Our Father, Vindicate This!

Well, it’s finally happening.

About a year ago, I started working on a choral piece based on the text of The Lord’s Prayer. I posted some early examples here and here. In November, I thought it was finished. Then, I did a composer workshop where actual people sang through it, and ended up throwing out the entire ending, rewriting it from middle section on out.

In January, with the help of Aly and Phil, I wrote a grant proposal to do a demo of the piece, and to use that same recording session to record a tutorial video on how to record this particular kind of composer demo. It got pushed back, and further back, but finally, at last, the day has come.

On Friday, I get to go into a huge studio with a world-class group of singers, the kind who can sight-sing awkard and atonal lines with the same fluidity and accuracy that you’d expect of a real musician (instrumentalists), and we get to record the demo for this thing.

I am more than a little nervous. The singers on the session are guys from the LA Master Chorale, LA Opera, heavy hitters. I am not a conductor, not in anyone’s imagination, but there it is, I’m the only one there to do it.

In large part my anxiety stems from the fact that I care about this piece so much. I’ve invested a year into it, countless hours writing and re-writing, more time than I’ve spent on any piece of music. I think it’s the best work I’ve done as a musician, and for me it represents a way forward from being a gigging keyboard guy to being a legit composer, with commissions and everything. I am deeply invested in the piece, personally and professionally.

The night before the session, I have a 3 hour rehearsal until the wee hours of the morning for yet another LA singer songwriter doing yet another hollywood scenester gig, and the sheer exhausting will probably prevent me from being anywhere close to competent for the actual session. The irony is not lost on me.

For those of you who are into such things, here is the final version of the score.

Our Father, Vindicate

15 thoughts on “Our Father, Vindicate This!

  1. june

    You are your own indie movie right now.

    (Very cool by the way…can’t wait to hear the result!)

  2. aly hawkins

    Many congratulations, Michael! And I’m confident you’ll make a good showing on Friday—you’re not 23 anymore, but you’ve got some juice left in you. Can’t wait to hear and see the results . . .

  3. Eric

    As the Spirit has guided you through the creation of this work, so will he surely be with you through the demo session. Godspeed this day, Mike. Solo Dei gloria.

  4. michael lee Post author

    Home, finally, exhausted, exhilarated, one of the most mentally exhausting days of my life, but an incredible day of music. It’s amazing what you can do with true musicians.

  5. michael lee Post author

    I slept HARD last night. I can’t remember when a day has left me so utterly exhausted. It was 8 hours of being “The Guy With The Answer” to questions about the music, the technical session, the video tutorial. I took about a 15 minute break to grab a sandwich for lunch, but apart from that I was on the entire day.

    I can’t imagine trying to pull this off without Tim Jaquette as the engineer and Zack as the videographer. Both are such pros, they made it a flawless day.

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