Monday, January 19, 2015

More from the past

Since yesterday was Sunday and I was busy all day, I didn't exactly have time to put up a new post. So this Monday morning I grabbed an old set of hymn tunes I wrote while I was working at St. Paul's Anglican Church, Fort Garry, in 2007, on texts by Charles Wesley. They were written in honour of Wesley's three hundredth anniversary, a celebration of which I played the organ for at St. John's College.

I have no idea if the tune names are otherwise in use, I just grabbed the convenient names of the four roads that border St. Paul's lot as well as the name of the neighbourhood (Fort Garry) just to give them something to be called. The last of the five is a much earlier piece (from three years prior, making it... oh goodness, over ten years old now) but worked with the text, and so I put it in with the other four.

They're all in one PDF file here.
Without further ado...

Six three-bar phrases, pretty straightforward harmony, and probably the most complex melody of the set. And yes, I know about the somewhat glitchy harmonic motion. Riverside feels the most rushed of the lot, at least in terms of the harmony. There are lots of little touch-ups I could (and should, and perhaps will) make; I certainly wouldn't harmonize it quite this way if I tackled this melody today.

Two shorter pieces on one page. Waterford has the widest-ranging melody (a major tenth) and some strangely static harmonies. It was an experimental time. So too it was with Fort Garry, which feels far less stable due to the movement of the harmony.

Probably the most, er, structurally sound of the bunch. Still, it was a time of 6/4 chords and plagal cadences for me. North Drive was actually sung at the aforementioned Wesleyan celebration, and people did seem to enjoy it.
The oldest and most dynamic of the set. Also holds a special place in my heart because of its age; it's one of the few works from that long ago that I figure is worth bringing up. From a time when I was playing around a lot with pedal points.

So there it is. Five hymns of Charles Wesley, music by me. From 2007 and beyond.

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Five Wesley Hymns by Mike Cutler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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