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Look at it this way.

as encouraged by Timothy Shepard

Wondering through the Music Superstore

One Christmas, the Adult Choir at the Church I was serving gave me a gift certificate coin from the CD Superstore. They probably didn't know that going to the CD Superstore is one of my favorite ways to spend a couple of hours. It helps to keep me informed about what's going on in the world of music; it helps to keep me informed about what's going on in the world. Music for me is food for thought. If you've never been, you should check it out. They have an entire wall of listening stations at which you can sit down and listen with head phones to the latest in CD releases. Each station has different selections to choose; each station is a different category such as Alternative, Country, Rock, Rap, Folk, Local artists, etc.. There's a separate room of only classical music with its own set of stations with classical CD's. I explored both rooms, sitting at the listening stations and browsing through the aisles. Off to the CD Superstore I went one recent afternoon, gift certificate in hand.

Laurie Anderson: After eventually coming to appreciate her art, I wanted to see if Laurie Anderson had any new recordings out. I remember the first time I heard Laurie Anderson on her recording "Superman". It struck me in a frighteningly powerful way. It conjured up the idea that this had to be the musical incarnation of evil. It was so strange and so different. Laurie Anderson, however, is no more evil than Franz Schubert. On reflection, I wonder how often we label things evil that are simply strange and different to us, and not take the time to find out the reality or authenticity behind them.

The Beatles: There is a new release of the Beatles BBC broadcasts made in the early 60's before they were popular in the United States. Father Bob, having been in England during that time remembers the original broadcasts on the radio. He had purchased the disks and told me about them. I wanted to hear them. Two thoughts struck me as I listened: how times and musical sounds change; yet I could hear how these musicians profoundly affected the development that brought us to where we are today. Lesson: Honor the older for their impact on the younger.

Chant: I am truly amazed that a CD of Gregorian Chant sung by Spanish Monks continues to be a best selling recording, even on the pop charts. Some say it reflects a genuine spiritual hunger in America. After all, the Orthodox Church is one of the growing churches in America beside the non-denominational variety. Others say it is the latest Yuppie trend in musical decor appropriate for the cheese course. My view as an eclectic is that chant can be profoundly beautiful in the right setting, functioning in a worship service; and I think that a little bit of chant goes a long way.

David Willocks: I listened to a recording of Willcocks conducting the Kings College Choir. Sir David was in Charleston recently to conduct the Diocesan Choir Festival. Having both sung as a boy chorister and later directing the choir at Kings College, Sir David embodies the distinguished tradition of the Anglican choral music. It's a tradition that goes back several centuries. I could be tempted to lament the fact that our own young country has no such traditions of this duration and influence.

There's a big world just in that one store. There's even a section of music called "international". Some of the music I heard appealed to me, some of it didn't. It's fascinating to know what's out there and enlightening to try to understand it. Music reflects who we are and where we are. My final purchase was a CD of the musical group Chanticleer singing Mexican Baroque music and a CD which was an international anthology of Renaissance Madrigals. Many thanks to the Choir for what they have given to me!

 

It helps to keep me informed about what's going on in the world of music; it helps to keep me informed about what's going on in the world.

 

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