"If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music.

I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. I get the most joy in life out of music."

~ Albert Einstein

Friday, July 24, 2015

When Morning Stars Together

"When Morning Stars Together" is a relatively new hymn (published in 1966). It is a marvelous and magnificent anthem set on a grand scale. Beginning with a quote from the wisdom book of Job 38:7, the hymn proclaims how praise to God began at creation with the very stars singing out. That praise has taken on various forms through the ages, as the hymn goes on to declare, reminding us at the end that with all of our trained powers and senses, we find our purpose "and in serving fully live."

When the morning stars together
Author: Albert F. Bayly

When the morning stars together
their creator's glory sang,
and the angel host all shouted
till with joy the heavens rang,
then your wisdom and your greatness
their exultant music told,
all the beauty and the splendor
which your mighty works unfold.

When in synagogue and temple
voices raised the psalmists' songs,
offering the adoration
which alone to you belongs,
when the singers and the cymbals
with the trumpet made accord,
glory filled the house of worship,
and all knew your presence, Lord.

Voice and instrument, in union
through the ages, spoke thy praise.
Plainsong, tuneful hymns, and anthems
told your faithful, gracious ways.
Choir and orchestra and organ
each a sacred offering brought,
while, inspired by your own Spirit,
poet and composer wrought.

Lord, we bring our gift of music;
touch our lips and fire our hearts,
teach our minds and train our senses,
fit us for this sacred art.
Then with skill and consecration
we would serve you, Lord, and give
all our powers to glorify you,
and in serving fully live.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Even when He Is Silent

"The text was found written on a wall at a concentration camp after World War 2. The composer Kim Andre Arnesen read it as a Credo; even if everything is dark and difficult in life, and you might wonder where God is, or if He is there at all. It's about keeping your faith in God, love and hope." (Notes from the YouTube site)

I believe in the sun, even when it's not shining.
I believe in love, even when I feel it not.
I believe in God, even when He is silent.


Monday, July 6, 2015

Agnus Dei - Mass for five voices (William Byrd)

William Byrd is considered the father of English music. He was a composer of the Renaissance. He cultivated many of the forms current in England at the time, including various types of sacred and secular polyphony, keyboard and consort music.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ancient Mother

Robert Gass has produced many recordings of sacred chant, taking cues from Western as well as Eastern and Native American sacred traditions. "Ancient Mother" is one that I first heard when I was a member of the Unitarian Church Choir and we sang the song during a Sunday morning service (I have sung in Baptist, Episcopal, Unitarian, and Catholic choirs and learned some wonderful music in each place). The  recording here is produced by Robert Gass from the album, Chant: Spirit in Sound, accompanied by beautiful scenes from the ocean and other nature venues.