Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace (MUSIC INSPIRATION!!!)

If there is one thing you should know about me, it is that I love music! A lot of different kinds of music, but most definitely the kinds that are sung in choirs, and played in bands and orchestras (so, classical, basically). Yes, I know, kind of odd for a 16 year old. But it's quite amazing.

Anyways... I'm in two choirs, and one of them just recently got the opportunity to sing with my city's symphony orchestra (which means I did, too) a long with about 300 other high school students. The mass choir of high school students and the orchestra performed The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins just this past Friday.

It. Was. So. COOL.

If you have never sung with an accomplished symphony orchestra and 300 other people, YOU SHOULD ADD IT TO YOUR TO DO LIST. There's nothing like it, I tell you.

Anyways, the mass we sang was really cool. It has about 13 different movements (although we didn't sing all of them) and the whole thing mostly circulates around war, and then other slower movements are asking forgivness for all the wrong we've caused with war. So I'm going to post some youtube links for your listening pleasure and, to stick in something about writing... also for some inspiration, too. I'm just going to include the links for the movements we sang, though.

I. The Armed Man (L'Homme Armé)
This movement is, I think, the soldier arming himself and going out to war.

III. Kyrie
The words in this are basically "Lord, have mercy" so it could be the soldiers asking God to make sure they don't get killed in the war.

V. Sanctus
This one was really cool when the choir was singing it, we had to be really soft and then when the Hosanna part came the choir and orchestra just burst into sound.

VI. The Hymn Before Action
The title says it: the hymn before action. This is one of my favourite movements. I especially love the end phrase: "Lord grant us strength to die!"

VII. Charge!
The charge. I love the part where we sing "the double double beat of the thundering drum" and then the drum beats two, really loudly. DA-DUM! Oh, and the horrifying scream thing at the end sounded amazing during the concert. We build it up, and build it up and it sounds awful which is what it's supposed to sound like -like people suffering and dying. And then we hold the scream for a bar and then everything just cuts off, and it rings like crazy into the concert hall. Nobody moves, or barely breathes, and then the Last Post is played. My grandma told me after that at that part she was just begging it to stop because it sounded so terrifying.

X. Agnus Dei
"O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, grant us Thy peace"

XII. Benedictus
Even if you listen to nothing else, LISTEN TO THE BENEDICTUS. It's incredibly beautiful, especially the cello solo at the beginning.

XIII. Better is Peace
The a capella chorale at the end of this is incredibly peaceful and beautiful, the perfect way to end the song: "God shall wipe away all tears, and there shall be no more death". During the concert, we were soft until "Praise the Lord" and then we just gave it all. It sounded amazing, and you could feel it.

Well, I hoped you enjoyed that (the numbering is off because I just stated the number of the movement and we didn't sing every movement). And even if you're busy, I hope you at least listen to my favourite parts: The Hymn Before Action, Benedictus and the final chroale in Better is Peace. I also hope you were inspired.

Ah, I love music.

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