Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm not in love with the latest music trend among traditionalists...

"Contemporary Sacred Music."

Specifically, Kevin Allen. The CMAA (or at least related people) has totally taken him under their wing and is promoting him loudly.

But honestly, I'm not all that impressed. While of course I greatly appreciate his attempt at writing 3-part, latin choral music (easily transposed for a 3-voice mixed choir!) and I also love the idea of singing psalm-tone verses in between repetitions of the same short motet (what choir hasn't been so sad at watching all the work they put into learning a piece, quickly disappear as they sing it once...and then it's done?!) I just haven't found the several pieces that I've listened to to be all that...good.

Yes, it's a bit contemporary sounding, and I know one of the reasons that it's so lauded is that it's relatively easy for a church choir. But... I wish I knew more about music theory... (I felt like I barely passed it in undergrad...) so I can't necessarily comment on his music as regarding the rules, but I find much of what he does, (like in terms of using accidentals,) to
Random picardy thirds, or borrowed minor chords, that just seem to...come out of nowhere!
I think it's pretty good voice-leading, but the actual chords themselves...just irritate me sometimes. They don't seem to be going anywhere!
(This is what I'm going to be working with the choir on.)

I mean, it's not bad, and can be quite enjoyable to listen to... well, I just don't know how to describe how I feel when I'm plunking out the chords on the piano. I'd love to hear someone chime in who has more theory background...