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I wasn’t gonna do this, because it will definitely be boring, but Dave wants it so whatever. A day by day recap of the road trip.
First a digression. I’ve become a more boring person, I realized. Like, I have nothing to say on these pages any more that are even remotely of interest. I was telling this to Henry, but I don’t think it’s that my life is more monotonous. I can try to write about this roat trip but quite frankly I don’t have that much to say. I’m not quite sure why. But I think it’s related to the fact that I’ve become more boring. Anyway.
The Sunday before we left, by the way, I pushed Worship Team to do something pretty bold. The idea had entered my mind some time before and I thought it would be cool. Anyway, what we did was this. We sang Lord Of Everyman (“Oh Lord arise…”) in the beginning of the set. Then other songs. Then the set ended with Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble.
Anyway, what I thought would be cool was to sing the chorus (“Your voice it is like thunder…”) to Lord Of Everyman to the chords of the chorus of Did You Feel. Try it out. It works, if you pause an extra couple measures after “over the waters”. Anyway, we sang that a couple of times, then split it up so the guys were singing “Open up the doors…” while the girls sang “Your voice…”. I dunno, I thought it was a cool idea.
After a couple times doing that, we ended with everyone singing “Your voice…” in E (from D), with sparse instrumentation. Should I explain the idea behind this? I dunno, I’ve played around with this before. Dunno if you remember but I did virtually the exact same thing sometime before. It was a random FiCS meeting when I can’t remember why but both Paul and George couldn’t make it, so it was just me on guitar – no other instruments.
We sang Come, Now Is The Time to Worship to start, starting in D and then to E, then did the rest of the set. At the end, we sang Did You Feel in D. But then we went back to the chorus of Come, in D, a couple times, and then sang the beginning (“Come, now is the time…”) in E.
The theory behind that is this. First, it’s cool to do a reprise. It just brings a set together nicely. Not all the time, but once in a while. It’s done very nicely in Bob Fitts’ He Will Save You. Second, it’s good to modulate (go up a key). This automatically increases the energy. It’s a good thing.
The thing is, you have to avoid speeding up when you modulate, else it feels frantic. It’s a double whammy of the natural increase in energy from going up a key and speeding up. Dunno if you noticed this but at KCPC we consistently speed up any time we move up a key in a song. Consistently. And this franticness, in my opinion, negates the increase in energy from the key change. Maximum energy would be achieved if we could maintain speed and control while switching keys.
Anyway, Did You Feel is a great song to build off of because there’s so much energy by the end. We can go into Come… and even though we’re singing much lower, it still feels energetic. Then when we finally kick it up a key to end, it just peaks in energy.
I think that one time at FiCS it worked really well because it was just me playing and I cranked up the guitar loud so I could maintain tempo control. Tempo control is key.
Anyway, that was the idea behind it, just, why it’s cool to reprise, why it’s cool to build off of Did You Feel, and why it’s cool to finish with a song that can go from D to E. Same idea with Lord of Everyman, with the added thing of singing it together. I don’t know if it worked. We definitely sped up way too much in the course of the song and I personally was feeling frantic by the end. Also realized the gender split didn’t quite work. When you’re singing both choruses together, I think you need both genders on each. Just, the women were overpowered. And the mixing that Sunday just emphasized that unbalance. But I think it went OK, although it’s hard to tell because as usual, I was hiding behind the screen and couldn’t see anything.
The thing is, even though I have ideas how to make it better, we can’t ever do it again. I don’t know, you just can’t repeat things like that in worship. Like, that one time at FiCS worked really well. I think Phill called that transition “sublime”. But then, later I tried it at church, and it didn’t work at all. I dunno, I don’t think you can do the same things twice.
Uh, sorry for rambling. I have a lot of theories as to what works musically in praise and why and sometimes that gets the best of me. Sorry.
So Sunday night we went to Seattle. I dunno, it was weird for me. Dunno how everyone else felt. And I don’t know if Dave felt this way but it was really awkward for me to talk to him at first. I’m not sure why. But it was strange.
One interesting thing about Henry is that he’s nearly always comfortable. He just doesn’t suffer from the social awkwardness that I feel a lot of the time. This comes out, for example, in the way he deals with white people and with like service people. One thing I picked up from Henry last summer I think was addressing people (cashiers, clerks, other random service people) by their first name. I can’t exactly remember his rationale but it works.
Anyway, Henry was comfortable as usual. John was happy to see Dave because he could finally be the older brother model after taking all the crap from me and Henry the past couple years.
Dave pretty much hit it on the head. I don’t know if you know this about John, but I think he’s happiest when he’s being an older brother to people who want one, if that makes any sense. Like, it’s the reason he’s so close to his younger sister Mary. Just, he gets to be an older brother to her and she responds to that. And frequently when he talks about encouraging experiences, it’s when he’s acted as an older brother figure to people, and they’ve responded. His calling is pretty much that as well, being an older brother. It’s the reason I think he’s so suited to ministry.
Anyway, I have no idea if this is true, but I’ve thought before that because of that, it was hard for him in a way to live with me and Henry these past couple years. Just, Henry’s a younger sibling, but irreverent, so he doesn’t fit the nurturing model. And, although I’m a very atypical older brother, I’m still not a younger sibling so I don’t fit the model either. So yeah, I’ve thought it might be a little frustrating for John. But again, no clue if it’s true.
Anyway, Henry was comfortable, John was happy, Andrew is an only child, but I dunno, I felt just a little awkward and it took about a day to get over that.
First night we went to Vancouver. Getting into Canada by the way is about the easiest thing in the world. They just asked where we’re from, where we’re going and for how long and that was it.
That first night we stayed at a hotel in downtown Vancouver. Henry made all our lodging arrangements through Priceline for far far less than we would have normally paid, even had we stayed at Days Inn type places. So yeah, we got to save money while indulging Henry’s aristocratic tendencies, so that was good.
We were a little hungry, so we went out to see a bit of downtown Vancouver. It was all right. The thing about Vancouver is (even more so in Richmond but I’ll talk about that later), lots of things are open late. We saw a couple of arcades, and they had just closed (at midnight). Also, every third store we saw on the street was a $0.93/slice pizza place. And every third store was a XXX shop. Strange town.
Anyway, we went to a pizza place. I don’t know what child labor laws are like in Canada, but it was strange – the workers were these two kids. And the place was open until like 3 AM, meaning, they worked really late every night. I had a slice of pizza, everyone else gyros. I of course was being a fool and getting used to Canada by being loud and obnoxious.
For the life of me I can’t remember what we did after that, whether we went straight to bed or what. But yeah, we didn’t do much, and for me, I was just trying to get used to being in Canada and seeing everyone again. That was the first day. Like I said, pretty boring, and indicative of the rest of my entries. Be prepared.