Chant Cafe noted the latest group of Benedictine religious being coopted by Big Music. Yet another record company horns in on the Gregorian chant/religious music specialty market.
Pardon my cynicism about the whole notion of a “record contract,” but this is the 21st century. So sure: a record company like Decca can promote the heck out of this music and sell a million units. But the Catholic blogging universe could also get behind this and completely cut out the suits. I’d assume there might be less to be given to charity. But I know there would be a whole lot less for executives. Why so doubtful, you might ask me? I remember this classic article (language advisory) on what your average rock band can expect from signing a contract. St Joseph is a great consultant on spiritual matters, but Steve Albini might have steered them in a different direction.
But what could the Nuns of the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de L’Annonciation have done instead? All they would need is a laptop computer, some basic software, and a choral microphone. Record the chants live at liturgy, or in a chapel after a practice session. The whole notion of an album as a unit of music purchase and listening is obsolete. Record a piece of music, and if you want to sell it, make it available online. Even if the sisters here didn’t want to set up a MySpace page, they could have volunteers set up a web site and have it all available for download. For people who insist on listening with cd’s, it’s a relatively easy matter to arrange for those to be produced. Don’t need a record company there, either.
Let’s leave off with a bit of nostalgia from the 60’s, sans guitar: