Compositional Challenge - "Our Common Home" - Bob Hurd
  • Here is a video introducing Bob Hurd's project "Our Common Home" I saw by chance in my YouTube feed -
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGaDZiWOkrw

    Now (let's be frank) I don't like the result, however, the theory is really interesting. Taking themes from encyclicals,pastoral letters etc. as material for new music.

    Here are some examples from Bob Hurd's project:
    https://www.ocp.org/en-us/collections/pg/G30

    How could more traditionally minded composers improve on this?
  • Use different text, such as...THE MASS!
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,111
    More music for dying hippies...ugh.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,370
    Use different text, such as...THE MASS!
    Both the Ordinary and the Propers.
  • Use different text; such as... THE MASS!

    Both the Ordinary and the Propers.


    THE MASS says it all.
  • OCP composers speak to themes of care for creation, poverty and solidarity.


    Would we have a Palestrina, a Bach...insert the name of your own favorite composer, they what would they have done if invited to compose on these themes?

    I mean, Bach did have an appreciation for coffee, and even set the Mass to music.

    Haydn had the Creation, was this the first successful non-liturgical choral work?
    Thanked by 1JonathanLC
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    Isn't it a pity that such an influential, successful composer does not know the meaning of "liturgical songs"? He intends to write music on newly invented texts, and call them liturgical by simply saying so.

    Look, I like a good arrangement of "Let all the world in every corner sing" as much as the next man, and it would be germane to his purposes; but it's not a liturgical text, and those works are non-liturgical works, even if you sing them at a Mass.

    Alas, although he intends the project to include some "gathering songs", I expect that for me, they would all be running-away songs.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Move on, nothing to see here. The OP posited (naivete showing) that this "concept" might find adherents here, so this isn't on Bob Hurd. Plus, if it didn't occur to anyone else, this is a corporate marketing ploy from our erstwhile friends at OCP to which many of their stable have contributed.
    I wouldn't count upon Hurd "not know(ing)" liturgical proprieties; he's been around the block. All this isn't a CMAA métier; let it go.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,349
    From the OCP ad:
    This collection is the brainchild of Bob Hurd who turned up rather empty-handed in his search for music that dealt with our responsibility to be good stewards of creation.

    I know nothing about the collection, so I can't comment on its content. But I would hazard a guess that the collection does not contain much, or anything, of what is considered "traditional metrical hymnody."

    The OP asked:
    How could more traditionally minded composers improve on this?

    I think a better question is how authors of metrical hymns could improve (and have improved) on what may be in the OCP collection. (I concentrate my focus on hymn writers, not composers, because those writing metrical hymns are almost never "troubadours" - writing both text and music - as are many in the secular and religious pop genres.) Actually there is much interest in the theme of stewardship of creation by metrical hymn writers, past and present. A quickly assembled listing:

    Come, Let Us Love the Unborn Generations (Brian Wren)
    Creating God, Your Fingers Trace (Jeffery W. Rowthorn)
    For Every Child (Adam Tice)
    For the Beauty of the Earth (Folliott Sandford Pierpoint)
    For the Fruit of All Creation (Fred Pratt Green)
    God in His Love for Us Lent Us This Planet (Fred Pratt Green)
    God, Who Stretched the Spangled Heavens (Catherine Cameron)
    God, Whose Giving Know No Ending (Robert L. Edwards)
    Heaven and Earth, and Sea and Air (Joachim Neander)
    I Sing the Mighty Power of God (Isaac Watts)
    Lord, Whose Then Shall They Be (Herman Stuempfle)
    Many and Great, O God, Are Your Works (Dakota hymn)
    Now Join We to Praise the Creator (Fred Kaan)
    O Lord of Every Shining Constellation (Albert F. Bayly)
    Praise and Thanksgiving (Albert F. Bayly)
    Thank You God, for Water, Soil, and Air (Brian Wren)
    The Earth Belongs to God Alone (Adam Tice)
    The Works of the Lord Are Created in Wisdom (Christopher Idle)
    Touch the Earth Lightly (Shirley Erena Murray)
    We Are Not Our Own (Brian Wren)
    We Cannot Own the Sunlit Sky (Ruth Duck)
    We Plow the Fields and Scatter (Matthias Claudius)
    What Does the Lord Require (Albert F. Bayly)
  • Only four of those are memorable, in my opinion.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Still barking up the wrong tree. Sorry, that's how I see this tempest in teapot. (See what I did there?)
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,142
    I agree with Noel: 4 of those are solid. Perhaps a few other marginally acceptable possibilities.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    To help readers see the texts, I've added links to some titles; and added hymnal references to some whose texts I didn't find on-line:

    Come, Let Us Love the Unborn Generations (Brian Wren) Worship 3rd ed. #639
    Creating God, Your Fingers Trace (Jeffery W. Rowthorn)
    For Every Child (Adam Tice)
    For the Beauty of the Earth (Folliott Sandford Pierpoint)
    For the Fruit of All Creation (Fred Pratt Green)
    God in His Love for Us Lent Us This Planet (Fred Pratt Green)
    God, Who Stretched the Spangled Heavens (Catherine Cameron)
    God, Whose Giving Knows No Ending (Robert L. Edwards)
    Heaven and Earth, and Sea and Air (Joachim Neander)
    I Sing the Mighty Power of God (Isaac Watts)
    Lord, Whose Then Shall They Be (Herman Stuempfle)
    Many and Great, O God, Are Your Works (Dakota hymn)
    Now Join We to Praise the Creator (Fred Kaan)
    O Lord of Every Shining Constellation (Albert F. Bayly)
    Praise and Thanksgiving (Albert F. Bayly) Gather Comprehensive #764
    Thank You God, for Water, Soil, and Air (Brian Wren)
    The Earth Belongs to God Alone (Adam Tice)
    The Works of the Lord Are Created in Wisdom (Christopher Idle)
    Touch the Earth Lightly (Shirley Erena Murray)
    We Are Not Our Own (Brian Wren)
    We Cannot Own the Sunlit Sky (Ruth Duck)
    We Plow the Fields and Scatter (Matthias Claudius)
    What Does the Lord Require (Albert F. Bayly) Worship 3rd ed. #624
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    While looking up the songs listed above, I remembered Pope Francis' sage caution against "strumentalizzare" -- about using things as a means to an end. Some of those songs -- perhaps even the whole project -- seem to be an effort to use holy things -- among which is our greatest good -- as a means to advance a worldly end.
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 866
    our responsibility to be good stewards of creation


    Is this looking for a "hymn" that says something about....

    (IN DULCIS JUBILO) "Good stewards of creation, in ev'ry single nation, if you drive a car through town: (optional: Shame! Shame!) Look at how the world is now; trees and sheep and crop and cow, they all may end up dying now. Results of climate change; and we(or you) are all to blame!"
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    Results of climate change; and we are all to blame!"


    I have given up caring about any of that. It has become politicized science which may not be all that scientific to begin with. Whatever we leave behind for future generations, it's too good for them! Humbug to the max with purple bold.
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • It is clear that Santa Claus' (and polar bears') homeland is melting, and that its likeness at the bottom of the world is doing likewise, and that weather cycles are warmer and are going to get more warmer, and that competition for food and the basics of life will become fierce, even warred over. It is also clear that coastal cities and areas are at definite risk of becoming submerged within two or three generations. And yet, the despoilers of our environment, like the see, hear, and speak no evil dumbies, will naysay the obvious as long as a dollar, a pound, a peso, a lira, a yen, or a yuan, mark, franc, or ruble can be made from its obvious causes. The response of the majority of mankind seems to be apres moi le deluge. The deluge will indeed come inevitably, and this deluge will be no revolution, but a real flood - and a real disappearance of super-market culture.

    A common excuse on the part of many of our philistines is that the problem is not human-caused, but is just another normal weather-pattern evolution in earth's history. This makes no difference, however, in that the problem, whatever its source, remains the same and will be overcome only with human ingenuity. No matter the cause, the reality is the same, and the solution is ours to devise.

    It is an irony within the American political system that Party A has a conscientious concern for the environment, but opens the door ever wider for the murder of the unborn; and Party B thinks nothing at all of savaging the environment but would defend the unborn. One would think that love of environment and love of human life would go hand in hand, but neither of our political parties seems to perceive the moral incongruity of their stances.

    I am not, though, suggesting that we sing about this problem in church. The object there, as always, is to praise, adore, and thank God, and to dedicate ourselves to him. And if we do these in the right spirit we will emerge from our rituals seeing clearly what needs to be done, and doing it with a fervent and driven conscience. This is no time for ostriches.

    Thanked by 3CHGiffen MarkS doneill
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    Global warming? Bring it on. It's 31 degrees here.

    And no, I don't want to sing about it in church, either.

    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • ...It's 31 degrees here.

    Some people have all the luck.
    Throw a snowball for me.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,902
    MJO, I fear that your information about both the South and the North pole ice-caps is wrong. Flat-out, provably, wrong.

    But for your comfort, the atmosphere has warmed and cooled, cyclically, for as long as we can determine through ice-coring. "Warming" has come to a halt, and we may well begin "cooling"--just as Time magazine warned in the mid-1960's, before "warming" began again.

    The rest is poppycock and fairy tales, told for the purpose of moving great amounts of wealth from the common man to needy ones like Al Gore and university professors who can manipulate statistics. Here, there was no crisis, but even that absence was not wasted. Vast amounts of money were made and/or wasted.
  • So, the North Pole is not now navigable during summer months?
    Ice sheets the size of some American states are not breaking off the South Pole?
    I would be singing a Te Deum if not.

    I expected someone would take issue with what I have read, for others have, with vested interest and rapt corporate audiences, written that what I've read and seen is poppycock.

    (These are the same sort of folk who swore to us for decades that cigarettes did not kill, and spent tens of millions hiding the evidence [even their own evidence!] that they very definitely do.)

    I think that, whether these matters are pure Mother Nature at her historically cyclic work, or the result of human excess, or some of both, the resulting existential threat to civilisation as we know it is the same, and requires of each of us a smart and determined effort.
  • I was told in my old community (who were just officially suppressed, I found out, say a prayer for them) that Gothic vestments were so cumbersome on account of the Middle Ages being close in temperature to, well, the Ice Age. So perhaps Laudato Si is the forerunner of a generation of chasubles thrown over swim suits at beaches.

    In which case - someone page Brian Wilson. Time to hear Pet Sounds in church.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,902
    the North Pole is not now navigable during summer months?
    Ice sheets the size of some American states are not breaking off the South Pole?


    You might consult historical records before you declare that the End of the World As We Know It is at hand, friend. The events you mention are not exactly first-time/never-before.

    "Existential threat to civilisation"? Ah. The End of the World is, indeed, at hand!! "..ye know not the day nor the hour...."--except for some Illuminati in the American south!

    I hope that you will contribute to the remedy of this crisis by no longer using ANY electricity generated by burning coal, natgas, or swamp weeds. So shut off that huge organ and start lighting candles instead of bulbs.

  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    I am sure of the following:
    It gets colder, it gets warmer.
    Researchers follow the money.
    The government is both a fool and a tool.
    Countries come, countries go.
    Civilization is in the eye of the beholder.

    BTW, whatever happened to that ice age the popular magazines and scientists told us we were heading into? It hasn't been that long ago.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    I hope that you will contribute to the remedy of this crisis by no longer using ANY electricity generated by burning coal, natgas, or swamp weeds. So shut off that huge organ and start lighting candles instead of bulbs.


    LOL. And get rid of that car and central heat and air, while you're at it.

    What I find so laughable about all the climate doomsayers, is that one major volcanic eruption coupled with diminished solar output could put us right back into another little ice age. The climate changes constantly and we have less control over any of it than we think.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 866
    I should definitely win this composition competition, then, shouldn't I? For something so simple as hymn text creating such wholesome dialog! ;)
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,983
    Sure, we know that volcanic eruptions throw dust and sulphur into the atmosphere, and that cools the climate. Equally, we know that some gases produce a greenhouse effect which warms the climate. And we know that there has been a general increase in temperature over our lifetimes. (Chart here which shows the 'pause' and shows that it has recently resumed rising) We also know that governments do stupid things: Example - the English government of Elizabeth I was worried about the loss of timber to build ships. They forbade the building of timber houses in London, and insisted on brick. Bricks are burnt clay, and a brick house therefore consumes more timber in its construction then one just built of timber. DUH
    We can't do much about volcanic eruptions (yet), but we can reduce CO2 production (not by stopping breathing, though that would be effective). Singing produces CO2, but the metabolic combustion also warms us, and we need to keep warm anyway.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,827
    o my gosh people. get off the climate change kick... please... you have no control over the destiny of God's good earth... (however, there is a prophecy about the world spinning off its axis if we all don't shape up! :) )
    Thanked by 2Incardination CCooze
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,983
    We have God given dominion, Gen 1:28. Individually not much power, but more than nothing, and are answerable for kicking the cat, or choosing music by Bob Hurd.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 866
    My college geology professor (a professional geologist for the State) said that the politicized "global warming" / "climate change" was a big fat lie; purposely leaving out scientific data for the sake of creating a movement.
    We can't actually control the climate cycles of the earth, but they can chart them as best they can and compare to data from over the course of history.
    Interestingly enough, major proponents of global warming are also pro-abortion, pro-population control, anti-vaccination choice, etc... for anything that goes against actual choice and for anything that can be imposed on everybody.
    I'm tired of the whole subject.

    I won this competition anyway, so let's just drop it! =P
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • Corinne,

    If you manage to close down the bloviating of so-called climate scientists and their friends in the media and halls of Congress, you will reduce the amount of hot air, and thus cure climate change, almost overnight. In the meantime, you merely declared yourself the winner. (Oh, wait, that's good enough some places, isn't it?)

  • KARU27
    Posts: 111
    I am sure of the following:
    It gets colder, it gets warmer.
    Researchers follow the money.
    The government is both a fool and a tool.
    Countries come, countries go.
    Civilization is in the eye of the beholder.


    But what tune am I supposed to sing this to? Maybe something of Lucien Deiss?
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Carol
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,109
    There's such a thing as politically motivated anti-science too. Even a culture warrior of the left must miss the good old days when fundamentalists cared more about Genesis than oil profits.
    Thanked by 2MarkS JL
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    Those oil profits are not so great these days with prices and income depressed.
  • Richard,

    Of course there is politically motivated anti-science. Think about how many politicians deny the simple biological fact that abortion destroys an unborn human.
  • Indeed!
    Isn't it curious that if a mother and her unborn child are murdered, the murderer is charged with two murders.
    (I have read of such cases on several occasions.)
    Otherwise, providing the mother doesn't want the child, then it isn't legally 'human', and therefore murdering it is not murder.
    If she does want it, it is legally human, and murdering it is murder.
    If the father wants his child, that doesn't count at all, and murdering it is not murder.
    There is no end to the wicked intellectual and moral duplicity in our legal system.
    What kind of mind does it take to live with itself in harbouring such antitheses.
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,109
    Are we actually about to begin drifting from musical responses to Laudato si' now? What took so long? :-P
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 866
    Calm down, Chris.
    It'll be ok.
    I don't see why I can't declare myself the winner of a competition between myself and no one. Just trying to mix a little humor into a conversation that people literally refuse to even consider changing "sides" on. I'll just take my jokes and find a new thread to troll follow.
    Thanked by 1MarkS
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,827
    no CC! please stay as the winner. in 25 years we will also crown you "miss natural weather changes with no effect on the environment" queen. and the "blanks" (enter appropriate political party name here) will be kicking themselves for how much money went down the drain on yet another false enterprise. on second thought, they won't take responsibility for it anyway
  • Corinne,

    Glad to see the purple.

    Others,

    What about the anti-science claim that humans come in more than just male and female?

  • Wow, so this went viral...please note that I said 'new music', and not limited to "liturgical music" or hymns, so I invite everyone on this thread to kindly take a deep breath and hakuna your tatas :)

    I am keenly aware that the propers and ordinary are meant to be sung in the Liturgy and (to be honest) we already have an ample number of these top-notch settings available. Singing the Mass is out primary objective and top priority, but I would hope that we could also address contemporary issues in a way that is both meaningful and fulfills the "beautiful, holy and universal" categories.

    I did not meant that we need to write sentimental pieces on brother moon and sister whatever, or on abortion or even *cringe* so-called climate change - rather - I was hoping to hear what the forum had to say about the process of writing good music on difficult issues that are generally outside the general scope of hymns, the propers or the ordinaries.

    Regarding hymnody - to be frank, in my opinion, they belong in the Office or are perfect to use para-liturgical devotions. However, I feel that they have no real place in the Divine Liturgy at all, even in the case of so-called gathering songs and recessionals - I know that there is a great debate on this. A flame war was definitely not part of my original post 's intention nor showing my #obvious naivete.

    I would love to see a little less negativity on this topic and find for the inspiration and motivation I come here daily for (yes, I literally check out the forums daily on my lunch break, oh and NewAdvent).

    Thanks to @ronkrisman, @noel jones, aago and @chonak for giving me something to think about. As for the other comments - I feel slightly disappointed: they either completely veered off topic or just shot down the post.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,827
    JLC

    Do not take tangents and rabbit holes personally. This forum is a great place for both serious discussion and for what has become known as posting purple.

    Sad as it is, some of us have a cyberlife here because we have little support or commraderie in our real life situations. Here, things are fully black and white.

    We value your questions, inquiries and opinions. Bringing the forum back to focus is what we all do more often than not.

    The nature of artists and musicians is a free spirit, which sometimes goes "viral". Just don't let the virus make you ill. ;) Sometimes your own shot of purple can help you be more immune to the shenanigans.

    I'll stop rambling now.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510

    Now (let's be frank) I don't like the result, however, the theory is really interesting. Taking themes from encyclicals,pastoral letters etc. as material for new music.


    I didn't like the result, either. I actually like hymns and think they are here to stay in the mass. That being the case, they need to be good hymns - not Mae West's classic definition of good when quizzed about her lovely diamonds, "goodness had nothing to do with it..." Goodness seems to have nothing to do with some of the "contemporary" hymns I have encountered. Many are not really "contemporary" but stem from that time period after the Council that many of us would like to forget about. Never did the genuinely untalented produce so much output of questionable worth.

    Themes from encyclicals, pastoral letters? Could be suitable hymn material if judiciously selected with an eye toward quality. The ramblings currently coming out of Rome probably not.
  • I've just been reading the Adoremus Bulletin, about the encyclical Mediator Dei. His Holiness blasts the idea that just because something is old, it is better.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    Age surely hasn't made him any better. LOL.
  • Charles,

    Now he seems prophetic!
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Move on, nothing to see here. The OP posited (naivete showing) that this "concept" might find adherents here, so this isn't on Bob Hurd. Plus, if it didn't occur to anyone else, this is a corporate marketing ploy from our erstwhile friends at OCP to which many of their stable have contributed.
    I wouldn't count upon Hurd "not know(ing)" liturgical proprieties; he's been around the block. All this isn't a CMAA métier; let it go.

    How I enjoy being ahead of the curve.
    I suppose that could be construed as an effort to "shoot down the post," but I had no intent of such. That said, if there is one thing that is a poor orphan for discussion herein, it would be texts that are alius cantus aptus. Secondly, if a notion just seems to have a causal relation to trends or marketing, it will be pilloried beyond recognition. I say all this while humming Rutter's ditty, "For the beauty of the earth." Cheers.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,827
    this is great. a tribute to the era of VII. can we make metal plaques and send them to be posted on appropriate church buildings?

    Never did the genuinely untalented produce so much output of questionable worth.

    Beautiful rhythm, gracefully thought out and well composed.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW