I sat down this afternoon to write a set of Preces and Responses, hoping that several Episcopal choirs will pick them up this season. An hour later, I had written and made first revisions to the work. And a few minutes ago I made another pass, kicked out two measures and started over on them, and revised a few other spots.
Et voilá, another choral work, my second in two weeks.
I finished the editing and typesetting today of “Donne’s Hymn,” the new work for chorus that I wrote last week for Webster University’s Concert Choir.
Typesetting will wait until next week. I’ve found that if I let works breathe their new life for a few days before throwing them on the computer, they decide to change a bit on that final pass before committing them to ink.
If I stay on it, I can be creative. This is very satisfying indeed!
I chose to attend the Anglo-Catholic parish in town this morning, and of course was glad to be there, but I found the experience a bit frustrating. None of the music that the congregation was expected to sing was available in print; one must have insider knowledge in order to participate. This is one of my peeves about churches of many denominations! Making your way through the missal or the prayer book is tough enough if one is unfamiliar, but wanting to sing and not being allowed to is truly a travesty.
The church was not air-conditioned, and Montreal is having a hot month, so I never did really cool down. I walked back to the hotel, took off my black silk shirt, and napped for a few. After lunch of a salad, I enjoyed the Napoleon exhibit at the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, just down the street from my hotel.
And then it was time for more church, this time Evensong at Christ Church Cathedral, the seat of the Diocese of Montreal in the Anglican Church of Canada. The walk was only about 15 minutes, but lordy, the humidity and heat took a toll on me.
Another cool-off followed, then dinner at a Mexican place on Rue Peel. (I shan’t go back there again.) I was oddly amused by the couple next to me, fighting alternately in English and French.
And now, after a shower, I’m tired and weary. My feet hurt. I’m staying in to watch Olympics, write post-cards, and read a book.
Montreal feels very much like a more European city. French is the predominant language in this province, and all greetings and personal transactions start with French before moving to English. (I walked into the hotel this evening to a concierge saying “Beau soir. Good evening.” This kind of greeting is standard.) Menus are printed in French with English underneath. At both services today in Anglican churches, at least one reading and several prayers were in French.
The city centre is quite walkable. I expect a bit of a hike tomorrow to Old Montreal, though! Much of the isle (for this is the Island of Montreal) is connected by subway, with an extensive public transport system. I’ll see the Saint Lawrence River tomorrow as I’m in the old town.