Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Other musical matters

I'm on on leave again. This time it's sick leave. :-( . I crawled into work on Monday morning and lasted for the grand total of 90 minutes before deciding that this wasn't the best move I've ever made and *not* so quietly retiring back home...

Whilst coughing away, in between heaps of medication, I've been reading - both books and blogs, and would like to pick one of the latter out here, and recommend you visit if you haven't already done so!

Over at Holy Smoke, Damian Thomson has started a topic about the state of music in the Catholic Church. This is essential reading if you care about the state of Liturgy (in whichever form) in churches today. Whilst not strictly applicable to Rudgate - as we tend to sing choral music and chant that you would normally only hear either in concerts or on CDs - I thought it worth mentioning here because I've had plenty of experience in listening to and singing this stuff throughout the years.

It's not just the sheer banality of some of these pieces, its also the egos, and dare I say it, the arrogance of the 'composers' too. For many years, [back in the 20th Century!] I used to attend 'Choir' Festivals on a regular basis up in North East England. I use the term 'Choir' very loosely, as most of the music provided - particularly in the latter years that I went, before I saw sense - had no resemblance to any kind of choral music whatsoever! There were one or two good Directors of these events [actually Directors of music at Catholic Cathedrals at the time] but my main recollections are of one of the 'magic circle' of 'composers' not being able to conduct music [not even his own stuff!], and being spoken to in such an arrogant condescending manner by another, that had I not known anything better, it could easily have put me off music for good. I might even have left the church were I not of sterner stuff. A bit extreme perhaps, but sadly, I do know of people who have done just that.

2 comments:

ben whitworth said...

Of course, Damian Thompson is absolutely on the money. The 'contemporary liturgical music' scene is pretty grim. So cheer yourself up with this youtube clip - it's a decent enough peformance of Salve festa dies, but the visuals are unintentionally hilarious: make sure you're watching at about 1 min 13 secs!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks1Z_18WD8E

Mike4b said...

All credit to the singer for not losing concentration!