I sang evensong at Grace Cathedral last night, followed by a rehearsal for this Sunday’s service and evensong. It went relatively smoothly, although I did have to put on my sightsinging hat for some of it.
One of the psalms for Sunday has 22 verses (Psalm 154). For those unfamiliar with Anglican psalm-singing, it involves four phrases, two for each verse of the psalm. The text is marked with cryptic symbols to indicate when the bar line is and when multiple syllables should go on a single note. Time is taken rather freely, with barlines indicating phrase structure more than strict time. So for example:
Measure 1: [D] The lord is near to those who
Measure 2: [Eb] call [C] up-
Measure 3: [B] -on him,
Luckily we alternate verses between half choruses. The trick with psalm singing seems to be to make it not boring even though you’re basically intoning a long poem in an extremely repetitive manner.
Afterwards I went to meet Ann — on the way I ran into Beland, which was very strange, since I hadn’t seen him in years, but he had to go grocery shopping and I had to go to the new Naia gelateria in the Castro. I tried the mojito and rose flavors. Thumbs up on the former, but the latter wasn’t rosey enough. It’s nice to see more gelato places appearing. I like it much better than normal ice cream. Wikipedia informs me that gelato has no air whipped into it. Another interesting tidbit : to be called “ice cream” in the US, a frozen treat must have at least 10% fat, and most gelato doesn’t make the cut. So it’s all the best for me that I like it better — it will kill me more slowly.