artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
So on Twitter @RevJarelRB said someone shoudl perform a Requiem for all those refugee souls lost at sea and I am thinking that writing one might be an idea.

I would want to raise money for e.g. MSF or some similar organisation -- or even better, one run by refugees? I'm not sure. I sortof know someone who works at MSF and might be willing to talk to me though so it's as good a place to start as any.

I don't want to be appropriative and I don't want this to be about my voice, necessarily. I would hope to interview some actual refugees, and with their permission, use their words/experiences -- about the persecution they are fleeing and also about the journey itself.

I'm thinking of the standard text of the Requiem Mass, in Latin, interspersed with words of refugees in English and other languages.

Thoughts?
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
I had this idea before but didn't write down my ideas.

Basic plan:
-find other musicians-who-cycle: maybe four to six.
-cycle 30 to 50 miles per day, visiting churches
-put on concerts at the churches. The churches keep the proceeds. In return they give us dinner, somewhere to sleep, breakfast
-individual cyclists can do charity sponsorship thang
-we could do lunchtime stuff too
-not everyone has to be there entire time
-not everyone has to perform every night
-whole thing lasts about 2 weeks, leaving London on a Sunday afternoon and returning Saturday 13 nights later

It would be a bit of work to organise but it ought to be possible.

Musicians would need to play small, light instruments, or sing. We'd need to do some rehearsing and planning beforehand.

This is a very rough draft post but please do comment with suggestions, ideas, and so on.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
20/12/11:
Wrong season for it now, of course -- but I'd like to do something with the Stations of the Cross.

I'm not sure whether I'd like to present one finished performance per day as I am with the Twelve Days project, or whether I'd like to follow a more traditional structure, taking a few minutes for each station, but following one with the other quite quickly as part of one "event". If I do that, do I want to present the parts separately, or just as one integrated work?

How do I want to handle the visual side of things?

Do I want to ask some like-minded artist to participate? I don't have the money to commission works, and I want to release my work under CC BY-SA as always, which some artists will balk at.

The Stations we have at St Andrew's are, artistically, nothing special; I believe they're also still in copyright. So just taking my own photographs of those won't be terribly helpful. In any case I'm no photographer.

In my head, everything is illuminated ikons or stained glass windows. These are the visual formats that bring Scripture alive for me; everything else takes more work. I'm not sure there are enough legally available stained glass images with the right material for Stations.

Also -- how many Stations? 12? 14? Scriptural or Medieval? I suppose a fairly arbitrary starting point would be to go and check at St Andrew's and use the ones we have there, even if I use different images.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
EDIT 01/01:
So the list now looks something like this:

  1. DONE and online: Resonet in laudibus, voice and serpent

  2. DONE and online: Green grow'th the holly (needs a bit of editing to tidy up the spaces between verses), just voice

  3. DONE and online: Swete was the song the Virgine soong: voice for SAT, horn for B

  4. DONE and online: Sons of men, behold from far: voice, with horn on the bassline

  5. DONE and online: Verbum patris umanatur: voice, and horn.

  6. DONE and online: Away in a manger: voice and harmonium. Rather pleased with this but think church would have better acoustics so might try to do it over.

  7. DONE and online: I syng a mayden: voice, but choral rather than just one take of each line this time.

  8. DONE and online:Ther is no rose of swych vertu: voice

  9. DONE: A solus ortis cardine: voice and harp. Leaving the background noise in.

  10. DONE: A Virgin most pure: solo voice. Not my best singing.

  11. DONE: Puer natus in Bethlehem

  12. DONE: The Blessings of Mary. I could probably sing this better but the tune is really lovely so I want to include it anyway.

  13. DONE: "Star in the East", aka Hail the Bright Morn, to William Walker's arrangement.

  14. Online but I might do-over if I have time: Infant holy, Infant lowly (which will also appear in Online Carols), just voice. It's a little slow and if I have time I might try to redo it.

  15. Es ist ein ros entsprungen: organ

  16. Verbum caro factum est: voice and horn/serpent

  17. Wie schön leuchtet die Morgenstern: multi-tracked horn

  18. Blessed be that maid Marie: what I want to do is recorders and drums. But I'm a poor recorder player (and only have plastic ones), and I don't have any drums.So, I'm still thinking.



EDIT 27/12:
I've recorded "Sons of men, behold from far" to a standard I'm moderately happy with; lots of the others are still quite rough, really. Multi-tracking turns out to be hard work, which I did know. Sigh. I'm hoping to get one or two other things finished today too; I am having a pseudo-holiday next week, lots of downtime, and so I want to finish all the recording this week so that all I need to do next week is upload stuff and blog it.
(Later:) I did manage to get a bit more done.



EDIT 20/12:
Thought I should keep a list of stuff I've managed to record so far. Would be silly to end up with more songs than days (baker's dozen maybe?...). These are in order recorded, not order I'm planning to release them.


  1. Infant holy, Infant lowly (which will also appear in Online Carols), just voice. It's a little slow and if I have time I might try to redo it.

  2. Resonet in laudibus, voice and serpent

  3. Green grow'th the holly (needs a bit of editing to tidy up the spaces between verses), just voice

  4. er... that's it.



Well, three isn't bad going.

I realised I wanted to do "Green groweth the holly" and so added it.

The plainchant stuff won't be too hard to record; I can do that at church when it's quiet. Multi-tracked stuff needs to be done at home, which means working around the noisy radiators, neighbours, housemates wanting to do reasonable things like move around the house, and so on. So I'm trying to get those things done first.

Thinking about visual stuff for this, too. Even if it doesn't end up on Bandcamp, people like looking at pictures. But finding twelve appropriate pictures at this kind of notice might be a challenge, so perhaps I'll just look for the one...

Getting some help on Middle English pronunciation for "I syng a mayden". I might do various other Middle English bits and pieces, and I don't guarantee the pronunciation will be right in those, but I'd like to get at least one of them right. But I might not be able to do [personal profile] turkeyplucker's setting anyway, the range is pushing it a bit for me. I'll try.

PLN for the rest of it:

  1. A solus ortis cardine: plain voice, though it's tempting to add a bell or something. The lack of a suitable bell interferes with this rather.

  2. Es ist ein ros entsprungen: organ

  3. Away in a manger: voice and harmonium

  4. Sons of men, behold from far: voice, with horn on the bassline

  5. A Virgin most pure: voice and harmonium? Or possibly just solo voice. Or maybe instruments for the chorus and various lighter orchestrations for the verses.

  6. Wie schön leuchtet die Morgenstern: multi-tracked horn

  7. Verbum patris umanatur: voice, possibly also some horn or serpent

  8. Swete was the song the Virgine soong: voice for SA, horn and serpent for TB

  9. Ther is no rose of swych vertu: voice and horn

  10. Verbum caro factum est: voice and horn/serpent

  11. I syng a mayden: voice, if I can pull it off.

  12. Blessed be that maid Marie: what I want to do is recorders and drums. But I'm a poor recorder player (and only have plastic ones), and I don't have any drums.So, I'm still thinking.



I know that with the three I've already recorded this makes more than twelve. That gives me a bit of slack if some of them don't come out well. I think [personal profile] hairyears was much less taken with Resonet in laudibus than with the other two, for example.

(Now editing from the top for ease. Yes, I know it's confusing. This IS a scratchpad.)

---------------
---------------
I'm thinking about doing something for Christmas.

Twelve recordings -- one per day, starting Christmas day -- twelve different carols. I think I would have to do some of the recording beforehand, but I could release them one-per-day.

If it goes well and I'm happy with the quality I could make them into a Bandcamp album.

Possible repertoire, in no particular order:


  • Sons of men, behold from far

  • The Normandy tune to "Away in a Manger" (second tune in Carols for Choirs 1, though I would need to make a different arrangement for copyright purposes I think).

  • "A Virgin Most Pure" (No. 4 in Oxford Book of Carols)

  • A solis ortus cardine to a nice plainchant tune. I think this is in the New Oxford Book of Carols; I can't find my copy.

  • A few other things from the New Oxford Book of Carols; I especially like the Basque carols, and the medieval-ish stuff that mixes English and Latin

  • Brahms' organ setting of "Es ist ein ros entsprungen"

  • A fairly "traditional" carol played on the French horn (in four parts).

  • The same carol in a solo horn jazz setting? Not sure if I can pull this off.

  • Something on the harp. This will have to be Very Easy Indeed, because I don't play harp enough to be good at it. But it would be fun to try, at least.

  • Other stuff. I'll think of something.



Thoughts? Other than "you'll be busy enough as it is, are you mad?" which is the obvious one?

Edit 23/11:

I'd love to do "No crowded Eastern street" from The Hymnal 1980 (Canadian; used by Anglicans and United Church of Canada for about 15 years). I think it's still in copyright, though, and there's no way I'll be able to contact the rights holders in time now. Le sigh.

Edit 03/12:

I've volunteered to do "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly" for an online Lessons and Carols service, so I may as well include that.

I have a portable harmonium now and would definitely like to include something using that.

Still upset about the copyright problems with "No crowded Eastern street". I don't want to find out it's not an orphan work by recording it and getting into trouble. But permission may be obtainable... I've e-mailed the copyright-holding church, and will write to Margaret Fleming if possible.

Edit 12/12:
'I tell of a maiden that is makeles' -- not sure I know this but I have the title favourited on Twitter.

Haven't heard from copyright-holding church for "No crowded Eastern street", so I'm not going to be able to do it. Bother. Roll on 2046, when I'll be allowed to use it.

Edit 19/12:

Dug out my Shorter New Oxford Book of Carols. In addition to stuff listed above, there are the following:


  • Verbum caro factum est: In hoc anni circulo (I)

  • Verbum patris umanatur (II)

  • Ther is no rose of swych vertu

  • Nowel: Owt of your slepe aryse

  • Swete was the song the Virgine soong

  • Resonet in laudibus (II)

  • Blessed be that maid Marie

  • Tomorrow shall be my dancing day



Having second thoughts about the Brahms. Too well-known maybe? But the point of this isn't to be different, it's to play and sing music I love and see how people respond.

Also I don't want to miss out Wie Schön Morgenstern. Maybe that would be a good one to do with four tracks of horn playing.

I syng of a mayden isn't going to be straightforward. Another year perhaps!

I definitely have enough for twelve days now. Next challenges: learn some of it (!), sort out which things go on which days, and get recording.

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