Monday, November 14, 2005

Need a Really Good Dose of Insipid and Banal?

Just in case you have not had your weekly requirement of Mr. Rogers in a declasse mode:

The 1970s liturgical music phenomenon the St Louis Jesuits plan to release their first album in more than 20 years later this year.

The US Jesuits' Company magazine reports that the new hymns will reflect the mature perspectives of the authors, in addition to their trademark lyrics based on Scripture and music that people can sing to connect with their faith. Composers and musicians Bob Dufford, SJ, Roc O'Connor, SJ, Dan Schutte, and John Foley, SJ, are often regarded as the "fathers" of contemporary liturgical music. [I dunno. Perhaps "sisters."]

...The St. Louis Jesuits have been discussing the idea of a new album since 2000, when they sang "City of God" together at the National Association of Pastoral Musicians conference in Washington, D.C., said O'Connor, a theology professor and liturgist at Creighton University. It was the first time they had sung together in sixteen years, and something magical happened. "People went wild, and that was very gratifying," he said. [Wild, eh? You said a mouthful, Fr. O'Connor. Let us count those who no longer show up at Reconciliation (or Mass, for that matter) to get a better picture of the results of your efforts...]

...In their heyday, the St. Louis Jesuits were a sort of religious equivalent of the Beatles, although they never toured or performed concerts. [Well stated. Rock'n'Roll is the last of the infamous 1960's trio of evils...]Instead, they conducted liturgical music workshops and spoke at conferences. This surprised some people. [Like anyone who had, say, 3 years' training in MUSIC.]

"There was a rather long period when anything the St. Louis Jesuits released was widely used almost immediately," Foley said. "One reason was that we were one of the few sources of this kind of liturgical music. [The good news: there were not too many. The bad news: there were any at all...]

HT: The Curt Jester

1 comment:

Byrd (the Catholic composer, not the Polar explorer) said...

And while we're at it, my money's on the fact that NOBODY who thinks these guys are great has ever even heard of (let me just rattle off a few:) Rupert Jeffcoat, James MacMillan, David Sanger, Judith Weir, Roxanna Panufnik, Judith Bingham, Arvo Part, or John Tavener, all of whom are alive today, all of whom are well-known, and all of whose music is of exceptional quality. The fact that most American Catholic "musicians" are unaware of these real musicians and their exceptional liturgical music speaks volumes about the present state of art and beauty as regards music as it is heard in most American Catholic churches. But, then again, I probably ask too much; pastors seem content with hiring those whose "enthusiasms" trump their nonexistent musical education.