A Service of “Sacred” Music/Rock Prayers

I’m not sure what to call the service that we’ve put together for next Sunday at Crooked Creek Baptist Church. But the service will feature a lot of music that we’ve never performed in church before, as well as several songs that we have included at least once. We’ll start with “O Sacred Head Now [Read More…]

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Max Stern: Bible and Music

I’ve been developing a course on the Bible and music, and so was delighted to see a review of a book on the topic appear in Review of Biblical Literature. The book is Bible & Music: Influences of the Old Testament on Western Music, by Max Stern. Here is a video of the author, reading from and [Read More…]

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Marble Machine Music

It was several years ago that I highlighted Animusic on this blog, animations of complex machines performing the accompanying music. In the video above, Wintergatan has created an actual marble machine that performs music, and it is very impressive. You can see the details of the process that went into creating the machine on their [Read More…]

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Geoffrey Burgon: Connecting the Church, Monty Python, Doctor Who, and More

In exploring the Naxos music database’s new releases, I discovered Geoffrey Burgon’s Requiem. Burgon is known for TV soundtracks (including Doctor Who) and film score work, such as on Monty Python’s The Life of Brian. I read the conference volume that looked at Jesus and Brian, but although the music was mentioned, no one seems to have focused [Read More…]

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Edmund Rubbra, Symphony No.4

This work was my first introduction to the work of this British composer who has sacred choral works among his compositions. I borrowed the CD from the public library when I lived in Durham in the UK. Nowadays, people just go to YouTube to find new music. But there is so much on there that [Read More…]

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Beauty in Dark Times

There is a very interesting set of upcoming events for those living in the Indianapolis area, focusing on the music of Arvo Pärt. On February 4th at 7pm, at St. George’s Orthodox Church in Fishers, Indiana, there will be performances of Pärt’s music, one choreographed with a dance performance by students from the Indianapolis School [Read More…]

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The Music of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I’m not sure whether it has always been true that the music in Star Wars is something that I notice only on a second viewing, or after hearing the soundtrack separately, or whether J. J. Abrams has the music feature less prominently than George Lucas did at key moments. But there is some truly wonderful [Read More…]

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A Spaceman Came Traveling

A newer rendition of the classic sci-fi Christmas song by Chris DeBurgh, “A Spaceman Came Traveling,” here performed by Celtic Women. This performance was drawn to my attention via the new book from Rowman and Littlefield, The Bible in Music: A Dictionary of Songs, Works, and More. [Read more…]

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References in “50 Ways to Forge a Gospel”

At some point I’ll post a listener’s guide, if necessary, to the song “50 Ways to Forge a Gospel,” which I shared here recently, the YouTube video of which I’ve embedded above. It is full of references to specific forgeries, pseudepigraphies, novels, and other kinds of Jesus literature both ancient and modern, both canonical and [Read More…]

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Music From the Sorrowing Earth of Qumran

Jim Davila mentioned this piece, “From Sorrowing Earth” by Nigel Butterley, on his blog recently, indicating that the composer was inspired to write another piece, “In the Head the Fire,” by the War Scroll from Qumran. I have not tracked down a recording of the latter piece – if anyone can point me in the [Read More…]

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Ghazaros (“Lazar”) Saryan – Passacaglia in Memoriam

I heard this work by Armenian composer Ghazaros (Lazar) Saryan on Performance Today yesterday, and it made an impression. I found it on YouTube and thought I would share it. [Read more…]

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