Tuesday, February 27, 2007

UFO Completus Interruptus

I'm just back from a business conference in Louisville, KY. When I made my UFO list I gave a copy to the cytotechnologists down the hall from my office. Diane is my conscience and she expects tangible evidence of completion to cross an item off my list. Today she left me a post-it informing me that the "2007 UFOs Team" was concerned that they haven't received a recent progress report. I was forced to justify my lack of progress.

I explained that I have been interrupted. My online quilt group enjoyed the Black History postcard exchange so much that they have now started another one. The theme this time is African-American music and I have chosen "negro spirituals" for my card. There was a time when African-American concert artists like Marian Anderson, Leontyne Price, and my mother, ended each classical concert with a set of spirituals. I remember my mother singing these songs and always loved this part of her concerts when I was a child.

I have vivid memories of one song called "Ain't Got Time To Die". I found a copy of the sheet music for this song and printed it on marble fabric.

I love the aged look and this will be the background for my card. One day I'll have to listen to the many tapes I have of my mother and see if she is singing this song on any of them. I've also written the text for the post card .side.

"Spirituals are songs created and first sung by enslaved Africans. Unlike today's Gospel music which are based on the Bible, they were an individual affirmation of faith. They provided comfort and eased the tedium of daily tasks. But, above all, they were an expression of spiritual devotion and a yearning for freedom from bondage. Songs like Follow The Drinking Gourd took on added meaning for slaves traveling the Underground Railroad. Spirituals evolved in the early 20th century as composers like Harry Burleigh and Hall Johnson composed and arranged spirituals for choral performance by the Fisk Jubilee Singers and solo performers like Marian Anderson, Roland Hayes, and William Warfield."

So, my card is designed, my text is written and I just have to put the whole thing together. My UFO team seemed to accept the explanation for my apparent lack of progress. The magnolia will have to wait.

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