Music

Sacred Harp 175: ‘Highlands of Heaven’

Sinner, go, will you go,
To the highlands of heaven;
Where the storms never blow,
And the long summer’s given?
Where the bright blooming flow’rs
Are their odors emitting;
And the leaves of the bow’rs
On the breezes are flitting.

Where the saints robed in white,
Cleansed in life’s flowing fountain,
Shining, beauteous, and bright,
Shall inhabit the mountain.
Where no sin, nor dismay,
Neither trouble, nor sorrow,
Will be felt for today,
Nor be feared for the morrow.

A Sense of Place: The Beauty in Small Churches

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In no place do I feel more closer to God and my ancestors, both the Christian and those who followed Africa’s religions of various forms, than I do at a rural Negro church. It was there that, these two great paths towards God mingled and gave us many of the practices we have in the Black Church today and our culture at large. The ring shout, catching the holy ghost, the great Black American Gospel music that is derived from Negro Spirituals, that swing you hear in your favorite Jazz composition (the basis of and feeling you get from Jazz),  down on to the style of oratory made famous by too many Black preachers to name.

So if you’re in need affirmation, a way to rekindle your connection to community (which is harder and harder to maintain in this age) visit these churches or even the remains of one, its metaphysical impact can be great if you are open to it. God bless you.

 Ring Shout!

Ring Shouters, 1930 Courtesy Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

Ring Shouters, 1930

Sacred Harp 117: ‘Babylon is Fallen’

Hail the day so long expected,
Hail the year of full release.
Zion’s walls are now erected,
And her watchmen publish peace.
Through our Shiloh’s wide dominion,
Hear the trumpet loudly roar,
Babylon is fallen to rise no more.

All her merchants stand with wonder,
What is this that comes to pass:
Murm’ring like the distant thunder,
Crying, “Oh alas, alas.”
Swell the sound, ye kings and nobles,
Priest and people, rich and poor;
Babylon is fallen to rise no more.

Blow the trumpet in Mount Zion,
Christ shall come a second time;
Ruling with a rod of iron
All who now as foes combine.
Babel’s garments we’ve rejected,
And our fellowship is o’er,
Babylon is fallen to rise no more.

William Tyler: ‘Cadillac Desert’

From Riboflavin at TMT:

I have no idea what the Carter years were like; I was born in 1985, the year after 1984. The year after we got over/past 1984. 2013 is that year in some regards: the year we got over 2012. Either you were a practitioner of pseudo-scientific, misplaced Mayan anxieties or you were a concerned person in a t-shirt on a northwestern February day. Anxieties can and will occur, and for good reason. But what happens when the spaces in time that breed reactionaries subside into anxiety loss? Does the severed dread lead back to the multi-lane freeway? Some are still anxious for good reason; time doesn’t solve problems for us, either going forward or moving backward. …

But life is often like a science fiction film, a good science fiction film, where remnants of the past (often our own present) remain, even just as set pieces. People still drive 20- to 30-year-old cars, live in old buildings, etc., etc. This is the case in music — especially in music. Sure, keep it new, be new, blah blah new blah blah… but don’t actually. A creative condition is set more in the execution of aspects that support an idea, and to what ends make something “creative” rest more on every aspect about the art in question.

In this context, Impossible Truth makes sense to me as a very good album about nostalgia, and not in the way where I feel compelled to criticize it on a “sound-contemporary” basis or on the critical level where I knock people down for fucking with my childhood.

The teaser video is pretty good too:

Sacred Harp 288: ‘White’

Ye fleeting charms of earth farewell,
Your springs of joy are dry;
My soul seeks another home.
A brighter world on high.

I’m a long time trav’ling here below,
I’m a long time trav’ling away from home,
I’m a long time trav’ling here below,
To lay this body down.

Farewell, my friends, whose tender care
Has long engaged my love;
Your fond embrace I now exchange
For better friends above.