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performing in churches ?

Crowhugger 22 Oct 10 - 11:16 PM
Joe Offer 22 Oct 10 - 07:59 PM
GUEST,leeneia 22 Oct 10 - 07:15 PM
Deckman 22 Oct 10 - 05:53 PM
Joe Offer 22 Oct 10 - 05:42 PM
Deckman 22 Oct 10 - 05:30 PM
Joe Offer 22 Oct 10 - 05:29 PM
GUEST,999 22 Oct 10 - 03:33 PM
Tim Chesterton 22 Oct 10 - 03:20 PM
Crowhugger 22 Oct 10 - 01:25 PM
Crowhugger 22 Oct 10 - 01:13 PM
GUEST,999 22 Oct 10 - 01:11 PM
Jack Campin 22 Oct 10 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,leeneia 22 Oct 10 - 11:20 AM
Jack Campin 22 Oct 10 - 08:51 AM
Jack Blandiver 22 Oct 10 - 04:52 AM
Deckman 22 Oct 10 - 01:19 AM
Joe Offer 22 Oct 10 - 12:49 AM
Janie 22 Oct 10 - 12:47 AM
Deckman 22 Oct 10 - 12:20 AM
Tim Chesterton 22 Oct 10 - 12:03 AM
Jack Campin 21 Oct 10 - 08:47 PM
GUEST,Emjay -- lost my cookie 21 Oct 10 - 07:52 PM
dwditty 21 Oct 10 - 06:40 PM
Liz the Squeak 21 Oct 10 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,leeneia 21 Oct 10 - 05:50 PM
Deckman 21 Oct 10 - 05:40 PM
GUEST,leeneia 21 Oct 10 - 05:40 PM
Jack Campin 21 Oct 10 - 01:09 PM
Sailor Ron 21 Oct 10 - 12:12 PM
meself 21 Oct 10 - 11:59 AM
GUEST,crazy little woman 21 Oct 10 - 10:51 AM
GUEST,crazy little woman 21 Oct 10 - 10:47 AM
Jack Blandiver 21 Oct 10 - 05:55 AM
Deckman 20 Oct 10 - 11:02 PM
dwditty 20 Oct 10 - 08:17 PM
Stewart 20 Oct 10 - 08:16 PM
Deckman 20 Oct 10 - 07:31 PM
Stewart 20 Oct 10 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,leeneia 20 Oct 10 - 05:18 PM
Don Firth 20 Oct 10 - 04:11 PM
Fidjit 20 Oct 10 - 03:40 PM
Stewart 20 Oct 10 - 12:41 PM
Stewart 20 Oct 10 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,leeneia 20 Oct 10 - 11:53 AM
Fidjit 20 Oct 10 - 10:06 AM
Tootler 20 Oct 10 - 06:02 AM
Paul Davenport 20 Oct 10 - 05:37 AM
Fidjit 20 Oct 10 - 05:01 AM
Phil Edwards 19 Oct 10 - 06:38 PM
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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 11:16 PM

Yes I noticed your choice of words, religion vs churches and I, too, feel discomfort when my actions support religious extremism. Your discussions carry a more measured, less reactive meaning for me now that I know that you've long been aware it was "they" who were being weird about your piano practice. Thanks for the clarification!


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 07:59 PM

I think that's an interesting topic for another thread sometime, the history of acoustic design. I've heard that Roman amphitheaters were designed with sound amplification in mind. Orchestra shells have been around for a long time.
And some old churches have such wonderful acoustics, that I can't believe they weren't designed with acoustics in mind.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 07:15 PM

Thanks for sharing memories, Joe.

As to acoustics, I've read that acoustics is such a difficult field and interactions between sound and buildings so unpredictable that basically people just built the buildings and lived with the acoustics they got.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Deckman
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 05:53 PM

Joe ... that's NO MISSPRINT. But it does change frequantly ... yesterday I felt 274 years olde!


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 05:42 PM

Bob, I knew you were well-preserved, but 174 years of age????

your younger buddy,

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Deckman
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 05:30 PM

Crowhugger ... I do believe you are sincere. And I'm going to try to be just as sincere and serious. I've gone full circle on this issue of me and churches. NOTICE that I have NOT said: me and religion.

By the time I was 20, I realized that those preacher wife's comments were pretty weird. I have successfully, so far, navigated through this world of various religions, faiths, perceptions, etc.

But ... and maybe this is why I started this thread ... I now find myself surrounded by Pentecostal churches ... and other churches of extreme beliefs. I watch the rise of religion and politics in my country, and I feel I have to make a statement ... subtle as it is.

For me to walk into a church, I feel, is for me to give validation ro this rise in relgionism ... is that a word?

Again, I'm NOT saying anyone else should feel the same way ... I'm just saying that that is where I am at 174 years of age. bob


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 05:29 PM

Leeneia, it's interesting to study the history of construction of Catholic churches in the U.S. during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We tend to think of church construction in terms of how it's done nowadays, but that's not how it happened.

According to this history of Milwaukee, the parish was founded as an offshoot of St. Stanislaw Parish (with the golden domes) in 1888, and a small building was erected to serve as church and school. The first church burned down the next year, and was replaced by a new brick building that cost thirty thousand dollars to build. That building proved to be too small, and construction of the current building began in 1898. When construction was completed, the old building became the parish school. St. Josaphat's and St. Stanislaus are still the most visible Polish churches in Milwaukee (although St. Stan's is now the center of the Latin Mass community, and is no longer Polish). This page says that there were seventeen Polish parishes built in Milwaukee from 1872-1925. Also, be sure to take a look at this Wikipedia page on the "Polish cathedral" style of architecture (although very few of these churches were actually cathedrals - the seat of a bishop).

The new building used materials from the demolished Chicago Customs House and Post Office (a/the Federal Building). What isn't said in the history, is that I'm sure that everyone involved in the construction of the church was Polish, and that the building contractors were Polish and were members of the parish. Most likely, almost everyone who worked on the building was a member of the parish. The parish served the Lincoln Village community of Milwaukee, which was still predominantly Polish when I lived on the South Side of Milwaukee in the 1960s. Even in the 1960s, the parish served as a Polish community center and the parish still served as a place where people could find referrals for employment, medical care, housing, and whatnot. Lincoln Village had a small Latino population in the 1960s, and it was the only place in Milwaukee where you could get decent Mexican food, and tacos that weren't made with Cheeze Whiz. Lincoln Village is now 55% Latino. I'm sure the Poles have assimilated quite well by now, but the whole South Side of Milwaukee was Polish when I lived there in the 1960s, except for a small strip by Lake Michigan.

So, my point is that the church wasn't just a church - it was the very center of the community, an expression of the identity and life of the entire Polish community. I imagine that members of St. Josaphat's may have come from one part of Poland, and members of other parishes from other areas of Poland.

My home town was Racine, a little industrial city 25 miles south of Milwaukee. I think we had eight Catholic parishes in the center of town, all within walking distance of each other. St. John Nepomuk was Czech, St. Mary's and Holy Name were German, St. Pat's and St. Rose of Lima were Irish, St. Casimir was Lithuanian, and Holy Trinity was Slovak. I can't remember which parishes were Italian. Mass was in Latin, but all other activities of the parish were in the language of the predominant ethnic group. Again, each parish served as a social, cultural, and economic center for its ethnic group. Most times, parishes imported their priests from the Mother Country. St. Francis Seminary, which I attended, was German in origin and taught classes in German, so its graduates weren't of much use to small-town ethnic parishes. By the time I attended St. Francis in the 1960s, I was required to take 6 years of Latin, two years of Greek, and 3 years of my choice of German, French, or Polish. Later on, training in Spanish became a near-universal requirement for American Catholic seminarians.

And since churches were so important to the community, even poor communities could raise the money to build elaborate churches - and much of that construction money stayed right in the community. Thriftiness was usually the rule, however. It wasn't unusual for churches to be built from the remains of older buildings, like the Federal Building that served as the basis for St. Josaphat's. The Germans who built St. Francis Church in Sacramento used parts of the stairway banisters from the State Capitol for the choir loft railing and for statue pedestals - that why you'll see the state mammal, the grizzly bear, all over the interior of the church.

I think that priests of my generation, including many of my seminary classmates, failed to recognize the importance of parishes for anything but religious purposes. For the most part, my seminary classmates were homogenized Americans with no particular ethnic identity, and I remember how we used to joke about all this ethnic stuff. It's too bad we didn't understand and respect it, and work to preserve the best of it. Maybe that's part of the reason why so many beautiful old Catholic churches stand empty in American cities.

As for acoustics, they're mixed. Whenever I visit an old Catholic church, I make a habit of testing the acoustics by singing a little Gregorian chant. Some are terrific, and some are not. I'll bet a lot depended on who was directing music at the time the church was built.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 03:33 PM

Well said, Tim. May the force be with you and remain with you.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Tim Chesterton
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 03:20 PM

If I left in a huff every time some folk singer sang 'Imagine' and wondered why I didn't applaud (I'm a pastor - do they really think I should applaud for a song that says having no religion would be a good thing?) - well, I'd never go near a folk club or live music venue. Similarly, if I chose to take offence every time one of my fellow musicians introduced one of their anti-war songs with a diatribe about how religions are evil because they've started most of the wars in history, I'd spend my whole life angry at someone.

Life's too short for that, and there's far too much good music to enjoy.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 01:25 PM

Deckman, are you comfortable continuing to live with the damage done by the cruel incident from your youth? Or is this thread a way to start re-thinking your reaction? You are an adult now and neither churches nor religious extremism are likely harm you when attending a concert. I'm saying this because you're obviously aware that your present-day reaction is well out of proportion to your present-day experience.

Gosh I fear that might sound smug or preachy but I'm being totally sincere.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 01:13 PM

LTS, it caught my attention when you said more or less that churches are among the only venues that can accommodate your chorus of 30 or so voices. Interesting variance with my experience around here (Toronto area). The choruses in which I sing or have sung--one is 30 voices, the other 65+ but often only 45 can make it to a weeknight performance--usually have/had difficulty setting ourselves up so that all singers can see the director.

The reason is that the "stage" area typically is too small or obstacle-ridden for our risers to fit; rarely are there stairs wide & deep enough to use in lieu of risers; sometimes those stairs are spacious enough but curved out towards the congregation opposite to the curve of risers. Yes the acoustics are often wonderful even while, as already mentioned, the reverb can be excessive, however these physical layout problems are a notable nuisance which must be weighed with other factors. Not the least of which is, where else is there to sing?

Maybe it's the size of the churches or the local architecture... Anyway it just struck me how funny to have such opposite experiences with the same type of venue.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 01:11 PM

When I was attending a church service, the minister was talking on about the wonders of the universe. I was about 12 at the time and hadn`t developed much social interaction skill. He said that light travelled at millions of miles per second. Big mouth here said loud enough to be heard by most of the Anglicans in attendance that light traveled at about 186,000 mps. I was informed while leaving the church that it would be ok if I didn`t return. I didn`t.

Now, if I go to a church it`s to listen to songs and music, not sermons. However, at the end of the day, Bob, you have to follow your gut. Make what`s the right decision for you.

Best wishes.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 12:57 PM

Doing the "virtual tour" of that, it reminded me of the great mosques Sinan designed in the late 16th century. Looking up a bit of art history, I see that Sinan got some of his ideas from St Peter's, so the resemblance is not coincidental.

But Sinan's mosques weren't designed to be very special acoustically. The biggest sound you'll ever hear inside a mosque is one man giving a sermon. And the sound is deadened by multiple layers of carpet. St Peter's itself doesn't have a great reputation as an acoustic space. So if the Milwaukee basilica works for music, it's probably more due to fluke than architectural experience.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 11:20 AM

"The Basilica of St. Josaphat, located in the Lincoln Village neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, is one of 62 minor basilicas found in the United States. In its grandeur and opulence it is an excellent example of the so-called Polish Cathedral style of church architecture found in the Great Lakes region of North America. Modeled after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, it features one of the largest copper domes in the world."

Joe, it wasn't the post office, it was the federal building. Acc to Wikipedia, the priest bought the materials, which came up to Milw on 500 flatcars. The blocks of stone were measured and the architect assembled them in a new design. Parishioners did much of the work. Amazing!

During intermission I said to my husband, "How did such a poor community build such an expensive church?"

He said, "Labor was cheap then."

I said, "But this church was built by those poorly-paid laborers."

He didn't have an answer.

One drawback - it took me 15 minutes to locate a restroom.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 08:51 AM

Here we are:

Martini's musicians on the Assisi fresco

And the same sort of instrument played today:

Patsy Seddon and Barnaby Brown at Iona: Deus Auribus


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 04:52 AM

Do you have any experiences like that?

Constantly, but it's not so easy for me to quantify in musical terms. Churches were built as much as acoustic spaces as anything else, though modern carpeting & PA systems seems to have done away with that of late. One mediaeval church I visited recently (in Ely) looked like it was set up for a stadium rock concert - with light show & all. Happily though, many churches remain tiled (those tiles in the Cley Juxta Mare video clip are Elizabethan) and the acoustics glorious, even for solo feral fiddle, overtone flute, whistle or Jew's Harp.

Strange things happen in the Rosslyn crypt; I recorded a Jew's Harp improvisation in there once in which I detected two very high female voies which stopped when I stopped. This was in the pre-Da Vinci Code days - not a soul around; but even so nothing came out on the DAT tape! I'm not suggesting any supernatural agency here, just acoustic resonances and harmonics, similar to the EQ effects you get in certain Chapter Houses - York & Wells being noted in this respect. By the way, the York Chapter house recording plays okay at this end, though its mostly 'minster ambience' + a couple of lowish Jew's Harps. It's rare to get any chapter house to yourself for that length of time, so savouring it's 'silence' is all part of the process. I had the lady chapel of Ely Cathedral to myself for five minutes back in July, that was truly something for both the carvings and the acoustics, though I only recorded a minute or so on account of having a twisted back (a hazard of crawling around photographing the finer details of medieval misericords). I've put it up on my Sundog page but it's taking a wee while to process.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Deckman
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 01:19 AM

Janie ... the only place I get my conscience is my experiences ... eh? A toxic eperience influences me as well as a good experience. That's where our values come from. bob


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 12:49 AM

Leeneia, I lived in Milwaukee eight years and saw St. Josaphat's Basilica hundreds of times, but never went inside. It was a place of legend on the South Side of Milwaukee - click here for a good picture of the building, which was built from the remains of the the old Chicago Post Office. It was a symbol of pride of the Polish community of Milwaukee.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Janie
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 12:47 AM

Reading your last couple of posts, Bob, it seems like performing or attending a secular music event in a church is something that you personally experience as toxic based on at least one previous and powerful experience. Don't confuse toxic emotional personal experience with matters of conscience.

However, be true to yourself whether the issues be matters of conscience or related to traumatizing emotional experiences. There is not a right or wrong answer. Do what your own wise mind tells you is appropriate for you.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Deckman
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 12:20 AM

Tim ... whether you think it should, or should not, have happened ... it DID happen. And it left a lasting impression on me ... a really bad taste in my mouth. Today, in Eastern Washington, probably three hours from my home, I know several "church" members that would agree with what was told to me in 1950. bob


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Tim Chesterton
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 12:03 AM

Bob, I'm very sorry to hear that. That should not have happened.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 08:47 PM

The Hamiltons owned huge areas of coalfield in southwest Scotland. A lot of the coal in that area is in shallow seams, and the ground is often wet. There was one appalling disaster when the miners struck upwards into a swamp. The mine owners' surveying and design could be pretty slapdash.

I think what's happened around the mausoleum is that the whole area around it has sunk. Last time I tried to visit it, there had been heavy rain, and the mausoleum was sitting inaccessibly in the middle of a lake which was normally parkland. Taking a few feet of coal out from under a flat plain tends to do that.

I'll look at your basilica pictures when I get to a faster computer. From what I can see, it seems to be intended as a replica of the basilica of Assisi, and coincidentally I got a book about that today. It has one musically interesting item: in the chapel of St Martin attached to it, there is a fresco by Simone Martini from 1316-ish depicting the life of St Martin, which has two musicians playing - one has a stringed instrument midway between a cobza and a mandolin, the other is playing a double pipe like the Sardinian launeddas or Greek aulos (the painter even got the rectangular fingerholes right). Unusual sound to hear in a church, if the painting implies that.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: GUEST,Emjay -- lost my cookie
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 07:52 PM

Bob -- We call ours The Meeting House. We are a congregation of very lapsed American Baptists to borrow from Stweart. We also don't have great acoustics since our Meeting House was once a private home. We do have a few who sing loudly, though. The only things approaching religious paraphernalia are a few banners -- one is a rainbow making THAT statement.
No one ever passes a plate, hardly anyone ever asks for money unless it's to say, "I think it's your turn to buy dinner," and you would be welcome to sing there.
There are churches -- I can think of a few -- I would walk across the street to avoid and there were times I wouldn't have visited the White House because of the occupants.
Martie


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: dwditty
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 06:40 PM

For a look at some great upcoming shows in a church, see the Pierpont Concert thread.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 06:24 PM

I sing with a chorus who perform mostly in churches, simply because there is a lack of decent halls with suitable space for a choir with over 30 members, with or without orchestra, that can be hired for less than an MP's expense account. Even some of the churches we sing in charge many hundreds of pounds (last time I checked, St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, London, was asking for a four-figured sum and you have to be invited to book). Admitedly, we do sing mostly religious music, but we recently did a programme of West End Show-stoppers, in a church, which garnered one of our best audiences yet.

As a Christian, I have no qualms about performing in churches, so long as others recognise that it is a place of worship and show it the due respect as I hope I do to churches that are not 'mine'.... but oddly enough, I do have a twinge of something with the issue of charging to hear a concert of music for the Mass. It makes me feel a little uncomfortable charging people to hear what should be reserved as an act of worship but I console myself with the knowledge that the money raised from ticket prices is split between a couple of registered charities.

If you feel uncomfortable performing in a church, then just don't accept gigs in a church, regardless of what your beliefs, your upbringing, your inclination or your affiliation may be. If it makes you uncomfortable, you won't perform to the best of your ability and that is unfair to the paying public.

LTS


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 05:50 PM

You are denying yourself the pleasure of music and good company because of something one person supposedly said when you were a child?

I believe that's calle 'cutting off your nose to spite your face.'

======================
I've learned more about the Hamilton mausoleum and palace (now defunct).

"Like much of the Hamilton Estate, the mausoleum was struck by subsidence, due to the removal of the coal beneath."

Did the Hamiltons get the profits from the short-sighted coal mining? There's got to be a good song in that.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Deckman
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 05:40 PM

Well ... I'm making a liar out of myself. I had vowed to quit this thread, but several posters have lured me to back into it.

When you recognize that a "church" is a building ... and it is built by humans ... that what it is ... A BUILDING BUILT BY HUMANS. Yet many people, even on this thread, have referred to the "holyness" ... the "sacredness" of the building. And indeed, it's that very mysteque (sp?) that I reject.

If a building, built by humans, succeeds in being acoustically good ... does that mean that it has become "holy" ... or something else?

Part of the reason, as Don Firth alluded too, I started this thread was a "church"experience I has when I was 12. I had to spend that summer away from my home and I lived with a Grandfather. He also happenned to be an elder in a Pentecostal church, in Vancouver, Washington. I was studying piano at the time, and my Grandfather obtained permission from the preacher for me to continue my piano lessons by playing the church piano.

That only lasted TWO DAYS ... the preacher's wife heard me practising my scales, and some simple Chopin ... and gave the orders that I was NO LONGER WELCOME to use the church piano ... my music was "TOO WORLDLY!"

I don't like to walk into churches anymore ... I don't care how good the folksinger is! Bob (deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 05:40 PM

Thanks for the interesting stories, Jack.

Last week I heard a Mozart clarinet concerto in St Josaphat's church in Milwaukee. It is huge, high, and intricate.

In the middle of the concerto the clarinet played acapella and set that great space to reverberating. It was beautiful and remarkable.

Tell you what - I'll look up the Hamilton mauseoleum and you look up St Josaphat's Milwaukee Wisconsin. The building has an unusual history which may tickle your fancy.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 01:09 PM

I was visiting Rosslyn Chapel a while ago and tried the acoustics of the crypt. The music that immediately came to mind was the mediaeval chant "Vexilla Regis". I sang a couple of verses - meanwhile upstairs, some other visitors asked my girlfriend what the choir was.

When I can borrow a good digital recorder from somewhere, I'll go back and do some guerrilla recording on ocarina or alto flute.

The best echo in Britain is at the mausoleum of the Dukes of Hamilton, near Hamilton in western Scotland. Longer and stronger than St Pauls Cathedral. The building is a hollow tower like a great big salt shaker. The echo is so powerful you can't think of playing tunes, instead you do very slow-moving chord progressions built up out of your own echoes. It's full of Masonic symbolism, which I guess opens another can of worms. I've quite often been at music events in Masonic halls.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 12:12 PM

Fylde festival, holds a festival in the local Methodist Church, with singers from the festival, Lancaster {Roman C.} cathedral holds concerts of various forms of music, one most memorable being 'The New Scorpian Band' who performed a Mummers play!


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: meself
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 11:59 AM

What was supposed to happen? Was the devil supposed to appear an offer to buy your soul?

Just wondering ....


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 10:51 AM

I tried to play your piece from York Minster, but nothing happened.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 10:47 AM

Hello, S O'P

I was visiting Lincoln Cathedral one day. (I'm an alto.) I said something to my husband and was amazed to hear the space around me resonate with my voice. Later I realized that it was the bay, not the entire cathedral, that resonated.

I have two friends who are church musicians. They will say of a church that "It's an alto church," or a tenor or a soprano church, depending on which voices it resonates to.

Do you have any experiences like that?


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 05:55 AM

As one who spends a lot of time examining the finer details of medieval churches, I also appreciate them in terms of their acoustics - especially if undampened by carpets! Check out my adventures as SUNDOG for field-recordings I've made in various churches and there's a Black Sea Fiddle improv HERE (track 4) recorded in in St. Swithin, Launcels last year which is as much church as it is fiddle.

Also this, from St. Margarets, Cley-next-the-Sea back in July. Shite sound, but you get the idea...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVB9zrG9Xgs


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Deckman
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 11:02 PM

I ran out of Vodka!


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: dwditty
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 08:17 PM

What motive does one have to start a thread and then quit it? Perplexed.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Stewart
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 08:16 PM

Bob, don't worry, this thread still has a lot of tread left on it, and I won't let you off that easy.

Lapse - 1. a small error. 2. a moral slip. 3. falling into a lower condition. 4. a passing as of time. 5. the termination of, as a privilege through failure to meet requirements. (Webster's Dictionary) Take your pick.

As I said in the parenthesis - a half-way house to kick the religion habit.

Anything else you want to know? We can keep this going for quite a while. It's your turn.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Deckman
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 07:31 PM

STEW ... I VOWED TO QUIT THIS THREAD! But ... you have to explain to me the full ... and complete meaning of ... "A LAPSED UNITARIAN!" bob(dekman)nelson


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Stewart
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 06:55 PM

This is an excerpt from reminisces of a musical Norwegian-American family growing up in rural northern Wisconsin.

"Traditional Norwegian folk music was intended for dancing....many conservative Norwegian Lutherans looked on dancing as an absolute abomination and the folkdance music was literally regarded as "the music of the devil." The rural folk dances were of course lively affairs where drunkenness and fighting were all part of the scene... and even though the Berntson family was by nature a quiet and mild mannered bunch, the minister of the local Norwegian Lutheran Church was not the person one wanted to see pulling into the driveway when a music session was underway. The organ itself was considered by many to be an instrument for playing hymns and religious music...to use a sacred instrument in the playing of the devil's music then was in the minds of some, a moral outrage."

Although the Norwegian Lutheran churches in southeastern Minnesota were probably even more conservative, they have become more liberal in recent years. There is a lovely 1862 stone church (on the National Historic Register) in Valley Grove, MN, near St. Olaf College where I taught for 28 years. It is now administered by a local historic preservation society and is used for musical concerts of all types. It is a fantastic acoustic space for music. But I seem to recall some controversy about it's use as a music venue before the historic society took it over. I would have no problem performing there (in fact, I would love to), even though I am an ex-Lutheran and lapsed Unitarian (a half-way house to kick the religion habit - it seemed to work).

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 05:18 PM

I was raised Lutheran in SE Wisconsin, and nobody in my church had ideas like that. We loved music and enjoyed life.

I do believe that in the olden days fewer people would have associated the fiddle with the devil if electronic tuners had been available.
=============
Hi, Tootler. Nice to hear from a kindred spirit. Was your expensive new center shaped like a piece of pasta too?


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 04:11 PM

Just an aside:

The idea that Scandinavians are all humorless may be a bit of an exaggeration. A bumper-sticker recently seen in Seattle's Ballard District:

Norwegian Driver
Thank You for Not Laughing!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Fidjit
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 03:40 PM

Huge difference.

Chas


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Stewart
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 12:41 PM

But then they're Swedes,
not Norwegians!

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Stewart
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 12:21 PM

Swedish dancers in Church!

That would never have happened in
Norwegian Lutheran churches in
rural S.E. Minnesota, where I used to live.

Until recent times (perhaps even still)
the violin was an instrument of the devil
and dancing was a mortal sin.

Quite amazing!

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 11:53 AM

God likes that kind of stuff.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Fidjit
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 10:06 AM

Here you are Swedish dancers in Church This was at the Saltö Festival in September

Chas


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Tootler
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 06:02 AM

I sang the Corpus Christi Carol once in a church in Jarrow as a solo spot in a concert given by the North East Recorder Orchestra. It is a big Victorian Church and the acoustics were wonderful. It gave you feedback and you could simply relax and let your voice come out.

It was well received by the audience, btw as was the concert as a whole. We usually do concerts on a shared takings basis with the venue and they will help by doing the publicity, producing the tickets and providing interval refreshments. It works well for everyone, and although I have no strong religious belief, I have no problems with this kind of arrangement.

In the UK, at least in my part of it, churches, church halls and village halls are the kind of venue which most amateur groups will use for performances as they are affordable. Small scale professional performances often take place in these kinds of venues as well as in pubs for similar reasons.

The kind of situation leeneia described in Kansas occurred here in Stockton-on-Tees when they knocked down a small arts centre and replaced it with a fancy theatre/concert hall and in the process pushed out the amateur groups that used to use the old centre. Ironically the new venue almost went bust within months of opening, though it was reprieved and is doing OK.


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 05:37 AM

At Bromyard F F this year, Liz and I were asked to sing in the parish church. Liz had more misgivings than I but we sent off a list of appropriate songs and were asked to perform, 'Down in Yon Valley' (American version of the Corpus Christi Carol) and Judas (Child 23). The latter again worried Liz since it excuses Judas and berates St. Peter. (We were in St Peter's church). The way you feel in a church is due to belief sure but also to upbringing. Liz's parents were staunch non-conformists which mine were a bit more casual in their beliefs. For my part I felt t was important not to upset the sensibilities of the local and regular worshippers but at the same time also wanted to contribute to the important link between the festival and the town in which it happens. As it happened all went well and the songs were well received. For our part it was a lovely opportunity to sing in an ancient and beautiful building. Stressful? Oh yes!


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Fidjit
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 05:01 AM

Stortfolk had until recently their Folk club in a Church in Bishop's Stortford.

Colchester folk club is in a Church.

Mike Absolem had a folk club in a Church too in London Ooooh So many years ago. (early sixties) I'm sure there are others.

Chas


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Subject: RE: performing in churches ?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 06:38 PM

Never really had these reservations. When I was in my teens, & even more insecure about my singing voice than I am now, I used to yearn to perform in our local church, by way of joining the 'folk' group that played there every week. It was an Anglican church with a fairly sizeable congregation, so the group regularly got a couple of numbers in while Communion was being administered, and maybe a third while the Lord's table was being cleared afterwards. But I never admitted to anyone that I could sing, and they never asked, so it was not to be.

In retrospect I think it was probably a lucky escape; their material wasn't terribly inspiring, and at times it was downright inappropriate. One week they did John Denver's "Goodbye Again": very pretty, but not really suited for the middle of a church service.


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