An Invitation Having Nothing Whatsoever to Do With Football

Cherub angelI know the vast majority of my readers are from elsewhere, but for those of you who live in Pittsburgh, I am running the final performance of my concert The Heart of Darkenss tonight in Highland Park.

You may wonder about the name. The concert is intended to shine a light on a couple of corners of human trafficking, and the music ranges from Renaissance polyphony to U2 and lots in between. For more information you can go to our website.

For even more information than anyone might ever want to know (and which you can read even if you can’t or couldn’t imagine coming to the concert) you can find a web program here:

If you should happen to come please come up and say hello afterwards. There will be a reception (free food, people : ) and I would love to meet you personally. If you would really like to come but can’t afford a ticket contact me at sometime before 3 pm today and I will leave one for you at the door.



  • cold_old_steelers_fan

    I don’t have time to read the program book just now but I do plan on giving it a thorough going over. The little I saw and read was impressive. Just one question though… who wrote the lengthy article? I didn’t notice a credit in the program book.

    I was surprised to see Over the Rhein mentioned here. I was aware of them through the Winnipeg Folk Festival (I like what little I had had a chance to hear) but I never associated them with more formal music. Cool.


  • Which lengthy article? I wrote everything in the book except quotes that I credited, I hope… Over the Rhine isn’t associated with more formal music. They agreed to let me arrange one of their songs for the concert, and while it’s perhaps a bit more formal than the version on their album, it’s definitely in the same vein. I mixed up a lot of things in this concert.


  • I really wish I lived closer. I, too, plan to check out the program. i really like choral music and your theme sounds intriguing. Best of luck for your final performance.


  • Thanks for using your gift to shine a light on this subject. We must always fight for the helpless

    Liked by 1 person

  • My wife and I made it, and you did a great job. The musicians and soloists were fantastic, and you handled the subject even better than expected.

    I loved the use of Baron Batch’s work in the second half. A fantastic performance, I look forward to the Christmas concert.


  • When at Christmas time is your concert?


  • I think we forget how amazing the human brain is, or the condition of being human. Someone somewhere heard music in his or head and put these odd symbols down on a page, and made something beautiful on that page that could be recreated. Then years later, sometimes hundreds of years later, someone else looks at those symbols and makes music again, something like that first creation but always different. And then someone like Rebecca picks and chooses and makes something different entirely of the combination–and then there it is, in someone else’s thoughts, creating emotions and other thoughts. And here it is, on a football blog and then onto those who read it.

    I have a small odd faith in things that come to us when we least expect them–a painting seen in a book, the words of a poem one hears repeated, the novel you find on a train, a photograph in a magazine. Not faith in anything large but just that these things become part of us when we aren’t looking for them and that’s enough. All these things surround us all the time–what other people imagine and create and think and paint and write and sculpt–and we get so used to the idea that we forget the sheer wonder that we can listen and read and react to what someone else created with their brain and heart. Not an original thought but what my grandmother insisted was civilization–appreciating the gifts of other people’s imagination and intelligence.

    For weeks now, I’ve been turning over something in my head that Ivan mentioned in passing–a profile of Kareem Al Jabbar in the New Yorker, I think. It was a strange profile, one that made me feel as I were invading his privacy (Jabbar’s, not Ivan’s) but what has stayed with me is that Kareem, a man who is accomplished, proud of his life and his race given his other books, who is–that terrible cheap sounding word–a superstar at something real and physical , who is internationally famous, would choose to spend his time writing a novel about Doctor Watson and so must find something worthwhile in imagining the world of a fictional Victorian age middle class middle aged white sidekick. The sheer strangeness of that astounds me, and again it was a line in an article about football and now it’s part of me.

    All that to say, I’m going to find a quiet time to try to find versions of this music and think about it all as a whole along with your book. (Not nearly as good as having been there in person but I’ll do what I can) Just to be led somewhere else. And if that isn’t a big part of the point of life, I don’t know what is. Go Steelers!



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