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Showing posts from July, 2018

Quam Pulchra Es by Francisco Carbonell

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This flowing piece with interesting key changes and chords (but not TOO interesting) is by Francisco Carbonell and won second place in an emerging composers competition. Hailing from Valencia, Spain, Carbonell is music director and organist at St. John the Evangelist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. He studied in Rome at the Pontifical Academy of Sacred Music, as well as at the university in Valencia. You can find more of his music on YouTube, but I wanted to make sure you were introduced to him here.

Enjoy - and why not “like” him on Facebook? Or send him a note somehow letting him know you enjoy his work?

A Kenyan Hymn in the Shenandoah Valley

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Remember when everyone was just crazy for music from Africa thanks to Paul Simon? Here's a great hymn from Kenya, sung at the Shenandoah Christian Music Camp in 2017. A spirited text sung with energy by these Anabaptist young people. Camps are held in Virginia, Ohio, and Ontario. And there are lots of wonderful YouTube recordings of the singing.

Translation: Bonse aba mupolela (All who have received Him )
Balipelwa maka yakuba bana ba kwa Lesa (he Has given them the power to be called the children of God) muyaya ba kwa Lesa (everlasting will be called children of God)

These camps are the product of a desire to grow musical ability and understanding among conservative Anabaptists. You can learn more at this website. I really like the idea of "music as a core function of life."

Here's a bit on Anabaptists, if you're interested. Otherwise, just enjoy the singing!

Anabaptists are strict evangelicals who practice adult baptis…

Back to the Sacred Harp and How It Travels!

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Here are two recordings: the first is from an annual singing in Hoboken, Georgia with David Lee leading the singing along with his mother, the second comes from a sacred harp singing in Ireland. This lets you hear the music in its home environment, sung from the blue “Cooper book” and then from some enthusiastic Irish/English/American singers, singing from the red Denson book. The music travels because it is such a joy to sing.




Enjoy them both - listen to just part or the whole. Note that the melody is in the tenor part which is doubled at the octave by women’s voices. Also note the singers who conduct along with the leader - they were probably up later that day leading one of their favorite tunes.


Chant from Pluscarden Abbey

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On the Feast of St. Benedict, chant from a Benedictine Abbey is definitely called for. This is a restful bit of psalmody from Pluscarden Abbey in Scotland. I love chanted psalms in the monastic traditions - no dragging, no rushing - just an even walking tempo. Pluscarden Abbey has a splendid website - you can even find out why these monks are wearing white rather than the traditional Benedictine black.

So pay them a visit on this feast day (or any day) and consider that the work of Benedict still continues throughout the world and pray that it continue forever.

And why not enjoy some bread today in honor of St. Benedict? You can read the story about the saint and the raven and the bread here. Saints and food are always enjoyable associations.