Category Archives: Art

The O Antiphons: O Wisdom

From Kevin Hildebrand, kantor at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana:

An antiphon is a term we see in worship regularly. An antiphon is a refrain that is sung before (and sometimes after and during) a Psalm or other song, and it’s typically is a Bible verse or a historic liturgical text.

The origin of the O Antiphons is around the eighth century. In larger cities and monasteries, it was customary to have services daily (or several times a day), and in the seven days before Christmas Eve, it became a regular practice to sing the assigned O Antiphon before and after the Magnificat ( “My soul magnifies the Lord.”) at the evening Vespers service.

In the twelfth or thirteenth century, these antiphons were paraphrased into metrical, poetic verses which became the hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”

The initial O Antiphon, for Vespers on December 17:

O Wisdom, proceeding from the mouth of the Most High, pervading and permeating all creation, mightily ordering all things: come and teach us the way of prudence.

For their 2016 debut recording Drop Down, Ye Heavens, the London-based student-formed choir Siglo de Oro commissioned a new set of O Antiphons from various British composers, sung in English and set for choir and saxophone.  Here is Will Todd’s thrilling setting of “O Wisdom”:

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who ord’rest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

— Rick Krueger

(Image: O Sapentia by Linda Witte Henke, Te Deum Designs)

 

 

 

Full Bleed Vol. 3: Heavy Rotation by IDW Publishing — Kickstarter

FULL BLEED is like Rolling Stone, the old Comics Journals, and an art book had a baby. A PRINT-ONLY 200-page hardcover “magazine,” curated and edited by IDW Publishing’s Dirk Wood and Ted Adams. By merging the best in comics, fiction, non-fiction, deep dive interviews, opinion, history, think-pieces and more, FULL BLEED is a reading experience like no other, and a beautiful addition to any bookshelf. Looking through an international lens, but filtered through the unique perspective of the IDW:PDX satellite office in Portland Oregon, FULL BLEED tackles all aspects of the creative culture, and beyond — comics, music, film, tv, fine art, photography, design, politics and more. FULL BLEED seeks total diversity: diversity in content, diversity in creator and contributor, diversity in genre. Every page turned reveals a surprise.
— Read on www.kickstarter.com/projects/41834867/full-bleed-vol-3-heavy-rotation

Given that ROLLING STONE was a horrible rag from its beginning, I’m not fond of the description of FULL BLEED as its love child, but such is life. Regardless, I love this magazine. The first two issues were fantastic–each works of art, in and of themselves, covering the full gamut of comic culture. Treat yourself to vols. 3 and 4–you won’t be disappointed. I was Kickstarter No. 3 and rather proud of it.

Best prog rock of 2018

Top albums of 2018

Well, stunningly, it’s that time of year—the time we begin to assess the best of that which came throughout the year.  At age 51, these years fly by, faster and faster.  Time devours, but individuals innovate.  2018 has been a rather spectacular year, at least on a personal level.  In very large part, the creative soundtrack behind the year’s events proved equally spectacular.

Here are my favorite albums of 2018.

10. Galahad, Seas of Change. Stu and company nail it with this album. At once deeply progressive musically and timely politically, Galahad strike the perfect balance of art and message on this wondrous 43-minute long album (and song!). The message never becomes oppressively preachy, itself being fully integrated with the music. 

9. Bjorn Riis, Coming Home. This is the only EP to make it to my top 10 of 2018. Only 27 minutes long, Riis’s Coming Home offers more depth in music and thought than most albums can at 50 to 70 minutes. A perfectionist and a minimalist, Riis offers just enough to keep us eager for me.  As with his work on Airbag, Riis provides a lush soundscape of tundra, doted here and there with evergreens.

8. Shineback, Dial. I don’t think it’s constitutionally possible for any of the Godfrey musicians to be uninteresting. Despite having moved from the U.K. to the Philadelphia, Simon Godfrey retains all of the romantic best of the motherland. Electronic flourishes, Thomas Dolby rhythms, pop melodies, progressive and extended passages, and Godfrey’s always anxious and surreal lyrics pull the listener in, from the opening minute to the closing minute—92 minutes later!  A feast of creepiness and introspection.  Every time I listen, I realize I’m only getting about 70% of what’s going on.  This is music for headphones, to be sure.

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Submit Your Proposals: Fifth Annual Midwestern History Conference

The Midwestern History Association and the Hauenstein Center at Grand Valley State University invite proposals for papers to be delivered at the Fifth Annual Midwestern History Conference, to be held May 30-31, 2019 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This conference continues a discussion which has grown significantly over the last four years, at collaborative conferences designed to spark – and sustain – a revival of Midwestern studies in American historiography. Infused with varieties of original research pursued by scholars from many different career paths and stages, this annual gathering strives to cultivate rigorous historical understanding of a complex, dynamic, changing, and often misunderstood region.
— Read on mailchi.mp/c52375433445/call-for-proposals-fifth-annual-midwestern-history-conference-1262039

Sponsored and created by two great men: Gleaves Whitney and Jon Lauck.

StoryBundle

The Weird Thrillers Bundle, curated by Kevin J. Anderson: Just when you thought it was safe to go back to your e-reader! I’ve curated an innovative new StoryBundle, imaginative thrillers, each with a fantasy twist, some funny, some nail-biting, all enjoyable.

As always with storybundle.com, you get a lot of books and you name your own price—in this case (of strange cases!) you’ll receive 14 novels for as little as $15. A portion of the income goes directly to a wonderful charity, and the rest is split among indie authors.
— Read on storybundle.com/thriller

I’m always up for supporting Kevin J. Anderson, our greatest living sci-fi author.

JPII to artists (1999)

LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS 
POPE JOHN PAUL II 
TO ARTISTS

1999

To all who are passionately dedicated 
to the search for new “epiphanies” of beauty 
so that through their creative work as artists 
they may offer these as gifts to the world
.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Gn1:31)

The artist, image of God the Creator

1. None can sense more deeply than you artists, ingenious creators of beauty that you are, something of the pathos with which God at the dawn of creation looked upon the work of his hands. A glimmer of that feeling has shone so often in your eyes when—like the artists of every age—captivated by the hidden power of sounds and words, colours and shapes, you have admired the work of your inspiration, sensing in it some echo of the mystery of creation with which God, the sole creator of all things, has wished in some way to associate you.

That is why it seems to me that there are no better words than the text of Genesis with which to begin my Letter to you, to whom I feel closely linked by experiences reaching far back in time and which have indelibly marked my life. In writing this Letter, I intend to follow the path of the fruitful dialogue between the Church and artists which has gone on unbroken through two thousand years of history, and which still, at the threshold of the Third Millennium, offers rich promise for the future.

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