Scott Tennant, François Couperin, and A Charming Number of My Favorite Things

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I’ve loved guitarist Scott Tennant for years, ever since I first saw The LAGQ’s “Loose Canon.” I love his expressions (facial), his expressiveness (musical), and the way the guitar looks like a toy in his huge (yet gentle) hands. I’ve loved François Couperin’s “Les Barricades Mistérieuses” for ages. (Yes, Sam Rocha, long before I first saw Tree of [Read More...]

A Mystery of Grace

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From Benedict XVI’s “Dogma und Verkundigung:” The mystery of the annunciation to Mary is not just a mystery of silence.It is above and beyond all that a mystery of grace. We feel compelled to ask ourselves: Why did Christ really want to be born of a virgin? It was certainly possible for him to have been [Read More...]

The Big Bach Puzzler

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Over at NPR’s “Deceptive Cadence” blog, Tom Huizenga has a fun little quiz called “Wig Out With The Big Bach Puzzler.” His music, as compelling today as it was centuries ago, continues to inspire artists of all stripes. So if you thought you knew a few things about the granddaddy of classical music, try this puzzler to see [Read More...]

Waxing Musically Nostalgic with Michael Z. Land (and Bajakian and McConnell)

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The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of Michael Z. Land, the justly-famous composer whose musical influence on my youth was both vast and unforgettable. … What do you mean, “He’s not famous?” … What do you mean, YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO HE IS???” Here. Listen to this: Actually, hang on. That’s a bit [Read More...]

Sam Rocha’s “Late to Love”

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That’s Sam Rocha. He’s a Patheotte. An Academic. A Soul-Singer. And most of all, he’s a soul-searcher. He’s got a Ph.D. And a Kickstarter project for a SoulBluesJazzFunkFolk/Gospel album called “Late to Love.” An album that takes its name from St. Augustine’s “Confessions.” A project with the stated intention of making “the craft of the music its main priority.” [Read More...]

Appropriate Title? There Is None.

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Elizabeth is always reminding us Catholic Patheosi to be thoughtful about our post titles. Well, I thought about this one for a couple of days, and finally decided that there is no title that could possibly prepare you for this musical …thing. None. Why am I posting it, you ask? Just look at it. That’s [Read More...]

Crossing Over with Béla Fleck

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Here’s what I’m listening to right now. Also known as “what you’re listening to right now.” You’re welcome. That’s Paganini’s Allegro vivace a movimento perpetuo. But it’s not your grandfather’s Paganini. For that, I give you Gil Shaham, “The Traditionalist.” Here’s a slightly less traditional (but really fun) version from Wynton Marsalis. But wait. There’s [Read More...]

“No More Sorrow” with Ladysmith Black Mambazo

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This is exactly what I needed today. Exactly. That’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a South African choral group most recognized for their work on Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” And the sound of their singing is astonishingly joyful. Which means it’s hard for me to think of a group more fitted to sing a song about the passing away [Read More...]

Frozen’s “Let It Go” …Gets Away

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Google Translate, you’re doing it wrong. (Or is that “doing it very, VERY right?“) I can’t belt like Idina Menzel, but I can mess around with Google translate. That software can really destroy a song…and yet make it way too funny not to share. By way of comparison: The snow glows white on the mountain [Read More...]

“Something That God Has Allowed To Happen:” NPR Interviews The Sisters of Mary, Queen of the Apostles

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This “Morning Edition” piece on Missouri’s singing nuns is almost impossibly charming. Almost. When the sisters of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles aren’t hard at work on the monastery grounds, they’re topping the charts with albums of sacred music. The group’s Angels and Saints at Epheseus topped the Billboard classical charts, and now it’s releasing its latest, Lent at Epheseus. [Read More...]


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