Jesus Christ, Superstar

What an evening! We had heard about the Dalby choir, Mixtum, earlier this year when we stumbled on them practicing in the Dalby church. We stayed for the concert and were fascinated by this young, vibrant choir. At the end of their Gospel concert they announced that they were repeating their performance of "Jesus Christ, Superstar" in August. We found the date and arranged to stay in order to hear the musical.

The place was given as "Dalby Quarry". We had never been there, but the newspaper said a) bring your own food, b) come early, and c) don't expect toilets or wheel-chair accessibility. So we arranged with friends to be there between 3 and 4 pm, the concert was not to begin until 6pm. They came by bike, we passed them in the car and waved. And then discovered: we were late.

The parking place was filled to overflowing, cars were already parking along the roadside. We drove on and managed to find a little parking place a good bit down next to a ladder for climbing the fence. Sooooo, we parked and lugged the picnic up the ladder and down again, up the next ladder and down again, and then were were at the quarry. It is breathtakingly beautiful! It is said to be 11 meters deep, the water looked cold and blue, and the quarry was very wide, so there were lots of places to sit. We lugged the stuff on towards the stage, and discovered we could have just walked along the highway instead of through the fields. You live and learn.

We found a nice place in the back - all the picnic places towards the stage were already taken. It turned out to be great - since there were only brambles behind us, we could stand up and had a great view of the stage.

The dress rehearsal was in full swing, and I began singing along. When I was a teenager back in the 70s our church choir put on the musical. Although I have not sung it since, I discovered that I still knew the words! We had a picnic and were then able to talk for a while until the concert started. People kept streaming in, filling every last nook and cranny, there must have been 2000 people there.

The acoustics were fabulous - one could hear all around the quarry. And the professional singers in the main roles, as well as the choir, sang so well that the audience was enchanted. I'm not sure much of the audience knew the story (despite Sweden being very Lutheran). Our friends kept asking me where in the program we were, I had to bite my tongue not to say: Isn't it obvious? That's the Last Supper ....

When they got to part where Mary Magdalene anointed Jesus' feet with expensive nard, I suddenly realized that I had completely missed this in my sermon a few weeks ago! There we have Judas, bitching at Mary for "wasting" the nard, it could have been sold and the money used to feed the poor. Jesus tells Judas off, noting that there will always be poor people. Judas' words come back to haunt him, as when he is agonizing over the blood money he was given for betraying Jesus, the choir sings softly: You could give the money to the poor.

Somehow I was also really experiencing the music, seeing structures in the songs, picking up melodies from previous songs, making them fit the next scene, and then it all coming together for the finale: Jesus Christ, Superstar. The choir was clapping, and then the entire audience joined in, exuberantly clapping in time to the music.

The local newspaper has reported online with a few pictures, have a look at this wonderful setting. And now, I must see if I can still get a recording of JCS. I need to hear it all again!


Wild Raspberry Jam

The very, very best jam in the world is made from wild raspberries and jam sugar, nothing else. Most years I will go berrying and get a liter of blueberries and a few tiny wild raspberries. If it's just a few I'll eat them myself, but since the neighbors who water our plants when we are gone really like the jam too, I tend to make that extra special effort to find enough for a smidgeon of jam.

This year, everything is different. There are almost no blueberries - I have enough for decorating fruit salad, nothing more. But raspberries, oh my! The bushes we planted years ago against the fence ducked under and are now loaded with big, thick, sweet berries. But the sides of the roads and the woods are filled with wild raspberries, some as big as cultured berries are most years. And they are soooooooo sweet! I got half a liter in just one hour, so I cleaned them, put them in the fridge and went out the next day for another half a liter. With a liter of berries I can make four little jars of jam. That's one for the neighbors and three for me ;)

A friend just tried making jam herself for the first time this week. When she was done, she
twittered: Why do people *buy* jam? It's so easy to make and so much more delicious! Indeed, you have complete control over the contents (save a bug or two). So what are you waiting for? Make your own jam today, it only takes a liter of berries, 500g of 2:1 jam sugar and some sterilized jars, you are done in half an hour.