Heading home now after teaching at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan... exhausted as usual, ready for fresh food and my own bed. Thankful, as usual, for the experience of being a part of this creativity-factory, surrounded by nature.
This year I experienced the Blue Lake faculty community in a new way- it wasn’t so much in late night campfires and inspiring conversations, but moral support for being there alone with my 21 month old daughter. Boy, was I optimistically naive by committing to be here. We’ve made it to the end, though, and with one diaper to spare.
My duties consisted of private harps lessons and teaching the “intro to harp” group class.
The thing I like about this camp is that it’s not a merit-based entry for campers. They are placed into appropriate groups upon arrival, but you could be a beginner or advanced player alike and be welcomed the same. That means that the young people that come are there simply for the joy of music, of dance, art, theater, whatever their interest. Joy. Gotta have it.
They are also there because they don’t mind nature’s inconveniences. Inclement weather, bugs, dirt, powdered eggs- it’s all good. Wind in the trees. The smell of a campfire. Mmmm
One highlight was playing in the Festival Band under the direction of Donald Flickinger. We performed in “the shell”- a covered, open air venue with seats that are interrupted by trees. Amazing acoustics and fresh air- perfect for music making. One of the pieces we performed was Codex for Wind Ensemble by one of the camp counselors, Marko Bajzer. The situation was typical of what goes down at Blue Lake, and it struck me on a personal level...
It was the work’s premiere performance. Marko played the French Horn for the concert, but during rehearsals, he assisted the conductor in molding the piece into what he wanted it to be. What an opportunity for him- to have professional musicians debut his piece, on live radio, at the age of young 20 something, in front of 800 enthusiastic junior highers! It must have been a total thrill, to finally hear your work finished and performed after hours (years?) of thought, rough drafts, and artificial playback.
I feel like I’m in the “creating” stage of so many things right now. I’m in the middle of a heck of a lot of thought and rough drafts, not knowing exactly what the finished product will finally sound like. Family, love, friends, music, teaching- it’s all a big rough draft somehow. I’m still figuring it out.
Bear with me here...
It’s kind of like the composition of LIFE: a series of thought and rough drafts that lead to DEATH: the premiere performance in which the big picture is finally revealed, with each instrument’s part fitting together perfectly.
It’s gonna be (better be? lol) beautiful. One day, everything I’m doing and have done is gonna make sense and I’ll get to hear my life in something better than artificial playback.
In the meantime: more thought, another rough draft, more thought, more artificial playback, listening listening listening, another draft. And perhaps the most important... giving way to the Conductor to help me mold the bits in place.
Deep stuff over here.
Anyway, here we come, la France! Until next time, Blue Lake.