You may be excused for feeling that, along with all humanity, you are sinking into the depths of the unknown. Psalm 130 is timely. Last week, some readers remarked that the Lectionary choice of Psalm 23 was very relevant and appropriate for these times of unusual distress. This week's Psalm 130, the sixth Penitential Psalm, … Continue reading Psalm 130, 29 March 20
What better offering than Psalm 23 as our communities shut down in the face of the global pandemic? Even though I walk in the shadow of the valley of death, I shall fear no evil. For you are with me. So read, enjoy, sing, meditate upon this great song. Needless to say, there are hundreds … Continue reading Psalm 23, 22 March 20
No crystal ball could foresee the rapid and ubiquitous onset of COVID-19. The Lenten wilderness experience becomes closer to reality than we ever could have imagined. Following guidelines and with some specific risks in mind, at South Woden our regular singing group has been suspended. Psalms in the South singers are sending our love, prayers … Continue reading Sing on
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (v.1) Or so went this familiar line from Psalm 121 in the dusty old King James version, still beautiful but little used. This is the second of the songs of ascent (120 to 134). Originating perhaps as pilgrimage songs, the psalms of … Continue reading Psalm 121, 8 Mar 20
In the previous post, inspired by a concert performance in Canberra, we had been discussing how psalms are sung. This piece of string apparently is as endless as human creativity. But why sing? First, the poetry was almost certainly written with song in mind. It has come to us in couplets and sometimes with instructions … Continue reading Why sing?
While enjoying the Song Company's '150 Psalms' concert the other night (see earlier blog) -- which included the impressive seven-part setting of Psalm 20 by Robert White, a fragment of which is shown here -- several singers from Psalms in the South speculated on how and why these poems came to be sung. Written music … Continue reading How and why sung?
At SWUC, our reflective music during Lent will include a flute solo of 'Peace', a classic song by Horace Silver from 1959. The unusual and wonderfully evocative harmony in the background (eg. C7 BΔ Cø BbΔ) are merely suggested. Originally from the jazz world, this song can yet invite peace in hearts and communities in … Continue reading Crystal Ball: Lent and Easter, 2020
Regular readers of this blog will ask: "So what? We know there are 150." This is more than accounting. It is the title of an ambitious program called '150 Psalms', performances by top vocal ensembles of song settings of these ancient poems. The program has already been to Brussels, New York and Utrecht. From one … Continue reading 150 Psalms
As Year C closes, this post looks at the opening of Year A, Advent and through Epiphany to the start of Lent. At South Woden, since we draw on limited resources, our musical attention for the set psalm each Sunday will have to pass over many tempting settings to focus on the options suggested below: … Continue reading Crystal Ball: Advent and into 2020
We have been rejoicing in the recent birth of a baby girl called Mica in Berlin, not a direct relative but whose parents are known and dear to us and to our family. The wonder of new life in all its variations and energy and pain resonates in the early verses of Psalm 71: "You … Continue reading Psalm 71, 25 Aug 19