Last Week…

Last week, I played an arrangement of Amazing Grace that is, more or less, a transcription of an orchestrated version that’s on simple hymns (currently a digital album, soon an audio CD). I’m going to try to make as many of my arrangements on simple hymns into piano solos as I can since it’s unlikely I’ll ever get to perform them with an orchestra but I definitely will get to perform them as piano solos! This solo piano version is available for purchase on SheetMusicPlus. But, for a couple week you’re welcome to download a complimentary copy below!

Music preview for 10/31/2021

Sunday, Lakewood will celebrate All Saints Day. Of course, the postlude has to be Sine Nomine! I assembled this video for online devotional last year (year before? this pandemic has gone on SO long).

I think I wrote both the trumpet descants, but I honestly can’t remember. For a working church musician, stuff like that gets lost in the shuffle and is lucky to even get written down somewhere scribbled on the back of a church bulletin or penciled into some hymnal.I know the last descant is mine, but not sure of the first one. If someone knows of a source (other than me) for the first one, please let me know. I’ll be doing an organ solo version of this video for Sunday.

Music preview for October 24, 2021 service

The service, generally, for Oct. 24 concerns anti hierarchy and is based on Mark 10:35-45. In keeping with the notion of serving others the music prelude is the hymn, SERVANT SONG (“Won’t You Let Me Be Your Servant?” — #539 in the New Century Hymnal).

Music preview of 10/17/21 service

Yesterday, we moved the small Allen organ donated to us by Westminster Suncoast to a different, hopefully more advantageous spot in the chancel. It’s been a long while since I’ve played it, but will endeavor to do so more often. This coming Sunday, the postlude will be an old (thankfully, easy!) favorite, Buxtehude‘s Jig Fugue. Here’s a music video of it I recorded from waaaaay back in the early days of the pandemic before I started showing me at the keyboard.

Hispanic Heritage celebration Sunday

This coming Sunday, October 3, 2021, Lakewood UCC will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage. The music for Sunday will be as follows:

GATHERING MUSIC: Pues si vivimos — Marty Haugen
PRELUDE: Danza de la Rosa (Escenas Poeticas) — Enrique Granados
MUSICAL REFLECTION: Rumores de la Caleta (Malagueña) — Isaac Albéniz
MUSICAL INTERLUDEDanzas Españolas (Playera Op. 5, #5) — Enrique Granados
OFFERTORY: Danzas Españolas (Playera Op. 5, #1)— Enrique Granados
PREPARATION FOR COMMUNION: Pescador de Hombres — Cesáreo Gabaráin
POSTLUDE: Danza Española (Seis Danzas Españolas) — Isaac Albéniz

Later this week, I’ll post one of the above Albéniz pieces and one of the Granados. For today’s post, here are the two hymns (Pues si vivimos by Marty Haugen and Pescador de Hombres by Cesáreo Gabaráin) that I recorded earlier last year.

Another Native-American Sunday music preview

Earlier this week I posted a preview of 3 pieces by the early 20th Century, American composer Arthur Farwell which were settings of Native-American melodies I’ll be playing on Sunday’s celebration of Native-American ministry. That post is https://lakewooducc.org/2021/09/22/3-native-american-melodies-as-set-by-arthur-farwell/.

This morning’s post is a setting of my own of a Native-American melody. I’ve posted this video before but wanted to let you know I’ll be playing it as part of Sunday’s celebration.

3 Native-American Melodies as Set by Arthur Farwell

This coming Sunday, Lakewood UCC celebrates UCC’s Native American Ministries. As part of that liturgy, all the music for the service is based on Native American melodies: 2 hymns, 3 songs set by the American composer, Arthur Farwell (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Farwell, https://songofamerica.net/composer/farwell-arthur/, and https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200035729), and one setting of my own. I’ll post my own setting—one I’ve posted before—later this week, but today’s post are the 3 Farwell settings combined into one video.

The Native American melodies (of primarily the Omaha tribe)) harmonized by Arthur Farwell were drawn from the late 19th Century 20 year research of Alice C. Fletcher, holder of the Thaw Fellowship, Peabody Museum, Harvard University.

Creative folk (musicians, authors, graphic artists, dancers, etc.) create amid a world of 7,874,965,825 ideas of what we should and shouldn’t do! It’s hard enough discerning what we believe ourselves, but the cultural noise gets deafening and discouraging sometimes. One bit of that cultural noise is the prohibition against “cultural approbation.” To make matters worse—regard that issue—white supremacists have taken up against the issue. One is damned if one does support cultural sensitivity or damned if one doesn’t!

Unless we wish to discard Debussy’s pieces based on the traits of Spanish music, Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, Ravel’s music based on Asian scales, Beethoven’s “Turkish March” in his 9th Symphony, and on and on and on…then, everyone needs to find their own comfort zone as to where the boundaries are regarding the setting of “folk” material. (I realize even the term, “folk,” has a colonialist tinge to it.)

My own feeling is that if a setting of other material is…

  • respectful,
  • fully acknowledges the source,
  • isn’t intended to represent itself as anything other than what it is, and
  • makes its own contribution to the material artistically,

…then it doesn’t deserve to be condemned for cultural approbation.

I believe Farwell’s setting (and hopefully my own) fall into the “approved” category.

Here’s some info about the UCC’s Native American Ministry. I especially like the first one!

“The 29th General Synod of the United Church of Christ approved a Resolution of Witness calling for the UCC to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery, which authorized the genocide of native people and the theft of native lands. In that Resolution we recognize the complicity of the Churches, including the UCC, in the perpetration of these injustices.”

https://www.ucc.org/event/american-indian-sunday-usa/2021-09-26/

“The Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM) is the voice for American Indian people in the UCC. CAIM provides Christian ministry and witness to American Indians and to the wider church. Justice issues that affect American Indian life are communicated to the whole UCC by CAIM. “

https://www.ucc.org/giving/ways-to-give/our-churchs-wider-mission/neighbors-in-need/faq_what_is_caim-2/

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