Tuesday, May 22, 2007

BURIED TREASURES THAT ARE BETTER OFF BURIED

Red Sox cap tip to our friend Lyn F. at the RPInet boards. Well, well, well... look what surfaced on Ebay...

Starting bid as I type this post is $15.55, plus $4.55 in shipping. Here's what the seller wrote for a "liner note":

WHAT WE HAVE FOR SALE IS THE 1974 WELL-PRESERVED USED SONG BOOK NEITHER SILVER NOR GOLD OF INCREDIBLE LITURGICAL MUSIC FROM THE ST. LOUIS JESUITS. (SECOND PRINTING, NOVEMBER, 1976) THESE 122 PAGES OF BELOVED SONGS INCLUDE PSALMS, HYMNS AND CANTICLES PERFORMED IN A FOLK MUSIC STYLE. BEFORE FINISHING THEIR STUDIES AND DISPERSING FROM ST. LOUIS, THE SEMINARIANS DECIDED TO CATALOGUE AND MAKE A RECORDING OF THEIR MUSIC SO IT WOULD BE AVAILABLE TO OTHERS. SOME OF THE MUSIC IN NEITHER SILVER NOR GOLD WAS PERFORMED IN THE BASEMENT OF FUSZ MEMORIAL CHAPEL, THE REST AT A LOCAL STUDIO. THIS FIRST COLLECTION OF 58 SONGS, SOME DATING BACK AS EARLY AS 1964, WAS CALLED, "NEITHER SILVER NOR GOLD ".

THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS KNOWN AS THE ST. LOUIS JESUITS WERE DAN SCHUTTE, BOB DUFFORD, ROC O'CONNOR, JOHN FOLEY AND TIM MANION. ALL OF THEM WERE JESUITS. TIM MANION LATER LEFT THE JESUITS BUT CONTINUED TO COLLABORATE UNTIL 1984. BETWEEN 1975 AND 1985 THEY RECORDED FIVE COLLECTIONS OF MUSIC THAT WERE PUBLISHED BY NORTH AMERICAN LITURGY RESOURCES. DURING THIS TIME, THEY WERE PLAYING, LECTURING, AND PRESENTING THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF LITURGICAL MUSIC AT CONFERENCES THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA.

THE SONGS BECAME STANDARD REPERTOIRE IN CATHOLIC HYMNALS SUCH AS GLORY AND PRAISE. BY THE 1980S, THE MUSIC OF THE ST. LOUIS JESUITS, ALONG WITH SIMILAR ARTISTS SUCH AS MARTY HAUGEN, WAS COMMONLY USED THROUGHOUT AMERICAN CATHOLIC CHURCHES. TODAY SOME OF THEIR MORE POPULAR HYMNS IN NEITHER SILVER NOR GOLD HAVE FOUND THEIR WAY INTO PROTESTANT HYMNALS AND INTO OTHER LANGUAGES.

IN 1980, ALL FIVE MEMBERS, ALONG WITH TIM MANION'S WIFE, MOVED TO SEATTLE, WHERE THEY CONTINUED TO STUDY AND COMPOSE NEW MUSIC. TIM MANION LEFT THE GROUP IN 1984, AND GAVE UP COMPOSING MUSIC ALTOGETHER. THE GROUP DISBANDED AFTER THEIR FIFTH ALBUM, THE STEADFAST LOVE, WAS RECORDED IN 1985. DAN SCHUTTE LEFT THE JESUIT ORDER IN 1986, BUT CONTINUES TO WORK AS A LITURGIST AND IS A PROLIFIC COMPOSER.

PLEASE NOTE: IN THE YEAR 2000, SCHUTTE, DUFFORD, O'CONNOR, AND FOLEY WERE ASKED TO MAKE A SURPRISE APPEARANCE AT THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PASTORAL MUSICIANS. THIS SPURRED THEM TO WRITE AND RECORD A COLLECTION OF NEW MUSIC TO CELEBRATE THE THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THEIR COLLABORATION. THIS RECORDING ENTITLED "MORNING LIGHT" WAS RELEASED IN 2005 ALONG WITH AN ANNIVERSARY COFFEE TABLE BOOK TITLED, "THE ST. LOUIS JESUITS: THIRTY YEARS" OREGON CATHOLIC PRESS (2006). LAST YEAR THEY MADE A FEW RARE PERFORMANCES IN THE UNITED STATES IN CONJUNCTION WITH RELEASING THEIR ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION. MANION SANG ON THE COLLECTION AND PERFORMED AT A FEW OF THE SPECIAL EVENTS. CURRENTLY, THEY HAVE NO PLANS TO RECORD TOGETHER AGAIN BUT SCHUTTE AND FOLEY CONTINUE TO RELEASE MUSIC INDIVIDUALLY THROUGH THEIR PUBLISHER..

SOME OF THE SONGS FARED BETTER IN TRANSCRIPTION THAN OTHERS. ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR OF THE ST. LOUIS JESUIT SONGS, "BE NOT AFRAID," FARED PARTICULARLY POORLY IN ITS RHYTHMIC TRANSCRIPTION. THE MELODY OF THIS PIECE FEATURES DOUBLE-DOTTED QUARTER NOTES AND SIXTEENTH NOTES, REQUIRING EXTRAORDINARY MUSICIANSHIP ON THE PART OF THE SINGER. BECAUSE OF THE DIFFICULTY OF THE RHYTHM, THIS SONG IS SELDOM PERFORMED AS WRITTEN.

IN ORDER TO MAKE THE PIECES PLAYABLE ON ORGAN AND OTHER KEYBOARD INSTRUMENTS, KEYBOARD ACCOMPANIMENTS WERE WRITTEN, SOME BY THE JESUITS, SOME BY PROFESSIONALLY-TRAINED MUSICIANS. (SR. THEOPHANE HYTREK, OSF, FOR EXAMPLE, WROTE THE ACCOMPANIMENT FOR THE POPULAR "BE NOT AFRAID.") THESE ACCOMPANIMENT PARTS VARY CONSIDERABLY IN QUALITY AND RARELY ARE COMPOSED IDIOMATICALLY FOR THE ORGAN. ALMOST ALL OF THE ACCOMPANIMENT PARTS ARE WRITTEN ON TWO STAVES; THE BOTTOM LINE IS OFTEN MARKED PED., INDICATING OPTIONAL PEDAL FOR TRAINED ORGANISTS.


If I remember correctly, back in the '80's, I don't think the "basic music book" (that's what they called their books back then) and double-record album put together went for $15.55.

Some buried treasures are better off buried.
Peace,
BMP

1 comment:

Carolina Cannonball said...

you should have bought and used it as $15 toilet paper...ridding the world of this shite forever.

I shudder to think what poor parish is going to be subjected to this after it lands in the hands of some "enlighted" music director. lol