Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Emergent Psalter

One of the things we love is receiving a cool creative challenge.

This week, we returned to Church of the Messiah where we were asked to sing Psalm 130 in the style of The Emergent Psalter.

The brainchild of composer Isaac Everett, The Emergent Psalter introduces a new musical style to the ancient art of singing the psalms. Isaac has written a simple, singable refrain for each psalm, and it's up to the musician to create the musical setting for the verses. On his podcast, he meets with different musicians who improvise until they create something they think works. The same refrain could be used to create a psalm setting that is gentle and reflective or urgent and rocking.

Since we were singing Psalm 130 in Lent, we decided to keep it simple but with intensity. For the verses, Gerald riffed on the guitar, while I did mixture of singing and speaking. Luckily, we got a great video of it, so I'll post a link to that tomorrow.

In this same service, we also performed The Wood Song, which we rehearsed last week. It went really well, and the addition of the extra voices and violin was a real pleasure.

This evening, we played for the Gathering at St. John's, which was awesome. We're nearing the end of our Lenten musical themes, and as we sang the final lines of Mighty to Save, I could feel Easter rumbling underneath, ready to break forth...

He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Author of Salvation
He rose & conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

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