Mass of the Blessed Fire - Lord's Prayer
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    This is a new addition to my Mass setting based on Shaker songs and chants.
    (This edition was engraved for use in the Episcopal parish I work at, so there is embolism, BTW).

    Thoughts?

    image
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Just visually, first glance stuff, AW:
    *I'd lose the stems, all of 'em. Why?
    *Dotted 8ths, out of the gate, are going to tailspin even an accomplished sight reader. Three word proof: Be Not Afraid. Plus with the beam on the first three will cause "syncopation apoplexy anxiety." So, some amount of the KISS rule seems needed, and I think losing the stems and will free up I think the rhythmic precision with freedom I think you want. I could be totally wrong.
    *Lose all the quarter bar markings that are inserted (by your program? Lilypond I don't know; Finale you'd have to apply them) between words that ought not to have any indication of hesitancy. I suspect their presence is due to the software?
    *If caesuras or dots and open notes don't convey the precision you want, you could always use a Bruce Ford approach and group (8th) pulses in tight formation.

    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    Those are very helpful suggestions on notation issues.
    (Finale, by the way. Every detail chosen by me because I thought it would best convey what I was getting at. Which it probably only does so to me.)

    What do you think about the music?
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Let me get more awake, AW. Had some Dantian early morning dreams. For a geezer, that's problematic. I did sing through it, and your Shaker ethos is well-realized, tessitura looks fine. Let me get another hour into the day. I'm on PST. (Time Zone, not Californian recreational drug.)
    Thanked by 2Adam Wood Liam
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Are the eighths supposed to be dotted eighths or Gregorian dots or what?

    I actually get annoyed when I see practice videos for psalms or whatever. If you can't read or teach yourself 4 measures, you shouldn't be cantoring.

    That said, I could use a recording or video of this Mass. I have NO IDEA what the Shaker style is, or how to interpret this notation.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    or how to interpret this notation.


    I think that's my fault, not the Shakers (who had a whole other notation system).

    Read it literally, with a bit of rubato. The problem here is actually that I was trying too hard to dictate the rhythm in standard notation. I'm going to redo it with stemless note heads and more freedom.

    As for the style: primarily declamatory.
    I will try to do a recording sometime.
  • For me, getting accustomed to the accent pattern associated with do-mi-ré on these words:

    • kingdom cóme
    • will be dóne
    • we forgíve

    set me up to stumble over

    • those who tréspass

    which had me sing more carefully

    • into temption
    • ever and éver

    Was this intentional?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    I think the accent on "-pass" of "trespass" was not intentional. (Or, at least, sloppy.)
    Thanked by 1Aristotle Esguerra
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I will try to do a recording sometime.

    Adubya,
    That won't fix the issues you wanted displayed to you. Once you have a total conception formulated as to how you envision your work is to be rendered, your immediate task in this and the classical realm is to transcribe that conception as faithfully as you can in the most common of notational formats that would yield best those intentions.
    But, having said and done that, you well know that remains still the beginning of a serious discernment issue for the rest of us who want to go beyond the first introduction and really make it live in our domains. You're smarter than me, you know this already.
    I still think stemless, Bruce Ford style, remains your best bet, especially for a Pater Noster.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    imeffsee:
    I agree with you.
    Actually- the more I sing it, the less I like the specific rhythmic decisions I made, and prefer that it was written as you describe.

    FWIW- when I first started working on this Mass setting, I set the Sanctus using Gregorian Chant notation, for the sole reason that I thought it conveyed the rhythmic freedom I was looking for (there were other benefits- like relative keys and the liquescent). I was convinced to do otherwise. I wonder if that was a good idea or not.

    cf:
    http://shakermass.musicforsunday.com/sanctus
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 953
    Write the dotted stuff at the beginning as dotted eighth, sixteenth, eighth, eighth, with a tie. Much clearer.

    Are the triples at "-gainst" and "from" meant to be triplets (three in the time of two) or more pulses at the same speed? For there is a little bracket over the "evil" with looks triplettish.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    Write the dotted stuff at the beginning as dotted eighth, sixteenth, eighth, eighth, with a tie. Much clearer.


    As composed, this semi-triplet figure has a particular feel to it, and I think the way I wrote it is a better way to express it.
    That being said- it shouldn't have been composed that way, so the notation here is a moot point.

    Are the triples at "-gainst" and "from" meant to be triplets (three in the time of two) or more pulses at the same speed?


    Yes.

    Okay, actually- my original intention was triplets, but again- upon reflection I think this is wrong.

    The whole thing needs to be re-done to a more-or-less equalist rhythmic setting.
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 953
    I'll be interested to see it equalist, and I think it works ok in a kind of even 2:2 time as well, although I dare say that's not what you have in mind.

    I like the descending notes and rhythm on "deliver us from evil" and I like the other descending notes and rhythm on "and the glory for-" and I like that they're different.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,713
    ¿3:3:2? ¡No sabía que conoces el ritmo latino, Adam!
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Adam,
    Do you want to see how close I can come to realization, for kicks?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    Sure.

    I tried recording this myself yesterday, both as originally intended and then how I'm hearing it now. My conclusion after listening to the recording is that I should never sing in public again and that my whole life is a sham.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    Here is a stemless version which more closely represents my current thinking on this piece.
    Dots are to be interpreted as in Gregorian chant, not modern notation.

    image
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    I will be blunt: for something like the Our Father, if you need to be this precise in notation, your idea is not yet fully ripened. The Our Father should be have the sensibility of the intuitive to it. After you get comments, put it away for a while and come back to it with a fresh critical eye.

    On a more particular note, the breath/phrase markings might confound anyone who reads music and chant in particular but who is not familiar with the exigencies of notation software.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    Liam- I assume that is directed at the original- and I agree.
    See the stemless version above, just now posted.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    Adam

    Indeed.

    This may seem novel, but I would lengthen "us" rather than "and" in "And lead us not into temptation", and have that phrase move directly to the next "us". That illuminates the whole petition in a way that is lost when we recite it formulaically.

    I am part of the minority who scans "Thy will be done on earth / as it is in heaven" (I understand the rationale against that approach, but I believe the intention of the petition is better grasped in the minority approach).

    I would also consider putting more emphasis on THY Name, THY will.

  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    This may seem novel, but I would lengthen "us" rather than "and" in "And lead us not into temptation", and have that phrase move directly to the next "us". That illuminates the whole petition in a way that is lost when we recite it formulaically.


    I like it.

    I am part of the minority who scans "Thy will be done on earth / as it is in heaven" (I understand the rationale against that approach, but I believe the intention of the petition is better grasped in the minority approach).


    I agree. Would dropping the dot and quarter bar do it?

    I would also consider putting more emphasis on THY Name, THY will.


    I agree with this also.
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 953
    The previous, metrical version, seemed to have slow steady swell in 2/2, which I think would keep a group together better. This way written, I don't see the swell, and am no longer sure you mean it to be there. So currently I like the first version more.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    It's a problem.

    Part of the reason to do the first version with such strict rhythm was precisely to keep everyone together more easily. But, the downside of that is a sing-songishness that causes the tune and rhythm to overpower the text's own natural rhythm and accent patterns.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I would surmise that what Adam "hears" as a contextual ideal inspired by many Shaker attributes, and which Andrew also perceives is something that still escapes me, and I think we're all okay with that.
    Rather than nitpik it online (there's still some slurs missing, small stuff, etc.) could you put the Finale file on your next post? I'm not ready for a GitHub experience.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    sorry- i left it at home. Will do, though.
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 953
    Well still you have four ways to say "pause slightly here", namely dot, tied pair, episema, and hollow note. So it seems that there's still some strictness, even if no steady beat?
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    Adam

    What drew you to chose the contra-wordpainting of Earth and Heaven?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    So it seems that there's still some strictness, even if no steady beat?


    Yes.

    The effect I'm trying to notate is something of an occasional beat- going in and out of strict 1-and-2-and.

    I thought a lot about whether it was just pretentious to use dotted notes and tied notes and hollow notes and an episma... but each one feels very different, and I figure Gregorian chant finds a need for all of them, so they must not be completely redundant...
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    What drew you to chose the contra-wordpainting of Earth and Heaven?


    The shape of the melodic formula.

    This whole thing started as an attempt to write an Anglican Chant tone, using Early American melody/harmony. It started as a double-chant:

    do | do mi | sol
    la | sol mi | re do | la ||
    do | do mi | re
    la | so mi | re do-la | do ||

    It was alright, and I probably could have gotten it to work if I spent more time with it. But then I started singing pieces of it to the Lord's Prayer, and ended up with what you have here.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,381
    Liam: (I understand the rationale...

    I didn't even know there was a rationale for "Thy will be done (on earth as it is in heaven)."
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    a rationale

    the almost rhyme of "kingdom come" and "will be done"
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Adam,
    Were you going to put OF in Finale attachment still?
    Love,
    Old F*rt.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,410
    http://musicforsunday.com/files/lords-prayer.mus

    That is the original, metrical version.
    The stemless version is on another computer, and I forgot to upload it at home.
    Thanked by 1melofluent