Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. As a child, growing up in New England, I was always singing in the church choir, concert choir at school, caroling, performing in Christmas Pageants and plays. So many wonderful memories and experiences with my family and friends and just doing my active part in my hometown.
I have often been asked about recording some Christmas music, and this year (2012) the time was finally right for me to make an offering to the Christmas catalogue!
I chose to pull together this arrangement from some of my favorite spiritual Christmas carols. As much as I enjoy the fun of all of the secular traditions, imagery, shopping and gift giving it felt right to make this first one reflect a bit more of my own humble and personal sentiments for “The Reason for The Season”. (I was raised Catholic. What can I say?)
My arrangement begins with the traditional 15th century melody “Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel” and the 19th century choral harmonization by Thomas Helmore straight out of the hymnal all played by a choir of guitars.
From there the song develops like a guided dream through my own Christmas meditation. I imagine a gothic cathedral, candle light vigil, midnight mass…
But more, I imagine what it must have been like at the First Christmas: humble, meager, difficult, dangerous, hopeful.
I meditated quite heavily on the words as I worked:
“O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel.”
I sincerely hope that my emotional intention comes across through this, my reinterpretation of one of my favorite Christmas melodies (one that is so widely beloved!) and humbly represents what this Holiday means for me, as it means so much to so many.
One final personal note: my first guitar was a Christmas gift from my father, so it seems fitting that my first Christmas single is very “guitar-oriented”. Of course all of my early music education and experiences at church did lead me to become a student of Classical Symphonic Composition of which I couldn’t resist indulging in places!
I hope you enjoy this song as much as I did putting it together!
Download the single here:
Available on iTunes:
Merry Christmas to you and your family!