In this society, if we can’t label it neatly, we don’t know what to do with it… and yet when it comes to art and music the very thing that can make a work so special is its ability to move, to stir, to teach in a way that is all at once personal and startling.
Recently I’ve had the privilege to be creative with an outstanding group of artists for an upcoming CD that has been loosely called Coram Deo (translated: in the presence of God.) Jeff Johnson, Brian Dunning, Janet Chvetal and Marc Gremm are the core musicians with an excellent supporting studio cast. We’ll be doing some touring in the Fall and Winter 2011 with a scattering of individual dates this Spring.
When I’ve tried to explain what the music sounds like to friends and family, I find myself at a bit of a loss. It’s not Classical, it’s not Celtic, it’s not…it’s not… but what I can say is that I love it! As I worked on my parts, I have to admit that the occasional dimly lit cathedral with a hobbit wandering through flashed through my mind.
I tell you what? Come to one of our upcoming concerts and let me know how you would describe the music. I can’t tell you how to package it but I do believe that it will stir your soul. For my local friends, the concert at the Grotto on April 16th is going to be really special! I know that some of you might find the idea of such a formal setting daunting for a spring afternoon, but if you have never been to the St. Mary chapel, it’s like being transported into an old European cathedral (less the nasty airline food and 13 hour flight!) And it’s right here in NE Portland!
One more thing: If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I am now frequently playing with the wonderful Jeff Johnson… but you may not have had the privilege of having heard Janet & Marc….considering they live in Germany. But “Chant?” you say… “sounds boring…” Trust me… these vocalists are in a league unto themselves. Janet actually played Christine in the Viennese production of Phantom of the Opera and Marc has performed in Les Miserables! Don’t be afraid of the formality—The music is intelligent but very accessible.