Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I Hear Music

I had two musical experiences this past weekend. First, on Friday I attended a funeral for the adult daughter of a friend. I have seen film and video of Black religious services, but this was my first experience in real life. What an explosion of emotion – but not distraught or sorrowful emotions. Instead it was a celebration. The suffering was over, the woman was now in heaven looking down and beaming on her friends and family. There was cheering, jumping, shouting, dancing, singing, all loud and unrestrained. Much as I admired it, I was also a little uncomfortable and couldn’t enter into the spirit of the event. There was a great big pot luck meal afterwards.

Second, a member of my writers’ group, Carl Brookins, offered an evening of music at his home. Fellow writers’ group member Michael Kac (pronounced “Kaz”) led off singing folk music to melodies he played on banjo, guitar and keyboard. Then he was joined by Laura Underwood, who specializes in blues sung with a warm, just-slightly-fuzzy voice. They were joined by James Plattes, who played harmonica, mandolin, and fiddle in a fun and elaborate jazzy style. Both Michael and James have incredibly nimble fingers; it was a pleasure to be sitting in a living room and therefore close enough to really appreciate that. And when Laura sang “Summertime,” you could almost smell the countryside on a hot summer day, with the sun beating down. All three are experienced, creative musicians.

All three are Twin Citians, and have CDs in circulation. All the money they collected went to the American Diabetes Association, which I didn’t know about in advance or I wouldn’t have come with a nearly-empty wallet and no checkbook.


Julie said...

As the white wife of a black physician for 30 years, I can tell you not to worry about it. You don't have to jump, dance, shout or "fall out," if you aren't comfortable with that. All you need to be is respectful, and maybe clap some. Hubby would rather cut off a leg than make lots of noise at a service, and I bet a lot of the people at the service weren't either. It's just that you tend to notice the more noticeable folks.
Is there an address we could send donations to? Or just use the ADA's website?

Linda O. Johnston said...

I've always found it fascinating how much music and what we like the best reflects other aspects of our life, Monica. I've always found the songs in The Fantasticks seem to speak, and sing, to me, no matter what stage of life I'm in!

Monica Ferris said...

A donation to ADA would be most welcome! Thank you! I did manage to do some clapping at the service.

Ah, the Fantasticks: "Try to remember, and if you remember, then follow . . ."