Thursday, December 2, 2021

A cornucopia of musical and artistic thoughts

By Dave Babbitt – Special to the Sydenham Current

A cornucopia of thoughts for this week…

Since Dan and I began to contribute this Arts column a few years ago, we’ve occasionally supplied our e-mail address for people to express their thoughts about our columns, but I think we’ve only received a grand total of two comments sent our way.

While not intending to, my expectation going into this was that I’d likely upset people along the way, and I’d hear about it or at the very least, someone would disagree with my musical opinions.

Someone told me that I haven’t made it as a writer until there is a ‘Letter to the Editor’ in the paper so in using that as a yardstick, I ‘haven’t made it’ yet. Whew!

With such little feedback, I began wondering if anyone was actually reading our columns then, the comments started coming, but not via e-mail.

Thank you to all of you I’ve met at No Frills and on the street for your kind comments.

But the place I’ve received the most feedback is (prepare yourself…) at the dump, or more correctly the ‘transfer station’.

Funny as that sounds, I’ve encountered so many people at the dump while I’m emptying the brush and recycling from my trailer who’ve paused to say kind words.

I have been considering ending my writing career, but your kind words have been encouraging so I thank you!

I am purposely leaving our contact e-mail off of this weeks column as I’m not looking to generate responses.

You no-doubt recognize a difference in my writing style from that of Dan.

Dan is far more formal and polished in his presentation, and I always tell everyone that I really don’t consider myself a ‘writer’.

In expressing that to a kind lady in my church, she said to me, “your style is more that of a conversationalist”, which after thinking about it, is a pretty good description.

I always picture myself talking with someone as I type.

Probably no one writes with as many quotation marks, brackets and exclamation marks than I which must drive my Editors crazy, so thanks to Peter Epp and Dana Haggith for fixing my formatting errors yet never editing my content.

As Dan has mentioned more than once, it has been very difficult for both of us to generate Arts content during this pandemic.

Nothing is happening.

My wheelhouse is of course music and that’s what I write about most of the time but I have been thinking of other areas of the Arts that I’ve failed to cover and should delve into in the future.

The problem is that I’m pretty much a one-trick pony (i.e. music) so when it comes to other areas, I need to do much research.

A couple of Art forms that I would like to delve into are Dance, Literary Arts and Visual Arts.

I’ve started some research on the Art of dance, but I need to ask more questions before I can write anything with any authority.

So pretty much everyone who knows me is now laughing at the thought of me writing about Dance.

A Baptist writing about dance, eh?

“This ought to be good”, you say.

I have a couple of great stories relating to me and the Art of Dance, but they will have to wait.

I’m just about as ignorant of Literary Arts as I am about Dance, but none-the-less curious.

There are several well-known writers in, or hailing from our community that I’m aware of, and I’d like to feature a few of them.

As writing this Arts column every other week is a monumental chore for me, I find the thought of writing an entire book to be mind-boggling!

Is there a process, a pre-determined ending aimed for, do authors improvise (like musicians) along the way, is the book “storyboarded” like a movie? Etc. etc.

Some authors write with a “nom de plume” which I don’t understand.

As a pseudo-musician, we WANT people to know who’s making the music while many writers choose to remain anonymous. I’m curious as to why.

The problem is, I need to find an anonymous author to find out “why”, so if you’re a writer who writes under a nom de plume, please let me know why you do so, but then… you won’t be anonymous anymore.

I’ll likely never know.

During the pandemic shut-down, I’ve been busy working our WCB Facebook Members-Only page attempting to keep members engaged and setting future goals.

As I’ve stated before, “we’re anxious to get back to rehearsing”.

We normally rehearse from September to early December and then January thru early June but if you think that sounds like a drag, you couldn’t be any more incorrect.

Our rehearsals are fun.

Rehearsals actually constitute the bulk of our time together, so they darn well better be fun!

It is incredibly rewarding to put a new score on the stands in early September and listen to the progress each week as it is shaped into concert-ready material.

In the meantime, I’ve concocted a top-secret project that we’re currently working on that I hope we can share with everyone sometime next month.

It’s been very exciting to watch it take shape.

I’m also currently working on a video that I hope to have up on both our public Facebook page and website soon.

After our exit from WDSS, we landed in a new home, and a great one at that.

We’d like to introduce you to our new home and give you a virtual tour.

Today I had a wonderful meeting with Ian Mason, former Curator of the Wallaceburg Museum and all-around great guy.

While not a musician himself, Ian and I share a great passion for a particular kind of music that I will not share with you… for now.

Ian has hatched an idea for what I think will be a phenomenal live concert to take place at an “undisclosed location” here in Wallaceburg likely in mid to late November.

Of course, this will be dependent on COVID restrictions at that time.

Seating will likely be very limited but the quality of entertainment, top-notch.

Yes, I’m speaking in mysteries but there are many details to work out before I divulge what I ‘m speaking about.

Just be aware that something is in the works.

Remember, “Life is like music. What you get out of it depends on how you play it”.

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