Monday, February 27, 2012

Finally available!

For free! Legal! For the entire world!

Until now, a mostly unknown, and unavailable choral work by C├ęsar Franck.

Can chant be sung without a director?

I certainly think so.

For example, if a group of singers were to learn a chant from the same recording, and each individually attempt to follow the nuances precisely (speed up here; barely lengthen this note,) and/or if the group spends time rehearsing together and agreeing upon rhythms and flow, then is a director really necessary?

I have found myself in the position of being "director," and yet, once I feel like I've "taught" the group, either by example or explanation of specific phrases, I can't help but wondering if all of my arm-waving is superfluous. Perhaps even moreso with some very amateur groups: if they have learned the chant more by ear than reading the notes-- wouldn't they be less affected by small nuances in conducting?
On the other hand, I have found myself in a situation of singing chant in a group with advanced singers and a superb conductor, and after extensive rehearsing, I feel as though I am so familiar with the director's every move, that we are already doing what he is directing, and if he stopped conducting, we would sound the exact same.

Perhaps I am not such a good chant singer or director, that I am not aware of the extent of the affect that conducting can have?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


FABULOUS article-

Why go to Mass?

Yes, it comes down to - "Flannery O’Connor wrote of a man she knew who had converted to Catholicism because, he came to believe, Jesus must really be present in the Eucharist - otherwise, since the Catholic liturgy was regularly so dreadfully and mechanically done - no one would keep coming."

And unfortunately, most Catholics haven't been taught that, so, yeah...they're kind of struggling to find a reason to keep coming. (hint: this also isn't necessarily about pre-Vatican II or post.)