Sunday, December 09, 2018

Your hand in mine ... .

On Sunday, December 16th, the Oakland Symphony under the direction of Maestro Michael Morgan, the Symphony chorus led by Director Lynne Morrow, and I, will premiere one of my songs from long ago at the annual Holiday Concert at the Paramount theater.  Can you imagine?

Met with the arrangers (orchestra and chorus) on Tuesday for the first run through, and it was overwhelming.  On Wednesday evening I met the full Chorus.

My voice is no longer predictable, and the connections between brain and whatever made possible the lovely music that I can still hear from that young Betty on secreted tapes and recordings now available on my cell phone(!) is nowhere to be found. I open my mouth, position my lips for delivery, and what comes out is unrecognizable by this elder woman with whom I now share this body.

Were it not for the filmmaker's urging, I could never have agreed to do this, truly.  They're envisioning a climactic closing scene in the 90 minute documentary in progress, but it seems foolhardy at best.

I might have found a solution, though:  By posting the lyrics here it's just possible that I can guide my Facebook friends to download them and join me in the singing.  Since I will be singing with the full orchestra and chorus who will be with me on stage, and I will be miked, of course, they may not be able to drown out the scratchiness -- but I will feel supported by the most forgiving audience on the planet, and I'll know it!

Make no mistakes, the song is quite beautiful, I believe, and deserving to be out in the world after being hidden along with others (to be introduced in the film) when released.  I'm able to hear the beauty and relevance in my music -- in the third person.  The years of silence, of the shutting down of my artist self, has ended now.  I'm excited and loving every minute of the new revelations.  But that doesn't mean that I'm not nervous and apprehensive about how the echoes of young Betty will be received; that's probably unavoidable as more of my vulnerabilities are exposed ... .

If you'll imagine this as being played in 3/4 time (as a waltz), and that the music is simple and readily learned in the singing of it on Sunday.  There will be a brief explanation of what inspired the writing of it before we join hands for the singing

We gather here ... I feel you near ... on this beautiful night
your hand in mine ... this simple sign of love
we span the miles ... we wear the smiles born of sharing this day
your hand in mine ... this simple sign of love

Your fears ... like mine, can be left behind ... close the spaces between,
let our love flow free... in this moment be as one
though our prophets say ... each a different way, of this truth they'd agree
your hand in mine is a valid sign of love.

We've traveled far from beyond a star along paths of our lives
still we found our way to this lovely day now here
in our hearts we know peace on Earth can grow from these fingers love warmed
your hand in mine ... this simple sign of love
your hand in mine ... this simple sign of love
your hand in mine ... this simple sign of love
your hand in mine ... this holy sign of love.