Dan Schutte: Prepare the Way workshops
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,217
    Oh good grief! There's nothing new about him. He's about as dated as they come. They only thing new he's concerned with is the new money he hopes to make from the gullible.
  • Dan F.Dan F.
    Posts: 205
    Actually, by the looks of that graphic I assume he's introducing plainsong chants written in Gregorian notation:

    image
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,409
    My last parish sponsored a concert and workshop with Dan last year. I found him to be very thoughtful, pastoral, and open. He is not in it for the money, and he does not seem to think that use of contemporary or folk music should have edged out chant.

    During a Q&A session, a guitar-mass-choir-director (who thought he had a sympathetic ear in Dan) asked him how best to say "no" to a Bishop who is requesting that chant be done at Masses in his diocese, Dan's response was something like, "Why aren't you doing chant now?"

    He certainly isn't a CMAA, chant-and-polyphony-only kinda guy. But then, neither am I, and most of you are nice to me.
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    I am intrigued by Adam's story here. It reminds me of another story someone told me about Michael Joncas apologizing publicly and profusely for "On Eagle's Wings." Whether that's true or not, I don't think we can judge people solely on their pasts.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,217
    Yes, but it's the old, (paraphrase) the good men do is interred with their bones...but the bad music they compose lives on, and on, and on. He may not be in it personally for the money, but could we say the same for Pilgrim Music, or GIA, or anyone else who has made money pushing his works. Granted, he's a cut above some of the other contemporary composers out there, but does his music qualify as sacred, reverent, and in line with the restoration of sacred music the Holy Father has asked of us? I have no doubt that many of the contemporary composers may be wonderful people - well, maybe except for David Haas, LOL. Marty Haugen may be a splendid fellow, too, but look at the damage he has done. Where do we draw the line and make distinctions as to what is, or is not, appropriate church music?
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    All good points, but the music is what it is. What we do with it is the real question.
  • BachLover2BachLover2
    Posts: 330
    i agree. whether you're a nice person really doesn't matter when you're harming the church bigtime
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    It is really hard to say that Schutte is responsible. I reviewed the SJ Jesuits coffee-table book some years ago and tried to come to terms with their success and its meaning. I don't think any of them really set out to become the sound of Catholic liturgy or displace anything that should there. I found no evidence that they were revolutionaries. Flowerday has convinced me too that they were even something of a conservatizing force as compared with the folk stuff. They were just in the right spot at the right time, and it was their seminary leadership that pushed their work into liturgy. It's been a pretty good ride ever since, and of course no one wants to think of his or her life as destructive in any sense. In any case, I do think that the hard-core case against their music needs to be informed by a sense of time and place.

    I thought the article I wrote was somewhat sympathetic, even very sympathetic. The fans of the SLJ didn't agree, and I continue to receive shocking hate mail on this article.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    "nice---from Latin nescius ignorant, from nescire not to know "---from Merriam Webster

    I know many NICE people in my parish who play for the contemporary band mostly seen on the sanctuary during Mass. (they are also extremely frinedly.) I hope he is not qualified for this type of being nice. Would he be giving his plainsong music for free online, like many composers here?
  • No, Jeffrey, I remember the article and the "times" very well.
    The SLJ were pivotal, particularly post "Neither Silver Nor Gold," in terms of their clear demand (when it came right down to it) to adhere to bass note movement as integral to their compositional ownership as figured bass continuo was to the realization of baroque accompanimental technique. The trouble was, Peter/Paul & Mary, per usual, mostly ignored that aspect of their chordal nomenclature. And this doesn't even address the right hands of the strummers.
    As far as Dan is concerned, Adam's "take" on him is pretty much spot on, and I've known Dan personally since '78. That said, this latest enterprise is his industry. If we regard the celebrities as "monsters in our midst," we ought to remember there were the Frankensteins who "created" them and that: 1. it is in both their interests that the mechanism be kept alive; and 2. the monster wasn't intrinsically created to do harm and evil.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,665
    Having been to workshops run by Mr. Schutte and all the "celebrity" composers, I found him to be somewhere in the middle... Open to tradition, but not a heavy pusher of tradition. He was, however, thoughtful and a decent speaker. He had a horrible problem, however, with not cutting anyone off. When someone raises their hand and begins making inappropriate comments, droning on, or getting entirely off-topic, it's the job of the presenter to cut that person off. Mr. Schutte, in his workshop, just let people ramble as though it was some sort of bizarre group therapy session.

    That said, I'd take him over one of the other "celebrities", (who's name starts with an H and contains two identical vowels) who made harsh demands in a very rude tone of voice to both volunteers and staff and acted as though he was the Queen of England, and should be treated thusly.
  • OK, I'm not surprised about it, nor convinced its anything worth people's time.
    If I were permitted to speak plainly, I wonder what good fruit can come from a workshop/performance run by a musically mediocre ex-Jesuit?

    If he's incorporating chant, good. Still, this is plain old industry, and we need more than that to move forward.

    Schutte might be the nicest guy in the world, but I think people deserve more orthodox teaching credentials and more sustainable music. No more pablum, thanks!
  • On the other hand, if works from people like Schutte are being treated as the 'newest fad', it will push new groups of people who find such music irrelevant to...
    Sacred music.

    Reworked show tunes and pop folk ballads mean very little to more and more people. So marketing lameness equals less competition for the real stuff. But don't tell the big publishers that!
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 989
    If Dan Schutte helps move people toward better music, that's great. The problem is that most folks who go to workshops go home and continue doing whatever they did before. My only complaint when a colleague read me her notes from a conference he did in our diocese was that he seemed to think one could "craft" a liturgy that had something for everyone - young, old, contemporary, conservative, uplifting, peaceful, outward directed, inwardly focused, etc.

    The only change in the parish where I was organist at the time was the introduction of snacks after rehearsal.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 989
    Please note - I have nothing against snacks.
  • MaryAnn and Mary Jane's commentary concerning the "tonic" (as in cocktail) approach to improving parish musical worship quality typifies the 21st century social predisposition towards accomodation and convenience. In another forum thread mention was made about how we tend to make associations between people's preference for certain worship modalities and their political persuasions. Where that finds resonance here is in MJB's colleague's notes- a "leader" who advocates the "be all things to all people" model. In this era, particularly in the last two years the gorge between "leader" and "politician" has become a canyon.
    We can bemoan such endeavors as Schutte's until we're blue in the face, but the vast majority of people who will attend them are generally ignorant of any other alternative. And they're okay with the fast-food, HALF-DAY(!) quick fix. And the rest of us? We're accustomed to having to wind our way through political minefields daily as we make our way towards real progress.
    Dan Schutte versus the St. Louis Diocese Academy approach?
    Industry versus innovation/initiative. I'm going with the tortoise.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    1. I wonder why that image was chosen. I doubt we'll be singing any Latin chant from quadratic notation. Is it being offered to suggest continuity with tradition? If so, will the workshop live up to this promise, or will it be a bait-and-switch?

    2. This workshop is being promoted by the Archdiocese. Does this not tacitly endorse Schutte's new Mass setting? Proprietary settings will already have an advantage over the Sacramentary edition in that they will be pushed by the major publishers. Will the ICEL plainsong settings be presented as an opportunity for a minimum common repertoire of Ordinary settings for Masses celebrated in English translation?
  • Maureen
    Posts: 667
    Re: something for everyone

    Well, that's what we want to do. We just think that a unified Mass of chant (and polyphony, etc.) has something for everyone (and everything sung for God, of course!). They have been taught that each piece has something for only a small segment of the congregation, and that the most important thing is to pick out each piece to appeal to someone (possibly because God is okay with whatever sloppy seconds we give Him, as long as we're sincere).

    Anyway... the point is that the times are changing, and that it's good that Mr. Schutte is part of that.
  • Erik P
    Posts: 152
    .
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    We have living saints aomong sacred musicians. How blessed we are to have them with us. They are models to all the church musicians, not because they are perfect people, but because they truly store their treasures in heaven with the talents they received from GOd (Today's reading in Mass.), and their 'success' is not measured in worldly manner but measured in God's eyes. I hope many musicians and priests don't measure the 'success' of their ministry by the number of people opening their mouths or amount of collection.

    I pray that people who have resouces can give more support to those generous musicians, like Richard Rice, Jeff O, Fr. Kelly.... and all other CMAA musicians. We know so well singing chants don't necessarily make them 'rich and famous.'
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,409
    The thing about music from this time period is that you have to approach it correctly. Performed in the right style, it really can have a noble place along side chant and polyphony. For example, try this recording of the beloved hymn, "Blest Be the Lord." And then ask yourself, "Can I really continue to deny the dignity and appropriateness of this heartfelt, sacred music?"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Esyq2BgRQQ&feature=related
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    The problem is those 'beloved' hymns are over used in many local churches where there are hardly any chants and polyphony are heard. What are the norms and priority that the Church set for Her Liturgy? Is it still our taste of dignity or our own idea of appropriatness?
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    acted as though he was the Queen of England

    *** sigh ***
  • For example, try this recording of the beloved hymn, "Blest Be the Lord." And then ask yourself, "Can I really continue to deny the dignity and appropriateness of this heartfelt, sacred music?"

    Adam, with absolute understanding, appreciation and respect, what you're defending in the above is the performance, and not the intrinsic merit of the music. I trust that the video demonstrates a heartfelt, dignified and even appropriate rendition by the artist. But Duf's song, IMO, is part of the late 20c repertoire that served as transit vehicles to much more competent, sophisticated and artistically superior contemporary works represented by folks like Janet Sullivan Whitaker. And I hope we all can agree that performance is integral to the fullfillness of any piece's ultimate merit. Music really cannot praise God when it remains notes and texts on a page, can it?
  • don roy
    Posts: 306
    adam
    although i haven yet listened to your link i think blest be the lord isnt a great example of what your trying to get across. i think better examples would be some of the psalms for the church year or perhaps table song, clouds veil nativity carol etc, all of which ,though not my cup o tea, can (and is at my parish) be bautifully sung and prayed by a decent choir. those pieces prove your point a bit better in my opinion.
    i have found that although good for choirs m uch of this music really doesnt work as hymnody which was its original intention hense my only real critisism of this type of music.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,409
    GUYS! IT WAS A JOKE!
    Listen to the recording- it's Casio Chords and Midi Drums.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,217
    Made me want to get out my polyester clothes, disco ball, and "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack. ;-)
  • Oh. My bad.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,217
    Well, Charles, that's the bad thing about being our ages. We saw and heard this stuff the first time around when it was "relevant." BTW, I agree with you on the performance vs. the instrinsic merit.
  • don roy
    Posts: 306
    adam
    o you kid!!!!
    thats what i get for responding without listening. however im sorta dissapointed that there wasnt a credable rendition of blest be da Lord.
    on the other hand not all that comes from ocp-gia land is pure crap. there are some decent things that perhaps shouldnt be thrown out with the bathwater. as hymnody yea its all pretty much useless but for a choir in transition(as mine is) they are some good crossover pieces that deserve at least a second glance.
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,193
    Tisk, tisk.

    I seem to recall in the murky past a real "pile on" when some folk tried to raise red flags about Paul Inwood. The clear message was, "You're being uncharitable. When you make disparaging, demeaning remarks about a composer who we otherwise don't like and with whose philosophies we ardently disagree, we bring down the intellectual and societal integrity of this board and do nothing to advance our cause."

    So, where are the shrill voices hurling derision at the folk on this thread who are making negative remarks about Mr. Schutte?

    I'm just asking.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,217
    David Andrew, those voices are probably occupied with making trouble somewhere else at the moment. ;-) Perhaps it's a gift, and they have to share it elsewhere. LOL.
  • Sooo ... *awkward silence* ... what does that image of plainsong chant have to do with the "Dan Schutte: Prepare the Way" workshop???

    I kinda feel like it's false advertising.

    =\
  • The chant image is like chant itself. It's used in the media as a topos of "Catholicism" but not frequently heard or seen in actual Catholic Masses. So, the image stands in for the "idea of Catholic music".
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,409
    Well- if you notice in the picture, it appears that the chant image has been sort of... scribbled out... ?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,686
    The publisher was probably afraid of being sued if they reproduced someone else's melody in the ad. :-)
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    David Andrew & CharlesW:

    I think you chaps are being absolute rotters about Dan Schutte, I really do.

    err ... will that do?

    ;-)
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    BTW - I've usually found there's a relationship between the degree of cheesiness of the smile in the publicity photo and the distance I'd like to put between myself and the product. It's not infallible, but it's a useful heuristic.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,217
    I suspect Schutte may be a good fellow. However, I don't think he has done the cause of Catholic music much good. As I have already said, he is a cut above many of the other contemporary composers out there. I suspect many of those "contemporary" composers have a flawed, or at least, dated understanding of liturgy. Just as we have all rejected leisure suits, bell bottoms, and platform shoes, it's time to move beyond the music of that period, too.
  • Erik P
    Posts: 152
    .
  • @ Adam Wood

    I think the scribbles are meant to make the paper look aged, or to have a contemporary styling to the image. Or maybe it's a subliminal message, that they're tying to scribble out Gregorian chant!

    The words, though, aren't spaced syllabically with the neumes ... and there are random faded neumes that don't correspond to anything (they aren't even on staff lines). Also, how does one sing an ampersand? I've never seen that within chant text.

    I guess I'm just having trouble with the idea of chant just being "the idea of Catholic music".
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    I would sing the & as "et" but I see your point!
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    Yes, look in even the oldest manuscripts and you will find the ampersand used not only for the Latin word for "and, but also in phrases like "qui man& in me."
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,021
    Well, certain fonts, like the default here, clearly show that the ampersand is actually the word "et". Other fonts depict more stylized or calligraphic versions. I ofter use "&c." rather than "etc."
  • withdrawn
  • At my parish the pastor forbids us to do anything by Schutte due to his belief that Schutte is an ex-priest living in an openly homosexual lifestyle. I've tried to find documentation on this but nothing has turned up yet. I haven't really missed not using his music since upgrading over the years, but other groups in my parish would probably do his music if they could. As their link between the priest, does anyone have any information on these assertions?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,217
    I have read some of the same things about Schutte. However, what was it about the St. Louis Jesuits that caused so many of them to leave not only the priesthood, but for any practical purposes, the Church? When I look at the SLJs, I don't see much of an example worth imitating.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,073
    At my parish the pastor forbids us to do anything by Schutte due to his belief that Schutte is an ex-priest living in an openly homosexual lifestyle.

    Umnnnnhhhh...

    A most unusual rule. If we make decisions on 'acceptable' music based on the personal life of the composer, Chopin, Liszt, Tschaikovsky, and Mozart (off the top of my head) would not be heard in churches. No big loss on the first three, but Wolfie, an ex-Catholic who went Mason?

    His stuff might be missed.

    I'm not interested in Schutte's opus; wouldn't use it for Mass, period. But that's because Schutte's music is, properly, useful for "devotionals" rather than Mass; just as is "Mother Dear, O Pray for Me".
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,127
    I would urge those who want to know why the SLJs and other iconic personages of this time period left their priesthood and in some cases the church altogether to read Ken Canedo's book. This book succinctly explains the issues around authority and relationships to the church that ultimately drove these people out of their ecclesial relationships. As Mr. Canedo himself explains, the people were not just about church, but in many cases about wholly other musical and political possibilities. I urge you to read this to understand more these types of folks and their approaches

    "Keep the Fire Burning" Ken Canedo. A very revealing book on this question.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,542
    Dad

    no great loss on number four either.