Monday, November 13, 2006


And a note on "Podsafe" Music

The other day, I was going through links and what not and stumbled onto this article on podcasting by Stuart Robinson, from the website of none other than the Royal School of Church Music. Now, to get an unsolicited review from a distinguished academy such as the RSCM, positive or negative, is a compliment in my eyes. But this is what Mr. Robinson wrote on July 13, 2006 (mind you: link shown is to the old feed, which was active at the time of print):

Perhaps the most off-the-wall is 'Christus Vincit Podcasting' ( described as 'Liturgy, Music and Fun' by Brian Michael Page, and fun it certainly is in places. The subject matter is wide ranging from music for funeral masses, and the exploration of the hymn catalogue of St Thomas Aquinas, to the plainsong used at Page's church on Rhode Island, and a home-made recording of the hymn 'Let all mortal flesh keep silence' sung to Picardy. It is also described as 'the diary and musings of some snarky madman music ministers' (sic). Brace yourself: Mr Page is not short of opinions, but neither does he seem to take himself too seriously!

The whole idea is to "keep it fun", you see. Oh, as for the recording of Let All Mortal Flesh - that wasn't my homemade recording, but that of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Fugli, who is one of my regular artists I draw from at the Podsafe Music Network, a network where "podsafe", or "royalty-free" music, is used in podcasts - legally. I will admit to being a bit unique in choosing "podsafe" music. I do make it a point to program one "podsafe" song in about 80-90% of our shows. But, here's where the "unique" comes in: while many Catholic podcasters will choose a "podsafe" song of the acoustic genre (or what many call "contemporary Christian"), which is perfectly fine (remember, this is podcasting we're talking here, not Holy Mass), I tend to branch from that. For example, Fugli plays stringed instruments of the medeival period and often performs as a minstrel for medeival-themed faires. I've programmed some classical as well, including all four movements of a Telemann sonata as played by teen trombonist Josh Jacobson. Another recent favorite I've found is Johnny Proctor, whose style resembles that of Jan and Dean and the early Beach Boys.

This may or may not help Mr. Robinson in terms of the copyright issue. Another thing too is that there aren't too many people crazy enough to tackle a platform like this (Liturgy, Music, AND Fun). Many Catholic podcasters podcast on --- well, Catholicism. You don't find much on liturgy, let alone liturgical music. Nor do we get the audience that many of the more theologically-themed podcasters get (I work for one of them, remember), but that's ok. Being able to podcast "Liturgy, Music, and Fun" is FUN. And blogging on it is triple the fun, as I'm joined here by Nick and Jason (the latter is enjoying some dirty martinis and more as I write this).

Keep up the great work at RCSM in your work in sacred music.


No comments: