Whenever I perform with die zauberflote I share with the audience a bit about it, so that they are not taken entirely by surprise. I say that it has a mind of its own, especially when I am improvising. I will think I’ll be going in one direction and it will want to go in another. It’s a fairly subtle thing most of the time, but can be a bit disconcerting. But what I don’t say is that sometimes there is a sort of chatter in the energy of die zauberflote. It’s hard to describe — again, it is subtle.
Often, when I am rehearsing, I will be aware of chatter. Usually it seems to be providing information on technique or phrasing. On occasion there can be a sense of urgency, as though it is giving me a heads-up of some sort. But usually, when it comes time to perform, I am surrounded by a sense of shalom that takes away all concern and care and allows me to focus on the flute itself. As die zauberflote is a gift of the Holy Spirit it has the attributes of it, including being a spirit of truth and warning us of difficulties ahead.
So, in preparation for this Mall of America concert, which was a combination of Christmas carols, some blues, and some Messiah, I experienced a lot of chatter. That didn’t surprise me, as endeavoring to do this performance without my wonderful husband Donner was daunting in itself. Everything seemed different. Everything would be different. There was no getting around that.
On the day of the concert I trudged to MOA with my rolling cart containing Donner’s guitar, along with my equipment. Just looking at it was enough to make me want to cry. I spoke to the sound guys ahead of time and explained that there were a few songs I did not know if I could get through, and, if I made a throat-cutting motion they should just continue on to the next one. I was prepared. I was armed, I thought, for any circumstance.
Except what happened…
At some point during the carols there was an enormous amount of chatter. It was so pronounced I had a tough time not stopping to listen to it. Two of my friends in the audience commented on it later. It was like nothing I had experienced before, and certainly not during a performance. As I kept on going, it seemed as though there might be a voice in the energy. It was not exactly happy, but a bit grouchy and complaining. At that point I realized that it felt as though Donner’s voice was somehow coming through. I kept on going, and then the sensation left, and everything else proceeded within the realm of normalcy…
But talk about ‘zauber’…that even had me stumped! 🙂
P.S. Photo courtesy of my dear friend and barn buddy, Brenda Kaye Sowada
*M4B=Mozart For Believers