Thursday, September 18, 2008


So, I've been a little vacant from the blog.  There's no reason to send out search parties or anything.  Just very busy.

Even when I'm home, I'm working a lot.  Though, I have taken some time to catch up on some of my favorite tv shows, as well as discovering some new stuff.

However, the real reason I've been absent from the blog is I've been working on songs for the next album.  Specifically, a song set called Requiem that I think will be at the end of my next album.

When I was in college and studied music, one thing that almost every composer of note worked on was a Requiem mass.  Schubert, Verdi, Mozart, Beethoven...the list goes on.  All of them worked on Requiem masses.  In the 20th century composers like Rutter have composed their own - more modern, albeit - versions of the Requiem.  So, in college I always had my sights set on composing my own Requiem.

As I've become a composer of sorts in the pop/rock genre, I have been mulling for a while over the idea of composing a pop/rock Requiem set in English instead of Latin and combine it with classical elements.

So, I took the Latin text, found the best translation of the text and then either adapted the text to being a lyric or wrote a song based on the text.  I've spent about 3 months mulling over how to pull it off, and then actually started writing the songs about a month ago.  When I got home, last week, I went to work in earnest on the project.

The hardest part was trying to figure out how to adapt the text.  The Latin text is all Scripture, so sometimes it worked well to simply use the text.  But sometimes the text was obscure Scriptural references to angels and crazy-named places in Palestine...obviously the average listener isn't going to get the, taking the ideas, breaking them down to their basic concepts and then forming a song around them, well, it was difficult. I finished the basic demos for the song set.  The 9-part text turned into 6 songs.  When they get produced they'll have boys choir, a chamber orchestra, full band, a full choir in places, and much more.  It's going to be a massive production.  But it's gonna be really, really cool!

I can't wait for you all to hear it!


Carrie said...

I've been MIA, too.


I bet it's going to be really good.

Nique's Nana said...

Me three, I've been MIA too. I've spent the last month and a half working 10/11 hour days. Our school district started back in session in August. Today was my first normal 8 hour day.

So Chris, when will this new album be ready? It sounds so interesting and I can't wait to hear it.

Your little brain is always working up something new and exciting.

Holidays are around the corner, and we are getting some Christmas music from you right?

risalea said...

It's amazing to me the range of music inside of that brain of yours. I love how you think out of the box. OK, so this might be a crazy idea, but since you are going to have a choir for part of this, wouldn't it be cool if some of your bloggers could take part? Just a thought.

That's it...ok, the alarm's going off early in the morning and I should be in bed. Night!

Will said...

Whoa. This sounds like it just might be incredible!

You take care of yourself.

BullysE said...

What a wonderful concept for a new creations! That's fascinating-- I appreciate the thought process alot.Can not wait to see this stuff. Brain fodder from creativity is just awesome, to me. :-)

With your background and schooling, it doesn;t surprise me that you brought forth a classical concept. Those kinds of concepts, even reading about the great master's efforts and what they considered vital to their career efforts even, they are seeds that live within a person. Education sows these things...and it's funny, even decades later, out of the blue, my step dad will reference a Latin saying learned in theology school. He thinks I believe, they hold relevant truths despite their archaic roots. Maybe when you take the time to learn them, you simply do-- hmm?

Love that. Like I said, it tickles me brain.

Badpacifist said...

I am very familiar with the Latin Mass and the beauty of its liturgy and history. Although our ultra traditionalist can be ultra unbearable to be around, it is always a fascination. I grew up with everything in Latin and even the Gregorian chant. Ever seen that show paranormal state on A&E? It is, well interesting, as long as people don't get to caught up in that sort of thing. I can tell you who really hates the Traditional Catholic music...demons. Funny I would have though some of the more modern stuff would send them running or put them to sleep. Anyway for an interesting read into some insight into historic music such as this there is a book you can get at Amazon called "Why Catholic's can't sing" by Thomas Day. Most Catholics like me are secure enough to laugh at themselves and this guy has some pretty tripe,eggheaded but funny stories about music from that time period.

Audra said...

That is exciting Chris. It is always neat when a person gets to set out on an adventure that they have dreamed about for a long time. I am excited to hear this.

DJ in AL said...


Wasn't worried about your whereabouts, just needing some attention! No surpise you are working. Deep subject, interested to hear the results.

Risa, always working it aren't ya?

Happy Friday to all!

DJ in AL said...

Audra! What's up girl?

Cathy Storms said...

This sounds awesome. I can't wait to hear it.

risalea said...

DJ-When one recognizes great karaoke in the car, one must speak up. : )

Cathy Storms said...

Risa~I love your idea...The blogger choir....We could save you money Chris, because I'm sure all of us would do it for free....As long as there is a part for someone who sings really loud and really off key, I'm in....

EmilyBoo said...

Hello Fro Patroers! I just wanted to let you all know that many of you will be receiving a friend request from me on facebook. I did the email friend finder thing, and I had your addresses from when there was a mass fro patro email some time back. So if you get a request from Emily H, that's me! Add me if you like.

DJ in AL said...


Have you had your hearing checked lately? LOL


EmilyBoo said...

I just got a chance to read through this entry and the comments. I love the idea of a Requiem. It sounds like it's going to be amazing.

And to piggyback on Risa's "blogger choir" comment... I sing alto. Just so you know. ;)

Nique's Nana mentioned Christmas music, which reminds me: Are you familiar with the country band Sawyer Brown? I used to be very into country music, and though I'm not anymore, Sawyer Brown's Christmas album "Hallelujah He is Born" remains my favorite Christmas album ever. You should check it out! I would also recommend a song by them called "800 Pound Jesus." It's a funny title, but I just love the song!

robyn said...

wow, chris that sounds so awesome!
I can't wait to hear it. You really sound like a musical prodigy, seriously, I can imagine you just aching to get that music outta your head and coming outta your headphones!!! I think the most important part of it all is the mulling it over and imagining what it is you want and how you want it...Gotta get it just so...then when you get it figured how you want to go about it you get your people ready to do it and you just do it!
I really love your music and can't wait for more!!
I'm so glad you love doing it!!!
We are the lucky ones!!

BullysE said...

badpacifist-- I grew up Catholic, but we didn't have the Latin mass. However, all Priests are trained to use Latin, and my step dad tells the story with loud guffaws, about how the words "Hocus Pocus" came about! Apparently, in the old days when the Priests back was to the congregation, it could be difficult to hear what he said, precisely...and somewhere, they coined the words hocus-pocus to cover that mysterious time of magic and mumbled words! LOL. Ah, blessed ignorance.:-P

As for Music you guys, I have the new Cheetah Girl's album blasting here on the stereo! It makes serious thought of "choirs" rather impossible! heh.

Cathy Storms said...

emilyboo~That Sawyer Brown Christmas CD is my favorite also. I actually listen to it all year long...

Hischild said...

Wow! This requiem sounds great! That's one thing I love about you. Musical versatility. I don't normally listen to "cultured" music although there are times when I love it.

MY most favorite Christmas CD is The Animals Christmas by Amy Grant, Art Garfunkel and an English Boys Choir. (Jimmy Webb produced) I will NEVER tire of hearing ANY cut on that CD.
Absolutely gorgeous music.

SO, I can't wait for the unveiling. How soon could you have some of it up for us to hear??
(Sorry, I know you're tired and busy, Chris.)

I will check out Sawyer Brown since we now have TWO fellow Fro Patro-er's thumbs up on it.

(who is also an alto) :o)

Badpacifist said...

Wow Christmas music already....I love it too. I have 5th row seats this year for the Trans Siberian Orchestra which is always a great show. They make it snow inside! They play the Christmas set take a break and then they come back and do 90 minutes of rock. Two years ago they came out for the rock set and opening with the rock version of "Layla". Four months later in the same place I saw Clapton do Layla. TSO did it better than the original....

BullysE said...

Favorite Christmas Albums...Hmm.
Spouse would say his fav is Chicago's. He is a diehard fan, but I do reccommend it if you are looking for something a bit different!

For me? I hear The Cheetah Girl's "Cheetah-licious Xmas" album alot...does that count?:-P
(also, put me down as a catch-all alto too)

Cathy Storms said...

I also love Manneim Steamroller's version of Silent Night. I remember being at Disneyland at Christmas time a few years ago. I was sitting on main street holding Deliah, waiting for the Christmas parade, when they started playing that song, the lights dimmed and it started snowing. In California even fake snow is a treat. I started crying like a baby holding my little grandaughter thinking Wow...I still get teary eyes whenever I hear that song.

Sam Sutter said...

i think that's a great idea :-) can't wait to hear it.

risalea said...

Well, with all these altos on here, I guess I'm gonna' have to switch to soprano! I'm versatile. I often have to switch from one to the other trying to sing along with Chris! :)

I'm not sure how we got to Christmas music (of course, how do we get to any of the many changes of subject matter we do on here?! LOL), but I tend to have fave songs that kind of run the gamut, as opposed to whole albums. "Christmas in Dixie"-Alabama, "Hard Candy Christmas"-Dolly Parton, "Mary, Do you Know?"-Kenny Rogers and Wynonna, "O Holy Night"-Josh Groban are some of my favorites.

We are all likely to have new fave Christmas music when Chris puts out his holiday numbers!

Cathy Storms said...

I always try to sing background along with Chris's CD also. Not very well, but I've been

yep, the topic's change here very fast.

Another one of my favorite Christmas songs is "My Grownup Christmas List" by Kelly Clarkson. I know alot of other artists have done this but I love her version.

BullysE said...

I like the Christmas with the Carpenters album alot, as well as the fun Charlie Daniels one. The standards are always good too.

I haven't heard alot of "new" classic ones that I like so much. The "Mary did you know?" one, it strikes me as a little disrespectful in a way-- after all, she was chosen by God to bear the Son of God. I think she KNEW that, going in! Seems the writer of the song could have phrased it differently, and still maintained the incredulousness of a baby being so much to a world of men.

Raising a baby meant to grow to such a destiny would be a huge responsibility. Maybe in her youth and innocence, God was able to let it be easier accepted to her. Mmm.

Anonymous said...

Hello Chris,

Love that you set yourself these challenges.

What personal satisfaction this Requiem will give you.

It is so gratifying to actually use formal education and make it your own.

I applaud your brain and await this eagerly.

risalea said...

A couple of videos from Sylacauga last weekend. Video is ok, sound is so-so, just blame it on operator error. : ) I can tell you they sounded AWESOME in person!

Cathy Storms said...

Risa~Those are awesome. Now I am really bummed that I wasn't there. I am so in need of a Chris concert.

Badpacifist said...

Speaking of Masterworks I think this group is getting closer

gdahimself said...

Requiem is usually in honor of someone who has died, anyone specific?

I thought the next album was going to be more mainstream, a requiem would probably be better suited to a CCM release.

It might be better served by being a separate release like Paul McCartney's "Liverpool Oratorio"

Anonymous said...

Wow! Sounds amazing! I can't wait to see you in concert in Montrose, CO this Friday. I look forward to hopefully meeting you.

DJ in AL said...

Fellow Fro Patroers,

Lori asked me to tell everyone that Teddy came through his surgery today, just perfectly! They should be with him in recovery by now and he should be back to his cheery self by the end of the day. I missed Lori's call but she sounded very much relieved and I know she will be the first to say thank you to all who prayed for them and kept them in their thoughts today!

She will come around and give us an update when things have calmed down a bit.

Happy Monday!


Cathy Storms said...

Thanks DJ~I've been waiting to hear. I'm so glad everything went so well.

risalea said...

That's great news! Thanks, Deb.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear the good news about Teddy's surgery. Thanks,dj.

You can stop holding your breath now,Lori,and do The Happy Mama Dance.

HstryQT said...

Happy Mama Dance indeed! :)
Thanks DJ for passing along the word.

Here's my long but relief-filled update!

Teddy was such a little chick magnet all day today. When the nurse told us we could go see him she said we'd have to fight our way through the swarm of nurses around his bed in the recovery room. - and she was right! He came out of surgery alert and flirty and wanting to play with the many cords that were stuck on him. Silly guy. He was actually sitting up on his way from recovery to his room and was playing with toys and babbling while the nurses got him situated - they were all amazed. It was because his caudal (like an epidural but safer and better for babies) hadn't worn off yet and he was feelin' great! Since being in his room he's slept for a bit and then woke up to the realization that his caudal had worn off and he was an ANGRY guy - but he's on pain meds now and starting to go to sleep again. I'm sure it'll be a long night.

He had his extra ureter removed and everything was sewn up nicely. He has a bandage over his incision and that's it - the way the doctor did it didn't require any drainage tubes so all he has to deal with is the catheter and the IV, both of which will be coming out tomorrow.

We got the ONLY private room in the infant unit! It's actually an "isolation" room but because they were filled up we got it and we are alone in here - God truly showed His favor on that one! We're so excited. We'll both be staying the next two nights here with Teddy and we'll go home Wednesday afternooon.

Thanks again so much for your support and prayers. It's so appreciated!


Badpacifist said...

Thats such wonderful news about Teddy thanks!

Carrie said...

Glad Teddy's surgery went well! I was thinking about him and hoping it was all going smoothly.

Bette van said...

Hi Chris and everyone - jumping bck to Christmas music for a minute - I've loved Joan Baez's "Noel" every since it was in the 60s - very traditional pieces with nary a Santa, Rudolof or Snowman anywhere. They're the typf of songs that I would love to hear Chris ing - not the commercial type songs which start November 12 and continue until January 7th or so. I don't know if are subjected to this, but ut is now condered bad form to play Christmas songs with Christian themes on retail national muzak as it may offend the non Christians. So many beautiful songs and there;sjust not played. Anyway Joan Baez is one my favourite cds to walk the dogs with as we're looking at Christmas lighs.

Bette van

Marjorie Westmoreland said...


I hope you get this comment because I want you to know how very deeply "Empty Me" has touched my heart. It has become my personal daily prayer and I find myself singing it in my head as I'm driving, doing laundry -- the most mundane of tasks -- because it's those sorts of jobs that too often lead us to think we should be doing something more fabulous or "me" oriented with our lives. I am mother to four precious children and your song never fails to snap me back to what's real and important. God has given you an incredible gift and I thank Him every day that you've decided to share it with the rest of us.

risalea said...

Hi, Bette and Marjorie!

DJ in AL said...


We are greatly relieved that the surgery went so well! I hope the next 2 days will pass quickly!

Welcome to the newbies, it's great to hear from you!

Re the Christmas music, I love Christmas music, or I guess I should say I loved it alot more before everyone, everywhere decided Nov. 1st was the day to start playing it nonstop until Dec. 25th! Retailers!

Cathy Storms said...

So glad everything went so well with little Teddy. Will continue to pray.

Welcome, Bette & Marjorie

Badpacifist said...

When Chris played KC after the Royals game there was a big crowd. As he started into Empty Me I was surprised at the reaction of many around me because, well, I didn't really believe K-Love was playing it. Apparently I was wrong because there was a reaction of many around me nodding heads of recognition and immediately their spirit hands went into the air. What I will remember most happened behind me on the grass that night. I heard a hoot as Empty me started and as I turned I saw a family of about seven. The father had his eyes closed, head bowed and his hand in the air. His wife and kids were looking at him lovingly and absolutely thrilled for him in the moment!
It was obvious that this was "his song" meant so very much to him. That is what made me turn to look at the rest of the crowd. I felt like a proud papa of our man Chris right then seeing that so many knew this song and it had touched them.

EmilyBoo said...

Lori, I'm so glad to hear Teddy's surgery went well!

Welcome to all the new posters!

risalea said...

Randy, we're glad you feel like the proud know how many proud mamas he's got out here! LOL

Hischild said...

Thanks for the good report. It must be So hard to see your little guy in the hospital and needing pain meds etc. But sounds like he is well taken care of. Glad to hear it has all gone so well.
Blessings to you, Danny and especially little Teddy.


Hischild said...

Emily and Cathy,
I am bummed that Rhapsody does not have Sawyer Brown Christmas CD. But I did find 800 Pound Jesus. I had heard it somewhere before, can't place where but it IS cute lyrics and interesting song.

BullysE said...

Lori-- I am so glad everything went well for Teddy! The next couple days will be long for you I know, being in the hospital at his side..but we will continue to have you in our thoughts and prayers.

badpacifist-- I SO know what you mean, about being proud. I had the similar feeling at our concert, when people were singing along with Chris. It kind of freaked me out, but in a really neat way! It's amazing to see how that song is touching lives.

God uses different things to touch peoples hearts, and music is certainly one of them.:-)

julie said...

This is a really exciting idea! As a Catholic who always hung out with the music people, I grew up with these. In fact, just last week I listened to one of my all-time favorite CDs, Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performing the Requiems of Faure and Durufle. Cannot wait to hear yours.