The Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: The Chasuble Project

The Chasuble Project‘s unique style of liturgical music, based on a unique fusion of Gregorian chant, vernacular texts, and modern jazz, has gotten them attention from music directors from all over the Catholic world. The Project‘s mass settings are scored for schola and jazz combo, the combo usually consisting of jazz piano, electric bass, and drum set; however, their more experimental settings have included everything from crumhorns* to dual electric xylophones. Albums include The Birth of Schola, Brilliant Mourners (a funeral mass setting), Chalice and Chasuble, and Liturgy Starts Here.

Because of the technical difficulty of the settings, not to mention the improbability of the required array of musicians, it is rare to hear The Project‘s work performed at mass anywhere but their home parish of Sts. Miles and Thelonious in Greenwich Village.

* The crumhorn is a renaissance instrument once described to me as sounding “a lot like a recorder, but much harder to play.” No, really.

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