Like a Deer – Psalm 42

As one of my primary interests is improvisation, I am always looking for ways to include improvisation in the liturgy. Here is a responsorial psalm built over a simple two-chord progression. The refrain melody is composed to fit over the chords, and while there are verses written out in the score, the cantor (as demonstrated here) is free to improvise the melody for each of the verses.

This video was recorded at the Easter Vigil which begins in darkness, so the lighting is very dim. Sadly, my iPhone ran out of memory, so I am only able to share the first verse here.

The music for this composition is included in the Feasts and Solemnities volume of the Audubon Park Psalter.

Psalm 118 for Easter Day

Recorded with my iPhone, this performance of Psalm 118 – This Is the Day – is from the 11am Mass at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore. Brass quartet plays the choral parts on the refrain.

The music for this composition is included in the Feasts and Solemnities volume of the Audubon Park Psalter.

Psalm 89 Chrism Mass

The Chrism Mass is the annual celebration where the archbishop blesses the oils for use throughout the archdiocese and the priests renew their vows of service. It is one of the events that generally fills the Cathedral every year. As with other special diocesan celebrations, these are people that have chosen to be here, so are willing to sing and participate. Here’s the responsorial psalm (from the Audubon Park Psalter)recorded by my iPhone placed on the organ console in the balcony. Brass are to my right. Choir is on the left, and the cantor is in the pulpit half-way down the building.

The music for this composition is included in the Feasts and Solemnities volume of the Audubon Park Psalter.

Herbert Howells – Psalm Prelude Set 2, no. 1

I first registered this piece for my concert at the Cathedral last March. The concert was played from the sanctuary console so that I could be visible to the audience. Up until this week, I had no easy way to transfer the pistons from one console to another. Here’s my first performance of the Howells from the rear console. Check back later for a demonstration of how I moved two levels of memory in less than 10 minutes.

Improvised Prelude on ‘Gather Us In’

Thanks to the snow storm, I was able to spend a couple of hours at the Cathedral today practicing. After some more technical exercises, I started flipping through the hymnal and improvising on different tunes. Marty Haugen’s ‘Gather Us In’ is an up-tempo tune that is more often associated with piano and guitars than the organ. I decided to slow it down and spice it up a bit for a more relaxing prelude style piece. Enjoy!

Pachelbel Canon in D

During a wedding consultation this week, a bride asked to record her selection for the entrance procession in order to play it for her mother. Rather than have her record just the audio, I quickly set up my mini-tripod and made a video. The aisle at the Cathedral is rather lengthy, so this is a popular choice for weddings here. I could have done more with the registration, and you don’t catch all the differences because I’m recording near the front organ, but I’m happy to share this impromptu performance of a popular work.