A collection of 13 anthems for Unison or 2-part choir, written all during consecutive weeks in April through June 2012. 130 pages of music. 52 minutes performance time. Beginning just after Easter of this year, 2012, I decided to write an anthem that I would submit for publication: “Keep Me Ever Close To Thee”. I chose a text by a commonly-loved hymn author, and did my best to keep to the constraints that I felt were normal in the Sunday morning choral musical composition community. After we premiered that piece, I felt like it would be fun to try taking a risk: to write another anthem, this time, being sure to correlate the text/theme of this new anthem specifically to the theme of an upcoming church service. Each week, I speak with the minister of my church, Rev. Heather Moody, on Thursday morning, and we spend that time talking about the specific Scriptures and overall themes for the upcoming service. Neither of us really know further in advance than that which pre-ordained lectionary texts we may be led to focus on that week. So, starting one week in April 2012, after our Thursday morning meeting, I started to work with the texts and themes of the week, and write a new choir anthem, which would be finished and printed by Saturday evening, so we could rehearse it Sunday morning with the choir. After doing this once, and feeling the satisfaction completing the cycle from inspiration to performance in one week brought to me, I decided to challenge myself for a few more weeks, and continue the practice of writing a new piece for Sunday morning worship each week. To be honest, at least one of my motivations for doing this was a general dislike for much of the music currently being published in this genre. I felt overall that much of this music, while maintaining the necessary simplicity to still be accessible to the average church choir, doesn’t feel very original, inspired, or compelling for one reason or another. I wanted to work within a very specific set of constrictions, but come up with music that somehow sounded more original, inspired, and more of the type of music that I feel impassioned to perform with my choir, being that I also would be accompanying, rehearsing, and conducting each of these pieces. What constraints did I decide to work with? Well, perhaps among others, this list includes: • Range restrictions (not too high, not too low) • Restriction in the number of harmonic parts—most of these pieces are for 1 or 2 part choir • Harmonic limitation—has to be easy for an average church choir to “hear” and learn aurally quickly • Has to be able to be learned by an average church choir in 1 hour or less • Can’t be too complex rhythmically • Very minimal counterpoint, at least among the voices (more could be added in the piano part) • Word declamation has to be very clear and rather obvious • Has to be accessible to a choir of any size and formation (if there are no basses, for example, a choir can still perform these pieces) So, over a period of several months, each week, I managed to figure out a title for my new composition by the Friday morning bulletin printing deadline, but often, I would not have yet written even the first note of the anthem for that week. In a matter of a few hours, usually on a Friday or Saturday, I would find myself going to work composing directly into my Finale 2012 software, with my trusty piano keyboard alongside my computer, moving with the waves of inspiration, always keeping in mind that I could not afford, in this process, to be “theoretical” or too abstract—I needed to keep the notes, rhythms, harmonies, and overall setting of the text grounded and familiar enough to my choir, so we could learn the whole thing in 1 hour or less—the rehearsal time we have on Sunday mornings.
|Manufacturer:||CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform|
|Publisher:||CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform|
|Studio:||CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform|
|Item Size:||0.3 x 11 x 11 inches|
|Package Weight:||0.88 pounds|
|Package Size:||8.5 x 0.3 x 0.3 inches|