Whitacre’s “Enjoy the Silence”

Stumbled across this musical oddity a few weeks ago: Eric Whitacre’s setting of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.”

Seems like a bit of an odd fit, but apparently they (and especially this song) were significantly influential on him during his teen years. “The anthem of my youth,” he calls it.

I myself find it particularly appropriate this week, since Sarah and the Susanka Seven are wintering (or, rather, Christmasing) in Washington for the next little while. I’ll be joining them shortly, but in the meantime, the silence in the house is astonishing. And…I don’t entirely enjoy it.

Today marks the release of Eric’s new EP Enjoy The Silence featuring the Eric Whitacre Singers.

The EP is the first to be released on vinyl and features Eric’s arrangement of Depeche Mode’s Enjoy The Silence and a setting of a Rumi text - This Marriage - written for his wife Hila as a gift on their seventh wedding anniversary.

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The vinyl can be found on Amazon. And Soundcloud’s got a sample:

Fun, though it feels a bit dichotomic/disparate to me. If Depeche Mode had been a larger part of my youth — or a part of my youth at all — I’d probably feel differently, but I’ve come to them much later in life than the “teen anthem” stage.

I really, really like “This Marriage,” though. And yes, that probably has something to do with my wife being gone.

May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.

About Joseph Susanka

Joseph has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. A grateful resident of Wyoming, he spends his free time exploring the beautiful Wind River Mountains, keeping track of his (currently) seven sons, and thanking his lucky stars for Netflix.


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