Paul Winter's Missa Gaia - Earth Mass
Live Recording, with Jim Scott, soloist & guitar
LISTEN - AUDIO TOUR OF CD TRACK EXCERPTS
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2007 DEFINITIVE RECORDING:
"When we try to pick out something by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
-John Muir (1911)
Featuring Co-composer: Jim Scott - guitarist, vocalist
Will Sherwood - director
|English Nightingale||Jacob van Eyck||2:01|
|Prayer for Gaia||Gregorian Chant /Sherwood||5:26|
|When in Our Music||Engelberg||2:40|
|Mystery||Geffen, arr. Scott||5:25|
|Canticle of Brother Sun||Scott / Winter||4:16|
|Kyrie||Halley / Winter||5:49|
|The Beatitudes||Jim Scott||6:15|
|Adoro Te/For the Beauty||Gregorian Chant arr. Halley / Scott||4:35|
|Sanctus and Benedictus||Winter / Halley / Castro-Neves||4:42|
|Agnus Dei||Scott / Winter||7:14|
|Blue Green Hills of Earth||Oler / Halley||3:21|
|Let Us Depart in Peace||Scott / Winter||4:21|
Mystery (from live performance)
Canticle of Brother Sun (excerpt from live performance)
(Note: YouTube audio is mono and is compressed, thus actual CD audio quality is not depicted)
Recorded Live: May, 2007
Recording/Mix Engineer - Bob Gordon
Producer & Graphic Designer - Will Sherwood
Cover Art: Kathleen Cammarata, “Conjectures Concerning Planetary Worlds,” 2002, 34” x 38” , Oil on canvas
First Unitarian Church,
90 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608 USA
Jim Scott, vocal and guitar
Noel Cary, clarinet
Marty Gilman, soprano saxophone
Mary Rocheleau, recorder
Jerry Bellows, recorder
Madeline Browning, flute
Jessica Billings-White, cello
Reed Butler, bass
Pieter Struyk, percussion
Bob Gordon, drums & timpani
Will Sherwood, AAGO, ChM,
Director of Music & Organist,
producer, audio editing, piano,
organ, graphic design
Bob Gordon, audio editing, recording/mix engineer
Stefan Cepko, audio engineer
Jesse Anderson, audio engineer
Charles Paquette, video engineer
David Nase, photographer
J. Ellen Thompson, house manager
Marie T. Shamgochian, librarian
Jean Mancini Gough*
Jean A. Jewell
Marie Teresa Shamgochian
Ellen O’Neall Waite
Linda Chatalian Wyatt
J. Ellen Thompson
Alaskan Tundra Wolf (Kyrie)*
Humpback Whale (Sanctus)*
Harp Seal Pups (Agnus Dei)*
PROGRAM NOTES & LYRICS
Missa Gaia- A Mass for the Earth
The Earth, taken as a whole, affects all life and matter around, within and upon our planet with a unique power. This is the basis of the Gaia Hypothesis, a book by James Havelock and Lynn Margulis, who believe that the Earth has a life of its own which is greater than the sum of its parts, that there is an intense synergy between the smallest bacteria and the largest animal and vegetative life. Thus the inspiration for Missa Gaia (Gaia is Greek for Earth).
Addressed to Mother Earth, Earth Mass was first performed at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City on Mother's Day, almost thirty years ago. Under the guidance of Paul Winter, each of the members of the Consort composed parts of the Mass. Like the synergy of the natural elements of The Earth, The Paul Winter Consort presents a musical whole—greater than the sum of its parts.
Jim Scott, who performs with us today, describes how he and the Consort created this work:
Jim continues, "One of my assignments was the opening Canticle, with the much loved "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" prayer of St. Francis. I wished to unite three widely separated historical periods through music. I opened with a Gregorian chant melody which evolves into the classic American hymn For the Beauty of the Earth and then to contemporary jazz/popular harmonies and an African 12/8 rhythm. Paul Winter suggested setting St. Francis' prayer to a chord progression of mine - two sequences, one rising one falling - that we'd improvised with in previously unused pieces. I assembled the choral piece and we brought back the For the Beauty theme in an elusive harmonization for the finale.
“I particularly wanted to do a setting of The Beatitudes. I particularly like that they are positive. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, was saying you will be blessed for this behavior, and this behavior will bring about a blessed state. Musical settings of the Beatitudes are rare, probably because the text does not support music well. I started with the end and took the Beatitudes a little out of order
“The Agnus Dei / Dona Nobis Pacem is probably my favorite, and what Paul Winter called "the sleeper" of the whole work. It begins unassumingly enough and then rises to a couple of lush climactic moments before the final section. It was a bit of a challenge to build the choral piece over an instrumental collaboration from a previous album, Callings. This album took the calls of sea mammals as thematic material. Using that piece, with the calls of baby seals, was Paul's idea. He had heard the story of a missionary in the arctic who had discovered that Agnus Dei, or Lamb of God, was not understandable to the Eskimo people, who had never seen lambs. Accordingly, he used the phrase ‘Seal of God.’”
“Two wonderful songs by friends of the Consort round out the whole work. Mystery, by Jeremy Geffen is a deceptively simple and simply beautiful song that touches on the indescribable. The Blue Green Hills of Earth was Paul Winter's adaptation of words from a poem in a Ray Bradbury story and set to music by Kim Olen. This setting made it, in a somewhat altered arrangement, into the new UU Hymnbook as "For the Earth Forever Turning." We hear today the original setting, with the words as they are in Singing the Living Tradition.”
We welcome back Jim Scott and especially this sacred celebration of Spring—after a very long Winter. ─Glen Hersey
PRAYER FOR GAIA
A small permanent glacier high in the central Colorado Rockies provides the opening backdrop for this premiere performance. Its ice forms shelves that drip into tiny rivulets, eventually joining larger similar rivulets that find themselves swallowed by streams, then rivers, and, ultimately the Pacific Ocean. The Gregorian Chant Picardy, is presented by the cello soon joined by the Recorder flute. Accompanying the Chant is a lone Tinamou bird Crypturellus soui, one of the most ancient birds on earth, archaeologically found in Central and South America, where they still live. They are secretive and shy, and live a quiet, peaceful life. But soon the organ crescendo brings on a passing thunderstorm, and settling back to the Pacific’s waves and birds at La Jolla.
CANTICLE OF BROTHER SUN
ADORO TE DEVOTETraditional Gregorian chant, words by St. Thomas Aquinas c. 1260
Adoro te devote, latens Deitas
FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH
Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis, dona nobis pacem.
THE BLUE GREEN HILLS OF EARTH
LET US GO FORTH IN PEACE
O our Mother the Earth, blessed is your name.
Blessed are your fields and forests,
your rocks and mountains,
your grasses and trees and flowers,
and every green and growing thing.
Blessed are your streams and lakes and rivers,
the oceans where our life began,
and all your waters that sustain our bodies
and refresh our souls.
Blessed is the air we breathe, your atmosphere,
that surrounds us and binds us to every living thing.
Blessed are all creatures who walk along your surface
or swim in your waters or fly through your air,
for they are all our relatives.
Blessed are all people who share this planet,
for we are all one family,
and the same spirit moves through us all.
Blessed is the sun, our day star,
bringer of morning and the heat of summer,
giver of light and life.
Blessed is the moon, our night lamp,
ruler of the tides,
and guardian of our dreams.
Blessed are the stars and planets, the time-keepers,
who fill our nights with beauty
and our hearts with awe.
O Great Spirit whose voice we hear in the wind
and whose face we see in the morning sun,
blessed is your name.
Help us to remember that you are everywhere,
and teach us the way of peace.
– Helen Weaver
Copyright, Licensing Credits, and acknowledgements
The Wolf recording is courtesy Dr. Michael Fox, and the musical wren (Amazon Forest) courtesy of Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
The earth sounds in Prayer for Gaia were meticulously recorded by Doug Von Gausig, provided and copyrighted by NatureSongs.com, 2007.
Prayer for Gaia was inspired by the original Missa Gaia's Return to Gaia, an improvisation by Paul Halley and Paul Winter.
License Royalties have been paid to Paul Winter (Living Music), Jim Scott, Paul Halley, Oscar Castro-Neves, Jim Oler, and Jim Geffen.
When In Our Music: Words by Fred Pratt Green ©1972 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188 (ASCAP)
This CD is dedicated in loving memory of Rosamond R. and Robert E. Bennett.