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Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Art of Finding One's Self

From left: Wayland Rogers, composer, choral instructor, Dan Tucker, Chicago composer, musician; D.T. Daniel Wallenberg, conductor of Music Institute of Chicago Chorale, among many roles

I'm going to go out and find myself
by Pat Darnell for his Dad

Exhausted? Depressed? Me too.

Sleep deprived, criminalized and ornery; describe a day that isn't in this genre. I want to go back to the future, and know what I know now. You too? Yes, I want song in the mornings, every day.

Three musical guys helped me find myself: Danny Wallenburg, and Dan Tucker and Jefferson Collins.

It is all about simplification, subtraction of non-essentials, application of line shots, or vignettes, in one's reckoning. I now understand we as people are not here to change things, rather to augment what is. We are perfect clusters of creation that has already ocurred, and should be celebrated with song.

These fellows are not close friends involved in the intimate details of my days. They are guys I knew during early years of my family building stage. I consider them street people. Looking at their resumes one could say, how do you come up with street people?

Easy. They were part of the Diller Street Chorale. It was first singing group that I remember having a female bass voice in back, standing with Dan Tucker. Jefferson Collins, Jeff, was my mentor in tenore position, and Danny was the rubbery director. What is most significant is that I just today typed in Danny's name and there was the unfolded career of the guy who taught me to sing.

On my first night with Diller Street Chorale, Danny took me aside to test me for where I might fit into the group. He had me sing scales, that I put my heart into... and he looked up at me from the keys, and said in his unusual accent: "Pat, I believe you are a tenor."

Until that very moment in time and space and architecture, I had no idea I was that. I had been singing bass and baritone badly my whole life. And I really love to sing, good bad or indifferent, I love to sing. I sang as soon as I could hum in infancy. What revelatory exuberance could surpass this experience, except maybe riding category ten rapids of the Colorado River in a kayak. The question is can I survive my own dreams?

Like so many astigmatisms of my enigmatic journey, I could finally cross off my list this one conundrum of existential self, "I am a Tenore."

[Unfortunately, I couldn't find a photo of Jeff Collins in google images]


d2r2 said...

Ten or...eleven I'd say and age isn't everything.

MooPig_Wisdom said...

Mr 2:
eleven is good too; youth is wasted on the young, i always say.

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