Psalm 23: a Musical Exegesis

I have an article in this month’s issue of Liturgy: A Journal of the Liturgical Conference.

The connection to the lament tradition becomes even more apparent in Hebrew. In a study on the book of Lamentations, Karl Budde identified a metrical pattern of three stressed syllables followed by two stressed syllables in alternating lines, a pattern he called “lament-like meter.”8 It is theorized that this meter was especially suited to the genre because of its asymmetry: “the lack of a third matching accent in the second line brought out a sense of unfulfilled hopes.”9 Lament-like meter is used in all but one line of the 23rd Psalm (verse 4 is written in 2:2 rather than in 3:2.)

The dynamic contrast between the form of the psalm (lament) and the content of the psalm (confidence) is an artistic choice of the psalmist. It reminds me of the “holy sonnets” of John Donne, who began his career writing erotic poetry but later shifted the content of his poems to piety while continuing to use the sonnet, a typically romantic form.

You can pick up a copy here if you are interested.

Lost Website

Hey, everyone~

Due to a server upgrade earlier this week, I ended up losing most of this site and am currently in the process of reconstructing it. Sorry for any inconvenience this might cause you.

isaac everett

New Music for Advent

I was interviewed by the Episcopal News Service for a piece they did on Advent music. It’s an interesting read:

As inevitable as Advent wreaths and Christmas pageants, music fills Episcopal churches throughout the holiday season. Congregations embrace services of Lessons and Carols and performances of Handel’s “Messiah” as choir directors seek to provide a balance of the beloved and familiar with new works illuminating the miracle of the Incarnation.

Unlike in shopping malls – and some other denominations – the music of December is not Christmas carols but Advent hymns during the four weeks before the Nativity.

Click hear to read the rest of the article.

Christian spirituality with a gritty edge

The Episcopal News Service has done a piece on Transmission, the album. It’s worth checking out:

Nearly two years after performing at the Episcopal Church’s General Convention where his debut album, “Rotation,” became one of the Episcopal bookstore’s best selling items, Isaac Everett is back with a second release.

“Transmission,” a collaboration with lyricist j. Snodgrass, follows the ordo of a mass while telling a story that is rooted in Everett’s and Snodgrass’ experiences as young Christians in New York City.

“I wanted the songs to portray the urban, gritty feel of the city, the rush of people, the subways,” says Everett, a 26-year-old musician in his final year at New York’s Union Theological Seminary. “I wanted people to feel the reality of the city grind and experience the presence of Christian spirituality within that.”

You can read the rest here.

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