Psalms, Part I

27 Mar

One of my favorite parts of having my afternoon church gig is getting to write music for it. Every week we write a part of the mass called the Psalm, which is an antiphonal phrase that is sung by the congregation, while verses are read or sung in between.

Basically, you’re gonna write about 4 bars of music to set the psalm to. The challenge (which I love) is making it all these things at the same time:

-Appropriate for Church
-Fit the words perfectly
-Easy to cue so that the singer can hop in at the right spot

Those are your base ingredients. These are your Flour, Fat, and Leavening agents if you will. Then you have the fun aspect of it, which is varying these ingredients to taste, and adding a stylistic element. For me this depends on whatever I’m in the mood for. Maybe I want the Psalm to sound like Radiohead, or maybe an RnB ballad, or maybe I want the Psalm to have a Christmasey Cadence to it. Or maybe I want it to sound just like a Lady Gaga song, without it actually being that song.

Anyway, I had the piano miced up a couple months ago for a recording project, and I decided to let loose with some quick and dirty recordings of some of our Psalms from the past. I almost always write the Psalm out, because after a couple years you end up with a nice little collection, kind of like a musical diary.

Here are a couple:


One Response to “Psalms, Part I”

  1. bernadette April 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm #

    i like the first one.

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