I was trying to explain to my choir why I ask them to watch me while they sing. Sometimes they stare blankly at me, perfectly attentive, but it’s like they’re watching me on TV and I’m just there to entertain them.
So I told them, “you should be working, too, not just staring.” And what is their job? At first I wanted to say they were a mirror: I show them ideas in the music, and they reflect them back to the audience. But I didn’t like that metaphor because it feels like their job takes place on the surface. I wanted to communicate their need to absorb the information, then pour it out over the audience through their singing from someplace deep.
So I said, “I’m the faucet, you’re sponges… the audience are… um…” oh, blast the inevitable stream of logic, “dirty dishes.”
Sometimes I start saying things, and when I keep going, I discover that I’ve landed someplace unintended. Sigh. Facepalm. Anyway, the music is the water in this metaphor. Soapy water, I suppose.
It’s a shame the metaphor is a little icky, because it feels true.
Lava me Domine ab iniquitate mea, as they say.