So many of the blessings in the connection of my relationship with God has been inspired by my journey into life with the horse. Particularly dressage training, the unending execution of harmony between horse and rider. In this sport, horse and rider perform a routine of memorized steps and movements, and it requires an extremely high level of skill on the parts of both the rider and the horse. The sport has truly spoken to me of asceticism. Paralleling intense dressage training to the process of painting an icon:
The ‘writing” of the icon parallels this process (training), it is a tool to help us acquire spiritual virtue through a prayer and practice (athleticism/asceticism). Building the layers of color employs subsequent layers of paint becoming lighter and smaller in dimension. Final highlights are tiny hash lines called assiste (quietness of aide). These highlights symbolize the uncreated light of the Transfiguration (harmony with the Divine). The adding of white to lighten each color symbolizes our stages of prayer becoming more transparent to the energies of God and closer to God’s mysteries.
So, students and colleagues whom have been following the training of our dressage horse, Knights Reign, please feel welcome! Reigny will perform a musical freestyle, composed by Sean Wesche ridden by her trainer, Mellisa Lund on 2 occassions;
Dressage Under the Stars at the Dressage Festival Saturday Sept. 9, 6:30 pm at the Washington County Fairgrounds; open to the public/free.
The Medical Crisis Gala halftime show Sunday Sept. 24th, 3:00 pm; fundraiser event; www.lomcp.com
“Dancing in the Reign” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XL2nHCRpMOA
About the composer:
Sean Wesche graduated from St Olaf College with a BA in Music. He become the Head Accompanist for the dance department at St Olaf upon graduation for 10 years. In these 10 years his knowledge of music composition was honed also freelancing for the dancers. Today he composes as a way to process life. He owns West Sea Studios, his you tube channel. Sean strived to marry a light hearted, playful sort of tone with what he imagined a piece to sound like that was created for a horse with a call name like Reigny (Knight's Reign). Reigny implied a regal, stately quality, and it was through this juxtaposition that this piece really took shape. It is a coming of age story, beginning with Reigny as a young, spritely, playful soul growing into a majestic and wise queen. It begins with Reigny as a young foal. The piano, vibraphone, and harp create a playful, light hearted tone right off the bat in a style that is almost reminiscent of falling rain. The violin comes in at the 30 second mark, and introduces the first theme. The theme is very simple, made up of longer notes to give the busyness of the piano a chance to shine through. The viola then comes in to offer a countermelody, and just over the minute mark the entire orchestra is brought in. At this point, the simple melody of the solo violin is offered up to the first violins, which play with it, turning those long notes into short ones, which skip up and down the scale, as the rest of the orchestra plays the fist theme once more. The play gets a little more serious at 1:51. The beat becomes stronger, the violins group together to play blocked chords rather than single note motives, and the second theme is introduced with the brass. This theme is inspired by Reigny's name, and is meant to be reminiscent of a courtroom fanfare. Reigny is royalty after all, and her music must honor that. After this second theme is presented, the next minute of the piece, so from around 2:38 to 3:38, is all about transition. The different counter melodies and motives that were present in the first two sections of the piece, were sprinkled amongst the orchestra, with each instrument rising to the surface, offering up its voice, and then dipping down again. This symbolizes Reigny's teenage years, as she is hearing the different voices that have been accompanying her throughout her childhood, voices which were molding and fashioning her into her own. This finally happens at 3:38, at which point Reigny has grown up into a lady. Wise and beautiful, this lady is represented by the two themes being merged, the strings playing one theme, and the brass playing the other. The rest of the orchestra supports this, with lots of cymbals and percussion adding to the swells. The motive the piano had played at the beginning, which started out light and dainty, is now played by the fast moving strings, which give it more weight and energy. And yet, at the very end of the piece, the covers are thrown back. A solo trumpet, accompanied by the piano and snare drum reveal that the playful soul that Reigny started out with has actually been there all along and never quite gone away.
Watch for the schedule of 2024 icon classes next!