Sunday, March 15, 2015

Fresh Hymnody

It so happens that at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church, where I am employed, we are currently in the midst of the ART festival - ART standing for "Arts Revealing Transformation." And it so happens that Crescent Fort Rouge United Church has asked for a new hymn to be written for the use of the church during this year's Lenten and Easter seasons which would fit in with the theme of the ART festival. Being a composer (and most definitely not a poet), I was asked to write music to a poem by congregation member Ted Dodd.

Ted provided us with a wonderful meditation on the transforming love of God, challenging In many respects - not least of which was the textual rhythm, which shifted with every verse. The content of the verses is reasonably similar in tone; the front half of the verse speaks of ills in the world, while the second half asks for change, newness and illumination. As such, I conceived of a tune which would shift from darkness to light, from minor mode and character to major. Moreover, it was necessary that the hymn be singable by a congregation with little exposure, and reasonably straightforward in the harmony. The result (published with Ted Dodd's permission) is seen below:

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