Back in 2009, I wrote an entry on my old “Renewing Presence” blog about walking a labyrinth at a retreat center in Stony Point, NY. That walk reminded me of a Denise Levertov poem, ‘I learned that her name was Proverb,’ that I set to music in 2004 for the Rochester, NY based women’s choir, Concentus. The poem speaks of how everyone we meet, whether we recognize them or not, lead us into our own labyrinths “towards the time and the unknown place where we shall know what it is to arrive.”
“Proverb” has only been performed once- in 2004- and is about to receive its second performance on April 2 by the Wheaton College Women’s Chorale. I’ll be traveling to Wheaton to work with the chorale and to play the piece with them on their concert.
Listen to a WXXI radio interview about “Proverb” and how it came to be commissioned HERE.
One thing I love about labyrinths: there is only one way to walk, and even though you can’t tell how you’ll reach the center, and the path is windy and seems to sometimes take you further away from the center rather than closer to it, you actually trust that you are moving towards an arrival point– because if you stay on the path, you do indeed make it to the center.
When “Proverb” was performed in 2004, a portable labyrinth was set up in the basement of Asbury United Methodist Church (the host venue for the concert). Concertgoers came early to walk the labyrinth before hearing the piece. Being reminded that we are all walking a path both communally and individually is something that I want to carry with me on my upcoming Easter Week tour.
Here are my tour dates: my trio will perform on March 28 at the University of Southern Mississippi and March 29 at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro in New Orleans. I’ll perform on my own with musicians at the University of New Orleans on March 30; will give a masterclass on liturgical jazz at Wheaton College (IL) on April 1; and will perform ‘I learned that her name was Proverb’ at Wheaton with the women’s chorale on April 2. On April 5, I’ll speak/play on a series entitled Christ & Culture at Christ Church Oak Brook (IL). Returning back to NYC, on April 9, I’ll perform a solo concert at the Englewood Public Library featuring material from Raindrop: Improvisations with Chopin.
Further info on all of these appearances is available HERE at my calendar.
I hope to see many of you on this trip!