Friday, February 1, 2008

sacred harp suite

I recently guest-hosted Texas Public Radio's Classical Spotlight. I've been a guest on it twice before as a composer, in connection with film scores I've written.

Anyway, I was playing some pieces that I've composed based on material from the Sacred Harp -- that hymnal, first published in 1844, that has been seminal in American life, and is enjoying a huge resurgence of popularity and interest these days.

I've always been interested in folk culture and how in every era, the music of the commonfolk refreshes the high culture and keeps it from stuffiness; in every era, the high culture ennobles the low by honoring its genius, bringing out unseen fineness the way that oil and stain and sandpaper and polish can bring out the deeply grained beauty of good wood.

Take a listen.