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Walked into WRTI on Saturday to tape a few more Now is the Time shows, and Mark Pinto was there holding down the fort, cataloging CDs during the Rigoletto broadcast and preparing for his post-opera airtime. “Hey, I’ve programmed your cello spirituals on New Releases,” he said.

“Fantastic, thanks!” I answer, “when will they be on?”

“Four o’clock.”

“Oh…today, you mean?!”

So that was it. On the air, for everybody.

I took a break from my taping at 4:00 and potted up the air monitor in the studio to have a listen. (The CD, with audio samples, is hereAmerican Spirituals, Book Two are tracks 11–13.) Anne and Paul sounded good as ever. Here’s where we made that octave change, oh, right, here’s that added rubato, and now here comes that whole bar we added. Funny how you live with and worry over a piece for months, and then—at some point—it’s just music, not yours anymore. Yours, yes, but not yours because there’s nothing you can do about it. Not anymore. Happened twice to me this weekend, as I just finished my string quartet, and since I was well ahead of any deadline I had to force myself to give it up to the players. I’d still be messing with it otherwise. It’s a piece of music, just let it go, it’s not yours anymore.

Now it’s for everybody.

Update: CD and sheet music published by Paul Jones Music in the collection Sacred Music for Cello.

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