Three Songs on the Holy Spirit
Soprano Judy Bohlen, asked (actually commissioned) me and other local composer friends to write solo songs for her and other singers, on older hymn texts and other unique poetry. She wanted to explore the inspiration in these texts/lyrics as solo art songs.
Some that we talked about were hymns lyrics that she thought would be wonderful as solo songs to sing in worship services. Judy wanted new music, new melodies and accompaniment. Hymns and songs sung by a choir or contemporary ensemble is common in church, not so much solo art songs. Art song is more like poetry reading, but the inflection, expression and timing is crafted by the composer.
Three of these song we worked on are texts that talk about the Holy Spirit in different ways. I like them because though these texts from Christian traditions, the Holy Spirit is really, I think, a universal concept, crossing religious boundaries.
- Startle Us, God, text by Shirley Erena Murray, with piano accompaniment.
- Spirit Divine, Attend Our Prayers, text by Andrew Reed, with solo flute accompaniment.
- Blessed Spirit Teach Thou Me, text by Fanny Crosby, with piano and flute accompaniment.