Musical Musings: January 9 – 15, 2022

Music Notes – Sunday, January 9th:  
This Sunday’s musicians are Amy Collins and UUCC Pianist Karin Tooley
Opening Hymn: #1064 Blue Boat Home – Mayer/Prichard, arr. Shelton
A native of Minnesota, folk musician Peter Mayer (b. 1963) is a guitarist and songwriter who specializes in earth-centered music. UU congregations know and love Peter as the lyricist behind “Blue Boat Home,” which first appeared on Mayer’s album The Great Story and is #1064 in our Singing the Journey hymnbook. The melody Mayer set his inspiring words to is called “Hyfrodol,” a popular Welsh hymn tune credited to Rowland Prichard (1811-1887). The piano accompaniment and choral harmonies were added by Rev. Jason Shelton (b. 1972), who also wrote several other beloved UU songs, including “Standing on the Side of Love,” “The Fire of Commitment,” and “Life Calls Us On.”

Centering Music: I Walk with Joy Through the Green Forest – Mahler
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) was a composer, conductor, and pianist who became one of the most important figures in European music during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in Bohemia, Mahler was the second of twelve children. He showed musical ability from a young age and graduated from the Vienna Conservatory at the age of 18. “I Walk with Joy Through the Green Forest” is from Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Youth’s Magic Horn), a song cycle for voice and piano based on German folk poems, first published in 1892. This Sunday, you’ll hear this piece adapted for solo piano and performed by UUCC Pianist Karin Tooley.
Offertory music: Breeze – Tooley   
“Breeze” is a 1981 composition by UUCC Pianist Karin Tooley. In Karin’s own words: ““Breeze” is one of my first original compositions, written when I turned sixteen. Debussy’s many impressionistic pieces on the theme of water were a major influence”.
Closing Hymn: #1028 The Fire of Commitment – Shelton
Jason Shelton is an award-winning composer, arranger, conductor, song and worship leader, workshop presenter, and coach. He served as the Associate Minister for Music at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville, Tennessee from 1998-2017, and is now engaged in a music ministry at-large, focused on serving the musical resource needs of UU (and other liberal) congregations around the country (from The Fire of Commitment (#1028) is one of many contributions Rev. Shelton has made to our Singing the Journey hymnbook. The unrest of its irregular meter and the insistent rhythmic pulse drive home the call to action that is at the core of the song’s message. 
Postlude: Here Comes the Sun – Harrison   
“Here Comes the Sun” is one of the most recognizable and iconic of the many songs recorded by The Beatles. The song was written by George Harrison (1943-2001) in the spring of 1969 while staying at the home of Eric Clapton. In interviews, Harrison indicated the song was inspired by his joy in reaching the end of a particularly harsh English winter as well as a feeling of hopefulness that he and his fellow Beatles would be able to set aside their differences and recapture their lost enthusiasm for making music together. Spring arrived right on time in 1969 England, but unfortunately, Harrison’s optimism about his band did not blossom. “Here Comes the Sun” was released on Abbey Road, which would be The Beatles’ second-last album before breaking up the following year. UUCC Pianist Karin Tooley wrote and performed the piano arrangement of this classic song that you’ll be hearing in this Sunday’s service.

                                                                                                                                    -Mike Carney, UUCC Music Director