Marty Haugen at Summer School

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SOP
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Re: Marty Haugen at Summer School

Post by SOP »

I have no idea what most of this thread is about but in an attempt to bring this thread back on topic - I always enjoy Marty's workshops and find him to be a deeply spiritual person. Don't like every single piece he has ever written, nothing I hate but like some things better than other.

As a member of NNPM I have seen Marty many times at their conferences so it took a while for me to realise that this was his first Summer School.

Sorry for interrupting - you can all go back off topic now.

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Re: Marty Haugen at Summer School

Post by musicus »

Thanks, SOP, but I have split page 2 of this topic off to a new one, entitled 'Cheese'.
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Re: Marty Haugen at Summer School

Post by presbyter »

SOP wrote:I always enjoy Marty's workshops and find him to be a deeply spiritual person. Don't like every single piece he has ever written, nothing I hate but like some things better than other.


I've been to a few of Marty's workshops too, over a few years. Agree with you SOP.

Gedackt flute wrote:I personally find the Mass of Creation very powerful.


But this is one of his compositions that's not on my list of favourites - not that I'd stop an assembly singing it.

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Re: Marty Haugen at Summer School

Post by Gedackt flute »

NorthernTenor wrote:I'm glad to hear that Marty Haugen was pleasing in person. Unfortunately, I don't know his music other than the Mass of Cremation, but it may be that his reputation labours under the weight of that poor, shallow thing (the composer of the Gathering Mass suffers a similar problem). It is understandable if some become cross, in their anguish, when this kind of thing is inflicted on them, but that is no reason for personal abuse.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMb18BlgrMY

NT - have you written anything as good as this?

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Re: Marty Haugen at Summer School

Post by Nick Baty »

First heard this at the beginning of Prayers for Bobby – seriously weepy movie about the suicide of a young gay man after his church had tried to "cure' him – long before I'd realised it was by MH – although, didn't he arrange, rather than compose, this piece. I remember thinking at the time, "This sounds like a psalm".

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Re: Marty Haugen at Summer School

Post by Southern Comfort »

Nick Baty wrote:didn't he arrange, rather than compose, this piece.


No, he didn't arrange it, he is the composer and the adapter of the psalm text (26B/27B). This is one of Marty's greater pieces, alongside "God remembers [pain, joy, us]". Both of these need to be in every parish musician's repertoire.

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Re: Marty Haugen at Summer School

Post by NorthernTenor »

Gedackt flute wrote:
NorthernTenor wrote:I'm glad to hear that Marty Haugen was pleasing in person. Unfortunately, I don't know his music other than the Mass of Cremation, but it may be that his reputation labours under the weight of that poor, shallow thing (the composer of the Gathering Mass suffers a similar problem). It is understandable if some become cross, in their anguish, when this kind of thing is inflicted on them, but that is no reason for personal abuse.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMb18BlgrMY

NT - have you written anything as good as this?


Nick Baty wrote:First heard this at the beginning of Prayers for Bobby – seriously weepy movie about the suicide of a young gay man after his church had tried to "cure' him – long before I'd realised it was by MH – although, didn't he arrange, rather than compose, this piece. I remember thinking at the time, "This sounds like a psalm".


I'm hardly the best judge of that, Gedackt, and amused that you should ask in such terms *. Anyway, I hope you'll forgive me for observing that your question is ill defined. Good for what purpose, by what criteria? As Nick observes, it works very well on the soundtrack of a seriously weepy movie. It wouldn't work as a liturgical psalm-setting, because it's only 'based on' the given text and as a heart-on-sleeve performance piece it's ill-suited to that liturgical function; but, then, if it wasn't written as a psalm-setting for the Pauline Rite, criticism of its use for that purpose wouldn't be due to MH, but to whoever programmed it so.

ps whatever you think of my own faltering offerings, I still think the Mass of Creation is a poorly constructed emotional self-indulgence whose style is ill-matched to the contemplative character of our Rite. Ditto the other work referenced, and it would not surprise me to know that the composers concerned (at least one of whom is, I'm sure, capable of better work) are occasionally embarrassed by stuff that they penned a long time ago. That said, these judgements, with which others are perfectly free to disagree, relate to the music as liturgical settings; they have no bearing on the characters of the individuals concerned, and I strongly agree that they afford no excuse for personal abuse of them.

Regards,

Ian.

-----------
* Actually, I suspect you to be a troll of far greater subtlety and entertainment value than EP has ever managed, for which you have my thanks.
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Re: Marty Haugen at Summer School

Post by Nick Baty »

Thanks for that, SC – you are, of course, correct. I dug around a bit and discovered that I must have, at some stage, read it on Wikipedia (my own fault for trusting the site without double checking) which used the word "arranged".

Anyway, have downloaded the track from GIA and have ordered the movie from Amazon (although I remember ending up in floods of tears first time I saw it!). And yes, SC, this one will definitely be heading into our our parish repertoire – our assembly will really enjoy it.

So, all in all, a most useful post from Mr Flute.

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Re: Marty Haugen at Summer School

Post by Peter Jones »

NorthernTenor wrote: It wouldn't work as a liturgical psalm-setting, because it's only 'based on' the given text ……


Clarification please. NT, do you mean it should not be used as the Responsorial Psalm in the Liturgy of the Word? If yes, I am with you on that.

Prescind from matters concerning musical style (almost Huijbers in places) and from the American-English style of text ("O God, do not drop me", for example, which to my ears is sadly a little comical and therefore, far from the intention of the text). My point below has nothing to do with whether I like the piece or not.

The text/lyrics are here

http://www.lyrics-p.com/authors/marty-haugen/marty-haugen-i-need-you-to-listen-lyrics.shtml

The present Grail Psalm text is here

http://www.athanasius.com/psalms/psalms1.html#27 (begins verse 7)

Apart from what might be considered, to my mind, as the unfortunate omission of verse 11a, Haugen seems to have produced a fair paraphrase of the Psalm. I cannot see any inherent unsuitability in using this piece, therefore, as a processional chant, where paraphrases of scriptural texts are acceptable. If we are going along the way of banning Psalm paraphrases, then
From the depths of sin and sadness - Jabusch; All people that on earth do dwell - Kethe; and O praise ye the Lord! - Baker, will be three casualties among many, many others.

The question of whether to use this piece in the celebration of the liturgy or not is - in my opinion - best left to those planning celebrations in particular places at particular times - those making the Liturgical, Musical and Pastoral judgements on behalf of the assembled people of God. Will this text and this musical treatment of it truly engage these specific people in the prayer of the psalm? If yes, use it. If not, don't.
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Re: Marty Haugen at Summer School

Post by Peter Jones »

I have just read a description of Marty - the epitome of nice fuzzy guys.
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Re: Marty Haugen at Summer School

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Southern Comfort wrote:This is one of Marty's greater pieces, alongside "God remembers [pain, joy, us]". Both of these need to be in every parish musician's repertoire.


A somewhat bold statement SC, if I may say so.

The text is by Brian Wren, not Haugen. Here it is: http://www.religioused.org/tensegrities/archives/3980

Would you care to elaborate on why you think this text is so liturgically appropriate?
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Re: Marty Haugen at Summer School

Post by NorthernTenor »

Dear Fr. Peter,

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify. Yes, I referred to its use as a responsorial psalm. I am pleased you feel that the piece’s character makes it unsuitable for this purpose, and that you agree that it deviates from the given text, albeit not greatly. That also should rule out its use for this part of the Mass.

As for the use of this and similar music in processionals: agreed liturgical texts are available for processions. In addition, there are many hymns and songs that bring dignity and devotion to these occasions without descending into the facile sentimentalism of MH’s setting. I am disappointed and curious that you turn to the words of the ex-Jesuit Bernard Huijbers to seek justification for it. His sub-Marxian, feel-good stuff is an interesting period piece – it certainly had folk excited in those heady days of youth in the 1970s and 80s – but most of us have moved on since then, recognising there is no dichotomy between the musical praxis of our religious tradition and the reforms desired by the Council. I would rather turn to the words of one of the major inspirations of that reform, St. Pius X, in his letter * to Cardinal Respighi, giving him responsibility for implementation of the author’s instruction on sacred music:

For the devout psalmody of the clergy, in which the people also used to join, there have been substituted interminable musical compositions on the words of the psalms, all of them modelled on old theatrical works, and most of them of such meagre artistic value that they would not be tolerated for a moment even in our second-rate concerts. It is certain that Christian piety and devotion are not promoted by them; the curiosity of some of the less intelligent is fed, but the majority, disgusted and scandalized, wonder how it is that such an abuse can still survive.


That applies very well to the sentimental mush of the setting under discussion. And while the author was in this instance discussing vespers, the substance of his judgement also stands in relation to the kinds of mass setting also mentioned in this thread.

Regards,

Ian.

* See http://www.adoremus.org/MotuProprio.html#anchor883761
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Re: Marty Haugen at Summer School

Post by Southern Comfort »

Peter Jones wrote:
Southern Comfort wrote:This is one of Marty's greater pieces, alongside "God remembers [pain, joy, us]". Both of these need to be in every parish musician's repertoire.


A somewhat bold statement SC, if I may say so.

The text is by Brian Wren, not Haugen. Here it is: http://www.religioused.org/tensegrities/archives/3980

Would you care to elaborate on why you think this text is so liturgically appropriate?


Just to clarify:

I did not say that Marty Haugen wrote the text of "God remembers", but "I need you to listen". I lumped them both together as great pieces, and you probably misread that to indicate that I was saying Marty wrote both texts.

"God remembers" is one of Brian Wren's more powerful texts, and Marty's setting does it justice. The first time I encountered it, I couldn't stop playing it.

As for "I need you to listen", Marty's text is based on the version in Francis Patrick Sullivan's Tragic Psalms: Half a Psalter

"I need you to listen" was first written, I believe, for use at a service of prayer for victims of AIDS. In the context of such services, services of healing, etc, I believe it is entirely liturgically appropriate. I do not think it would find a place as a psalm-setting in the Liturgy of the Word at Mass, though it might be useful as psalm paraphrase at funerals, for example during Communion.

"God remembers" is a song for use on similar occasions, but I could see this being used at Mass (clearly not as the Responsorial Psalm, since it is not a psalm) when the scriptures relate to pain, suffering, and being held in the palm of God's hand. And also at funerals, of course.

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Re: Marty Haugen at Summer School

Post by Peter Jones »

NorthernTenor wrote:I am disappointed and curious that you turn to the words of the ex-Jesuit Bernard Huijbers to seek justification for it.


Huijbers - that was simply a comment about the musical style, NT, not the text. I cannot have been clear. Sorry.
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Re: Marty Haugen at Summer School

Post by Peter Jones »

Southern Comfort wrote:"God remembers" is one of Brian Wren's more powerful texts, and Marty's setting does it justice........And also at funerals, of course.


Thank you. I think I see what you mean now.
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