'd written. I'd have been impressed if a guy came out with a ukelele and did a three-minute ditty called "Churches Are So Pretty" ... but this was somethin' else!

His outfit was ... a violin, a viola, a cello, Andrew on piano, and the composer on saxomophone. Weird combo, yes, but it was freakin' awesome. It's mind-buggering to consider that this fella -- just an ordinary dude -- could not only perform an extended beautiful piece of fantastic music so flawlessly ..... but he wrote it! Hell, I can barely *remember* all three chords in a three-minute pop song, and this guy's writing masterful stuff for a five-piece quartet (?) and ... anyway, kudos to Andrew and everyone else involved.

And good luck to the people at Saint Patrick's. I'm sure Saints can get by with one hand -- I'm sure ambidextrousness is next to godliness -- but a Saint without a house is a sad sight.

1 comment:

  1. I have always been a huge fan of gothic architecture and chuches built in the revival style.
    It truly is a wonderful art.
    You don't have to be "faithful" to enjoy the beauty that goes into a church or just to enjoy the beauty of a choir.
    I love choirs.
    Churches will always be a sanctuary for non religious and religious.
    I'm glad you went.
    Churches in general are struggling. They need the general public to support them and their choirs.
    Good on you.

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