Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sounds of the Season: Universal Sacred Music for Chorus by Roger Davidson

Missa Universalis VI: The Names of God

Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Zoroastrianism are all represented in this music.

For me, Sacred Music has always been an integral part of the Holiday season. Going to church, sitting cozily amidst my family, a sense of wellbeing washing over me thanks to the deep and resonant sounds of the choir.

Once I began considering myself more "spiritual" than religious, I've not attended church and have little or no access to live choral music. So, I was pleasantly reunited with that rich, warm feeling upon first listen to Missa Universalis (I-VI), offered by Soundbrush Records as "Universal Sacred Music for Chorus" performed by the New York Virtuoso Singers, conducted by Harold Rosenbaum. 

A quote inside the beautifully-designed album reveals a glimpse at the unifying spirituality of the composer/producer of this work, Roger Davidson, who writes:

 "This music is meant to carry a spirit of universality, brotherhood/sisterhood and unconditional love to people of all backgrounds and faiths." 
A recent Google Chat with Roger Davidson reveals the story behind the album; listen, explore and purchase options available at the Soundbrush website, or buy it on Amazon


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sounds like Hanukkah: Hebrew Prayer Inspires Get Tribal on RADIO GOD

“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one." 

 RUAH: Breathe. 

"RUAH" is the second track on Radio God, a uniquely-sounding new album by Northern California based group, Get Tribal, led by Kari Hohne.  Just in time to set a unique tone for Hanukkah, this is Hebrew chant set in an MGM bible movie soundtrack tapestry, according to the album liner notes. 

Inspired by the prayer Shema Yisrael "Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai EḼad" – “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one."   The texture of this beautiful Hebrew chant comes alive within a dramatic orchestration of legato strings, piano and orchestral percussion, reminiscent of 1950’s MGM Bible movie soundtracks. On Radio God, each track echoes a cosmic radio call letter; with the RUAH channel, we learn the importance of breathing: it is the breath of life that connects us to Spirit (a word derived from the ancient word for "breath"). 

When life presents challenges, just breathe. Spirit understands what the mind cannot conceive. If you enjoyed Donnar from the group's first album, God of Drum, then you will love the cinematic energy of RUAH. Why do we pray to the Creator with such adoration? The Shema Yisrael prayer is similar to the So Purkh chant in that it reminds us that when we meditate purely on the greatness of God, our souls find comfort in this world. 

In that way, RUAH has the intention of renewing Faith. Let it be so in this holiday season.

Visit Get Tribal's website to hear more music, and enjoy this video montage of the full album: