This is not my general line of musical preference, but I found it fetching and it really grows on you. Now, this music clip was chosen because it was the best sounding solution to a particular posting dilemma I was having. Explanation below.
So, what posting dilemma, you ask? Well, OK. Bear with me for a minute. Sunday music is kind of a tradition around here. What’s more, I’ve been posting light for the past several months, and when I don’t post much, my routine is to let the Sunday specials sit there as placeholder posts until I do, which obligates me to put up another Sunday music post for any Sunday following any non-Sunday post. Being a creature of pointless, self-imposed habit, that’s just what I do. Consider Sunday music posts to be default mode.
But another tradition around here is linking to Nightsky’s Rocktober Halloween countdown!!!!!!!!!!, which this year is following a “Friday Night Videos” theme, a retro 80s premise in honor of the old music video program. The way it works it that Nightsky hits every Friday in October until he gets to the BIG ONE, Halloween night. But for the past three Friday posts over there, I developed a NEW self-imposed habit, which is to link Nightsky’s Halloween posts in my Sunday music posts, and thus kill two birds with one stone. It was going along OK and there was no huge Friday/Sunday dissonance because it was in anticipation of Halloween. But now, since Nightsky’s Rocktober grand finale falls on Friday, it means that if I link to it in a Sunday music post, Halloween will have been over for two days. So how can I do a Sunday music post in such a way as to link to Nightsky’s Rocktober finale and not be totally off key? Can you see the dilemma now?
Toob search results for terms like “All Souls Day hymn” “All Saints day sacred music” etc. etc. turned up a lot of badly recorded church music, and quite a lot of music by a darkish rock band called All Hallows Eve, a group which Nightsky might possibly approve of but which did not exactly fit the bill for my self-imposed “Sunday obligation” sacred-themed Sunday music posts. I was looking really hard, and I wasn’t turning up much.
Enter “Souling Song”! This Sunday is November 2nd, which is the Feast of All Souls. The day before that is All Saints Day, or All Hallows Day, November 1st. And October 31st is All Hallow’s Eve, or, as it has come to be known, Halloween. Now, trick-or-treating has some historical roots in “Souling,” a practice from All Souls Day that was somewhat akin to Christmas caroling. People went around offering prayers for deceased family members in return for “soul cakes.” In this spirit, Kristen Lawrence has done a fine job resurrecting the melody and lyrics of an Olde Englishe “Souling” song, nicely set to organ and church bells, and sung with a nice pure voice. Good job on the music, and kudos to Kristen Lawrence, heretofore unknown to me, for packing so much history and cultural education into a charming and haunting (in a nice way) old song. See her Halloween Carols site here.
Now, I said this was a solution to a posting dilemma, but I didn’t say a perfect solution. While my musical selection does make a nice intersect with Halloween, Friday, and Sunday, it is less easy to harmonize the tenor of our Sunday offering with Nightsky’s October 31 post, which includes such disquieting Metal numbers as “Pimples from Hell” and “Skateboarding to Satan”.
Hey look, I never said I was perfect.
UPDATE: OK, I was getting ahead of myself. Nightsky’s finally final Friday finale is here.
I’m a little ahead, but you’ll catch up. May all of you have a good one!
New Year bell ringing at Chion-in Temple in Kyoto.
It’s better if they don’t cut away after the strike, because it’s the lingering overtones that are coolest:
To mark Advent, we give you Zoltán Kodály (1943), L’Accorche-Choeur, Vocal Ensemble of Fribourg, date of recording unknown.
Tribute to Sunset on Third Street (2005) with theme music.
Music by Naoki Sato. The movie is nostalgia distilled to a kind of perfection.
From The Melody at Night, With You (1999).