Category Archives: Music

Springsteen Points A Way

Check out Luke Hill’s reportoing on Bruce Springsteen at dotCommonweal. A few pieces: Much  of the audience at a typical Bruce Springsteen concert looks like the  folks you might see at the 11:00 Sunday Mass in suburban parishes across  the country.  (In … Continue reading

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One Summer Dream

College students are pouring into town. The young miss begins school Thursday. Summer will soon be a dream. Speaking of which, one of my favorite pop songs from the 70′s.

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The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan

You may know the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem … In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. … A damsel with a dulcimer … Continue reading

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Old and Lost Rivers

Are you familiar with the compositions of Tobias Picker? Have a listen to his tone poem, “Old and Lost Rivers” and tell me what you think. Opera seems to be his real gift–have any readers experienced his works in that genre? … Continue reading

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Pavane, Hypnotized, Lament

One of my favorite jazz artists is Bill Evans. Very recently, I was introduced to his adaptation/arrangement of Faure’s Pavane. Have a listen here. Evans only played with Miles Davis for a very short time, but his influence was subtle … Continue reading

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Singing MR3 Runs Off The Rails

And I thought it was going so well in my parish. To set up what happened at the Eucharistic Prayer in my parish this morning at about 11:10, you should know that we work with good liturgical priests. But they’re a little … Continue reading

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Ave Maria, Schubert

Last year, various people involved in our parish music ministry prepared a cd for our previous pastor who was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It was a scramble to get various songs recorded before the semester’s end, so we took … Continue reading

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Ave Maria, Bach-Gounod

Two of our students performing: Michael, a recent graduate, on piano and Jesse, one of last year’s graduates, on voice. Ave Maria, Bach-Gounod setting Musical prayer for a May day.

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It’s not really seasonally appropriate this time of year, but a group of students wanted to record my “spooky” arrangement of “Calvary” the other night. I’m surprised at what has an impact on people, not just young believers. As I … Continue reading

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Favorite Playing Instruments

My favorite instruments to play these days. Using the one on the bottom to tune the one on top.

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Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten

Leaving off the cynicism, let me offer some music for a Monday of Holy Week, this live performance of Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten. The composer speaks on his style: The complex and many-faceted only confuses me, and I … Continue reading

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Some Musical Notes

This morning, as I was reconnecting favorite sites on my browser, I ran across a YouTube channel for one of my favorite musical groups, Ensemble Polaris (image, left). What a fantastic collection of insanely different musical instruments and styles. Highly commended. … Continue reading

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Spiders For Violins

What do you string players make of the thought of utilizing spider silk for violin strings? BBC news bit and sample audio here. There is a species of spider known as “violin spiders,” (image, right) but Shigeyoshi Osaki used a … Continue reading

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Parisian Thoroughfares

Since I’m reflecting on parish fun, I thought I’d share an image of our occasional jazz band, the Parisian Thoroughfares. This was snapped at the recent auction/dinner/dance. Our singer Anna and drummer Adam are rather obscured. I’m not at all … Continue reading

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A Musical Adventure/Interlude

Last night I went clubbing for the first time in years, if not decades. My cousin Sam from back east was passing through Iowa on the way to a week-long series of gigs in Colorado with his band, Thunder Body. … Continue reading

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