Notes from the Shore

Work, marriage, kids and music

Hymn CD Project

Whoa, not another new project! No, not really. I’ve known for some time now that my next CD project will be a collection of traditional hymns in contemporary or otherwise “unique” settings. The first concept was a version of My Jesus, I Love Thee with an accompaniment based on Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. It would start with the sonata’s actual intro and then move from minor to major for the hymn.

Other ideas I would like to pursue (none of these have been fleshed out – no hymns selected, even – just concepts) are a piano with string quartet, piano trio in jazz idiom, even solo guitar – either classical or steel-string acoustic, in the style of Phil Keaggy.

Anyway, you are probably thinking that the piano mini-concerto that I have been writing about lately would be for this project. Unfortunately, no. One of the requirements of this project is that the tracks all be “quiet” and meditative. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, while a really cool arrangement, is neither. So, why am I doing it?

I’m doing it for a few reasons. The main one is I’m using it as a tool to help learn the features and functions of Finale 2007. Also, my daughter, who has heard my progress recently, is itching to perform it in front of our church. Finally, I need to get this music out of my head so there is room in there for something else.

So why in the world am I blogging this? Because I had an idea last night that I want to share, because I think it’s pretty cool. Last night I was on a father-daughter camp-out with several families from my church. In our tent, after my daughter and her best friend had finally conked out, I was lying on my back looking up through the open top of the tent (no rain, so we didn’t put on the fly), and I’m always thinking to myself, “what would be a good hymn and treatment for the CD?”

How about this – Debussy‘s Clair de Lune in solo piano with a solo cello playing All Creatures of our God and King above. Then we segue to This Is My Father’s World using the same Debussy feel and impressionistic chords, but more fitting the new song. Then, back to a restatement of the first hymn using the ending section of the Debussy. Cool, huh?

I’m going to scan in the beginning of Clair de Lune this weekend and start playing with the melody to All Creatures.

Next post – either a status report on this, or a beginning of how I’m orchestrating Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, with a quick note about this one.

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