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A page designated to let my thoughts run freely!


To a dear friend...

Aaron Goodyke

I sit here thinking about a piece that has been playing through my mind of late. It is titled "A Gaelic Blessing" by John Rutter. The beautiful text describes the peace of Christ, illustrating aspects of creation through rhythm, harmony, & gentle rising/falling of the melody. To my ears, peace becomes the waves lapping on the beach of a clear & starry night.

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ,
of Christ the light of the world to you.
Deep peace of Christ to you.

If you would like to listen, follow this link!

When this piece echoes through my mind, I think of a friend who is starting a new chapter in their journey. These words speak all that I wish to say to them. 

Recital Reflections & Program Notes

Aaron Goodyke

This past Wednesday, I gave a recital at Pillar Church as part of their summertime noon series. It is timed perfectly for those who can escape work during their lunch break!

My program consisted of the following: 

Sonata No. 6 by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

Fantasy & Fugue on the Theme B-A-C-H by Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

It was quite different from other recitals I have attended at the church. Both are incredibly large works and require a plethora of focus in order to be performed well!

The Mendelssohn is a great piece: 1) somewhat easy on the ear, 2) it has many different-sounding parts, and 3) the tune is familiar(for the most part). Mendelssohn wrote 3 movements based on the chorale tune "Vater unser im Himmelreich". The first: the chorale w/ variations; the second: a fugue based on the tune; the third: a soft & contemplative piece at an "Andante" pace. Overall, a marvelous work of art! Being a chorale person, I enjoyed conducting the melody through every setting. I used several solo stops––including an 8' Orchestral Oboe and an 8' Clarinet––for some of the variations, allowing me to explore the balance of sounds between all three manuals on the 45-rank instrument. My favorite part of this piece is the final movement––though the work is written in D Minor, the last movement is in D Major and, unlike many other pieces similar in style, has a sweet-sounding finish. 

The B-A-C-H, on the other hand, is a little strange. You can make an educated guess, based on the title, how the piece might unravel. It begins with a loud Bb in the pedal, joining with the manuals 3 measures later to create an intense, dissonant sound (a wonderful F# diminished 7 chord). The diminished chord is a huge factor throughout the score––how else do you combine 4 notes that are a 1/2 step away from each other & make a 14-minute piece of music? Good 'ole Franz. The fugue begins "mysteriously"(as my score tells me), and slowly builds to a mountainous E Minor chord(a VERY distant cousin of Bb), which is when the player has to commit; otherwise, you might as well give up. The tempo is "fast"––Dr. Lewis described as "attack the keyboard with your fingers as fast as possible". Note taken.

The most difficult section of this piece involved 8th-note octave runs with both hands simultaneously––enough to give the page-turner a headache (THANK YOU KRISTIN). It is a terribly "haunting" segment, for the audiences ears & for the player's fingers.

After another rigorous element involving descending, arpeggiated diminished chords, the piece prepares its final descent with 4 suspending (and LOUD) chords. Naturally, they contain the notes B(b), A, C, & H (B). Before the final notes, Liszt writes in a small variation of the theme with soft strings, bringing to life the power of the last progression: a Bb pedal tone w/ several strange chords layered on top. If you haven't figured it out, strange is the name of the game with this piece. 

I am very happy I had the opportunity to perform both of those pieces for a delightful audience. There were family members, friends, mentors, teachers, and others from the community who came to hear me play. "Thank you" is not enough, especially considering all of the help & wisdom I have received in the last decade from many of them. 

For those of you who might not be familiar with Holland, Pillar Church is a beautiful church located between Hope College & downtown with historic roots in the Reformed Church(RCA) and Christian Reformed Church(CRC). Now dual-affilated, the church is moving forward on a journey of reconciliation & renewal.

Click here if you are interested in learning about the Lauck organ!

Soli Deo Gloria

A New Domain

Aaron Goodyke

Well, it's official. I have a confirmed presence on the web!

You might ask: why?

I have been thinking about creating this site for about a year now. As I noted in the first post, it will be both "a marketing tool and a way of expression". I receive emails about playing for different events & phone calls from local companies that inquire about offering music at an event every week. By providing a concrete location where people might learn who I am & what I do, I will not simply be heard of "through the grapevine". It is also a good way to understand more about web design & management! 

It is my mission to share music with others. I do this in several contexts: performance, teaching, & in worship(and more!). This tool will enable me to reach a larger audience and provide some background information, sample recordings, and visuals of what is happening in my life. 

I will be posting things from time-to-time––reflections, thoughts, and updates on where I am in life. Maybe some big life questions. After all, Einstein did say "Learn from yesterday, live for today, HOPE for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning". (Yes––that is part of my email signature)

I hope you find what you are looking for on this website. Feel free to leave comments, suggestions, or questions in the Contact Form!