Last night the chamber singers took part in a small recording session for a holiday CD. And it went pretty well, actually.
The principal accompanist for the gay men’s chorus is actually putting out the CD. He’s done a couple before, but this is his 25th year with the chorus and he’s never done one for the holidays.
The songs we recorded last night were: A Christmas Waltz, Silent Night, and i carry your heart with me.
The waltz is a nice, romantic Christmas tune about the time of year when the world falls in love, etc. It has some tricky close harmonies and jazzy chords that sort of fly by as it’s a fairly up-tempo piece.
Silent Night is… fairly stock. It’s a pretty decent arrangement of the song, but nothing unusual or outstanding.
And then there’s “i carry your heart with me”. The text is taken from the e.e. cummings poem of the same name. It’s everything I like about modern choral composition– beautiful sentiment, some challenging and unexpected harmonies, lushness, and a beautiful acapella moment at the end that just wrenches your soul. Here’s the poem:
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
It was an honor to get to record these for his CD, and all three recordings went really well. But I’ll be buying the CD mostly for for the the cummings poem.