While dead in sin and error’s way,
My soul was troubled greatly.
My grief o’ertook me night and day,
Pain was all I did see.
The light of the Gospel grace did shine,
My darkened soul arose.
By water and the Spirit now a-living.
(by Revd Alex Klages)
I like odd metres. I like Lutheran chorales. So instead of tidying up I seem to have written a melody… here it is, played by a robot guitar:
Harmonisation to follow, and if I get appropriate permission I’ll put it on CPDL.
It has caused me to reflect slightly on my composing process. When I wrote Sweet Spirit Comfort Me I sat down and wrote pretty much the whole thing without touching a keyboard, then put it into Sibelius and cleaned it up a bit (not much). That’s my usual style when I compose for a capella SATB. But writing this tune (as yet unnamed*) my instinct was to secure the melody line and then sit at the piano to work out the other bits. I realise I used the same method for When you made this planet. It just feels a little odd, because in all my years studying keyboard harmony I rarely actually played my harmonisations on any sort of keyboard instrument — usually because I was finishing them in the aural skills class before they were due — I just relied on my ability to hear all the notes at once, as I do with a capella writing. Piano compositions (none online), on the other hand, were always done by noodling around at the piano and then writing down the results.
How odd. I’m pretty sure this is something to do with playing at least five hymns per week for the last couple of years: hymns are now as much something that I play as something that I sing.
*all serious and some tongue-in-cheek suggestions considered.