In search of composers who know English

frephraim

Παλαιό Μέλος
#1
As you probably know, I am trying to undertake a large task: to compose in English traditional melodies for all the doxastica and idiomela for the entire year. So far, I have finished music only for the feasts of: the Nativity of Christ, the Elevation of the Cross, the Sunday of the Holy Fathers, and St. Demetrius. (Click on those links to see them.) As you will see, the compositions are in the simple style of Mousike Kypsele.

The project is progressing well by the grace of God, but very slowly, because I don't have anyone to help me. The reason why I am working alone is simply because there aren't any other people in America (that I know of, at least) who can compose traditional Byzantine music (except for three or four others who are busy with other projects). Since I haven't found anyone else to help me yet, I wanted to post this announcement here to find out if you know anyone who has:
1) the gift of composing Byzantine music
2) knowledge of English, and
3) free time
It is not necessary to find a helper who knows English fluently, as long as he knows where the words are accented and what they mean. He won't need to translate the texts, since I am using the HTM's Menaion. However, it is crucial that he knows how to group words together into grammatical units (in order to know where to insert martyrias). It is also important that he knows enough English to know which words in a sentence are emphasized when the sentence is read aloud (it's ususally the verbs, nouns, and adjectives) and to know which of two consecutive words should be emphasized more when they are both important words. But he won't need to type up his compositions, since that is something I can do quickly and easily. And if he doesn't have a lot of free time, he is free to compose only whatever he has time for.

I believe that whoever offers his talents for this project will receive a great reward from God, and he will also feel great satisfaction knowing that he has made a unique contribution to the English-speaking churches throughout the world that is in high demand.

If you yourselves would like to help me or if you know someone who would, please let me know.

in Christ,
+ Hieromonk Ephraim
 
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Bασίλης

Παλαιό Μέλος
#2
As you probably know, I am trying to undertake a large task: to compose in English traditional melodies for all the doxastica and idiomela for the entire year. So far, I have finished music only for the feasts of: the Nativity of Christ, the Elevation of the Cross, the Sunday of the Holy Fathers, and St. Demetrius. (Click on those links to see them.) As you will see, the compositions are in the simple style of Mousike Kypsele.

The project is progressing well by the grace of God, but very slowly, because I don't have anyone to help me. The reason why I am working alone is simply because there aren't any other people in America (that I know of, at least) who can compose traditional Byzantine music (except for three or four others who are busy with other projects). Since I haven't found anyone else to help me yet, I wanted to post this announcement here to find out if you know anyone who has:
1) the gift of composing Byzantine music
2) knowledge of English, and
3) free time
It is not necessary to find a helper who knows English fluently, as long as he knows where the words are accented and what they mean. He won't need to translate the texts, since I am using the HTM's Menaion. He won't need to type up his compositions, since that is something I can do quickly and easily. And if he doesn't have a lot of free time, he is free to compose only whatever he has time for.

I believe that whoever offers his talents for this project will receive a great reward from God, and he will also feel great satisfaction knowing that he has made a unique contribution to the English-speaking churches throughout the world that is in high demand.

If you yourselves would like to help me or if you know someone who would, please let me know.

in Christ,
+ Hieromonk Ephraim
Father,

I will come back to that by personal email to you.... in the meanwhile a few general things/questions:

What does HTMs stands for? Are you aware of the english translations of Fr. Ephrem Lash of Manchester, UK? I have composed a few of the apolitikia of the resurrection, and a few hymns of the divine liturgy.... but that's all. However I would be happy to assist. I have a good english knowledge, a good understanding of the classical thesis ( I think so) and no time at all.... But I hope that if we have willingness, God will find time for the rest.

Eylogeite....
 

frephraim

Παλαιό Μέλος
#3
Bασίλης;9287 said:
What does HTMs stands for?
It stands for the Holy Transfiguration Monastery. They have an advertisement for their Menaion at: http://www.thehtm.org/catalog/produ...d=573&osCsid=ec10de0e3a05bcee5464fa05a00d9085
But you won't need to buy it, since someone has already typed up for me the words for all the doxastica and idiomela. I'll just email the texts to you.

Bασίλης;9287 said:
Are you aware of the english translations of Fr. Ephrem Lash of Manchester, UK?
Yes. He does fine work, but unfortunately he has not finished the entire Menaion yet. Another drawback is that his texts are not metered.

Bασίλης;9287 said:
I have a good english knowledge, a good understanding of the classical thesis ( I think so) and no time at all.... But I hope that if we have willingness, God will find time for the rest.
Great! Whatever little time you have will be greatly appreciated by me and the 3,000 people who visit our music website every month.
 
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frephraim

Παλαιό Μέλος
#4
Someone contacted me privately last night with an interesting idea. He wrote the following two paragraphs:

"There is indeed no one, save yourself, whom I have seen who can compose well in English. However, there are many who have extensive experience with chant. The thing is that, even in Greece, the focus is really not very much on composition but on interpretation. We learn to recognize formulae so as to interpret them correctly, not so that we may put them together ourselves. Although similar, these are two very different things and because in Greek there is a rich, deep, and fantastic array of already composed music, it is low on people's priority lists to compose new music and very few people are ever taught it formally. What we need in America, because we are lucky when we have even one single version of a given hymn truly in chant style, is to focus on developing compositional skills and composers, even much more so than in Greece. I'm sure there are many like myself who would be absolutely committed to expanding the repertoire of hymns if we were able to contribute to your efforts. I myself have a BM and an MFA in music composition and have spent years chanting and studying chant. Although I have read and understand your work on the formulae, and have written all sorts of compositions, I am still much too respectful of the tradition to try my own hand at it....so, my idea is this:

"Do you think you could offer some kind of seminar? Perhaps interested people could write you and you could select a few of them, those that seem most suited to the task, and you could offer instruction and guidance on composing in English over maybe a couple of weeks. Maybe people who did this would at first only study one genre, like, say, irmologic odes, but then you could set them to the task and later they could add to their repertoire. I would be most eager, in spite of all of my time constraints to participate in such a thing myself. I suspect there are many others out there like me and quite possibly many who are even better suited to the task. Anyway, I just thought I would offer up my suggestion."
It occurred to me that I could combine his idea of a seminar with the practical task of composing music for the Menaion in this way: The people who have volunteered to compose melodies for the Menaion will post scans of their rough drafts online. Then I will carefully examine these drafts and make any improvements I can by correcting the
formulaic and orthographical errors, the sequences of martyrias, the choices of melodic coloring, etc. I will post all these corrections online so that not only the composer but also anyone else can see them and learn from them. Then, other people can also join in by posting further suggestions or questions regarding why I thought something needed to be fixed. If any of the composers want to remain anonymous, I could post their rough drafts for them.

In order to present all this information in an organized way that people will be able to use as an online resource for learning, we can post everything in this forum. Dimitri kindly accepted my request to do so, and he set up a sub-forum for this purpose. I have already posted there some introductory remarks and specific guidelines for the contributing composers.

in Christ,
+Fr. Ephraim
 

saltypsalti

Παλαιό Μέλος
#5
Father Ephraim -Evlogite

I am happy to help where I can. We have corresponded before. I actually use a lot of your material and have sporadically supplemented with my own materials where I need to. Right now what I have is rough and unedited (much of my editing is done at the psalterion while chanting -pencils required in my choir).

I have used the Zoe Anastasamartarion as a model for the Resurrectional arrangements(I have an abbreviated {pre-edited} Matins Resurrectional with the God is the Lord/Dismissal Hymn/Theotokion, KAthismata, Anavathamoi, Pasapnoria and syntoma Doxologies nearly completed)Stephanos Beehive for Menaion and much of the Triodion/Pentecostarion propers and a hybrid of Panagiotis Pappas, 1850 Pandektes and Progakis for the fixed ordinaries.

I am happy to help but bear in mind, that while I hold a parish post, and am Protopsaltis of HOCNA's West Coast Metropolis, much to my chagrin this is NOT my day job --I have 4-5 serviceable morning hours a day, limit my work on music Mon-Wed with Thursday and Friday off (except my secular job), services on Saturday and Sundays, and see students on Sunday afternoon. I have a huge music backlog.

John, sinful Protopsaltis
 
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