Greetings music lovers! Music has always been a big part of the Pinard family’s Christmas celebration. I sang in my high school choir each Christmas, performing some of the best loved traditional carols and less familiar choral pieces to a packed auditorium. Throughout Nathan’s education, he too participated in his school’s Christmas/Winter music programs, and of course we always had Christmas music playing in our home so Nathan grew up with all the classics. Musically speaking, Christmas songs consist of some of the most beautiful melodies ever written, and have inspired musicians of each generation to arrange their own rendition of these well loved carols. Continue reading Throwback Thursday Christmas!
It’s Throwback Thursday!!! Been a while, people! Nathan and I have both been swept up in getting my books published, and although that task is complete, we are now producing the first book trailer for the series. Nathan is planning to compose an original piece of music for the trailer, based on the Chanson de l’Ange aria. I will be very excited to share the trailer with you all when it has been completed. Meanwhile, in honor of Throwback Thursday, I am sharing a different video.
I wrote the Chanson de l’Ange aria back in 2005. Shortly after that, Nathan composed the accompaniment and I recorded the song in our home studio. Then a friend of mine created this beautiful fan video per my request. The aria will be included on the Chanson CD, but as my voice is no longer up to par, we are thrilled that Toni Gibson recorded a beautiful rendition for the CD, scheduled for release in March of 2014. Have a musical day, and please share with your friends!
In the year 2000 I got a crazy idea to write both the script and songs for a fully staged musical drama entitled YESHUA. It was a wild adventure that began with a small, one act Good Friday presentation at our church, then ballooned into a two and a half hour two act show, complete with sets, dancers, a full choir and lots of bells and whistles (including a 500 year old dried out tree). We presented YESHUA for 3 consecutive years at a local performing arts center.
My goal in writing this production was to do something different with what we commonly refer to as the Easter story, so I flavored the show with elements of the passion story’s historically Jewish roots through Hebrew dance, authentic Hebrew costumes, and a musical score laced with Jewish melodies.
Early on in the creation of YESHUA, Nathan and I decided that we wanted music to back the entire show, as if it were being presented on film. More than orchestral accompaniment for all the songs, we wanted scene music that would set the mood, the time and place; music that would enhance the emotional ebb and flow of the story. As I wrote the script I worked with Nathan on the timing of scenes so that the action would move smoothly from scene to scene, the pace driven by music. It was, at the time a novel concept, made possible because Nathan was able to create the entire score on his keyboard. During our work sessions I would read through the scenes aloud, and together we would decide what type of music the scene and dialogue required, how much music there should be, and when to leave blank spaces.
Nathan then created CDs that contained all the scene music and song accompaniment. We began rehearsing with the CD right from the start so the actors could learn their cues and work out the timing of their dialogue, scene changes, and the dramatic flow. This was especially effective in the trial scene where I required the actors to speak their dialogue in a rapid fire confrontational style.
Going into rehearsal, we were not at all sure how this would work, but the entire cast and crew were thrilled by the result! As the director of the play I was able to get more out of my actors because Nathan’s music is very emotive. There is gorgeous scene music when Yeshua (Jesus) prays in the garden and when he sings the modern aria I wrote for him. A suspenseful percussion-heavy score beats behind the trial scene, and the crucifixion scene allowed Nathan to compose the music of tears.
We are happy to share this clip from the crucifixion scene; with music by Nathan Allen Pinard and dialogue by Corey Bretsch and Brian Knapp with Vocals by Bonnie Pinard. This particular piece of music contains a lot of dark sound and vocal design with a celtic feel at the end, because well-Nathan likes to work outside the box!
One of the greatest joys a musician can have is participating in the creation of music. For composers, songs and music find various pathways into the listening world. Some argue that writing music is a technical process which involves a certain mechanism of the human brain…but there are some melodies that when first heard, resonate so richly in the heart and the ear that you may think you have heard them before-or that they have always been.
I can think of several well known melodies which fit that description: “O Danny Boy” comes immediately to mind; “Silent Night”; Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday”, and for fans of classical music, well known arias like “O Mio Babbio Caro”. These pieces are imbued with an emotional component that, depending on your personal taste in music, can easily evoke a special time or place in your life.
This was my experience when I first heard Nathan’s composition The Shepherd’s Call. I remember hearing the first strains of this Celtic inspired piece years ago wafting up from our basement home studio. I literally stopped what I was doing and drew in my breath at the beauty of it. And not just the beauty of it, but the haunting familiarity of it; as if I had heard that melody before, long ago-like the resonating sweetness of a beautiful dream one faintly remembers upon waking up. I listened as Nathan orchestrated the track then recorded the solo part on a 10 dollar penny whistle. I racked my brain trying to recall where I had heard that music before and figured it was from some popular film soundtrack. It was instantly hummable and it delicately hurt my heart-but in that good way music can sometimes hurt.
Later when I questioned Nathan about what he had been playing, when he told me it was his own composition I was floored. Not that I didn’t think him already capable of writing gorgeous music. I just didn’t know he could write THAT kind of gorgeous music.
Although the piece has been performed live twice; once by a full college orchestra and once by a small church orchestra-The Shepherd’s Call has been under wraps for a number of years, just waiting for the world to discover it. Our intention for this piece is to turn it into an actual song to be recorded by Celtic vocalist http://siobhanowen.com
The lyric has not even been written yet, and who knows if it will even retain the working title of The Shepherd’s Call, but please enjoy this rare recording of the instrumental version, certain to transport you to a familiar, heart tugging moment in time…and have a musical day!
Bonnie Anne~the IA team
In the spirit of the internet sensation, Throwback Thursday, Immortal Aria will be sharing photos, videos and music every Thursday to celebrate (or be embarrassed by) our past accomplishments. This week’s #tbt is a performance by Bonnie Anne Pinard at her high school senior spring concert, where she sang this aria from Leonard Bernstein’s MASS. Bonnie was eighteen at the time and way back then they did not have cell phones or portable video recorders, so please excuse the stagnant image!
Years later, Bonnie was informed by her choir director’s wife that a very special guest had been sitting in the audience that night. The guest was Robert DeCormier, (http://www.singers.com/arrangers/Robert-DeCormier) a personal friend of the choir director.
When Mr DeCormier thumbed through the program and saw that a high school student was attempting to sing this very challenging piece of music, he was overheard to say that no high school student could pull it off. Following Bonnie’s performance, he went backstage to the choir directer and expressed his shock and pleasure that the soloist could have been taken for a college student, and that she had indeed performed the song beautifully.