Anglican Samizdat

September 11, 2009

Lady Nothing’s Toye Puffe

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 3:55 pm

My rendition of an old John Renbourn tune.

September 8, 2009

Create in me a clean heart

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 5:46 pm

A song I wrote a few years ago; well, the other David wrote the lyrics.

September 2, 2009

Musical Monkeys

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 9:15 pm

Monkeys have musical tastes apparently:

Monkeys are not fans of classical music, but find heavy metal songs by Metallica and Tool soothing, according to new research.

So a human that prefers heavy metal to classical music has something in common with a monkey. Perhaps Dawkins is right after all; for fans of heavy metal, that is.


August 31, 2009

Doc’s Guitar

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 11:41 pm

My version of a tune by Doc Watson. From my hillbilly period:

August 30, 2009

There is a God

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 6:21 pm

Vera Lynn is in the top 20, pushing out U2Add an Image

More than 60 years after she was labelled the Forces Sweetheart and kept the nation’s spirits up with her timeless records during World War Two, Dame Vera Lynn has returned to the top 20.

Beating off competition from rockers U2, the Stone Roses and Eminem, the 92-year-old has stormed into the charts with her album We’ll Meet Again – The Very Best of Vera Lynn.


Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 5:31 pm

A tune from my misspent youth:

You don’t know, wo wo wo

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 3:58 pm

Music can dredge up long – and perhaps best – forgotten feelings in the oddest way.

By chance I came across an old song that I haven’t heard for – well, a long time. I was 13 when Helen Shapiro sang “You don’t know”. She was 14 and, as soon as I heard it, I knew I was in love. It didn’t work out between us, but it did teach me something: the embarrassingly large succession of young ladies that my hormones made me fall in love with were all singers – yes, my wife is a singer.

So when I heard this song, an ancient feeling stirred within; fortunately, I’m not as keen on the hairstyle as I used to be.

Glenn Gould was obsessed with Petula Clark, something I used not to understood; he tried to rationalise it with typical Gouldian cerebral over-indulgence. Now I know the real reason.

August 29, 2009

When fretting is a delight

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 12:25 am

I wandered into a music shop this afternoon to pick up some guitar strings and heard a Martin OM-21 Special call my name. After trying it for some time I decided it needed a new home, so I bought it; the shop did give me a couple of sets of free strings though.

It is a fingerpicker’s delight: widely spaced strings, small body and clear, open, harp-like, balanced tone. With its Indian rosewood, Sitka Spruce and ebony, it even smells wonderful – that could just be to me, though.

Add an Image

This is what it sounds like.

August 25, 2009

John Williams and John Etheridge: Sangara by Francis Bebey

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 10:27 pm

As Chopin said, “There is only one thing more beautiful than one guitar: two guitars”.

Good, clean, wholesome Christian music

Filed under: Christianity,music — David Jenkins @ 6:41 pm
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h/t: IM

August 11, 2009

Popular Christian music before it was – popular

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 11:13 pm

Jesuss use me

At least no-one could accuse these young ladies of commercialism, although a copy sold on ebay for $21 a while ago; mostly because of the cover, I imagine.

April 11, 2009

Et resurrexit

Filed under: Christianity,music — David Jenkins @ 7:03 pm
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April 9, 2009


Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 8:30 pm

Music and Faith

Filed under: Christianity,music — David Jenkins @ 9:45 am
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From here:

I once asked a famous conductor if he believed in God. “Only when I’m performing Bach,” he replied. “Then I start to think that if Christianity is capable of inspiring a human being to produce music of this sublime perfection, there must be something in it.”

Not an answer, I suspect, that would impress either the Archbishop of Canterbury or, in the other corner, Professor Richard Dawkins. Both would probably protest that what the conductor was describing was not religious faith – even of a temporary sort – but a mental illusion induced by the pleasurable impact of music on the senses. One’s values and beliefs, they might argue, should be formulated after rigorous thought – not allowed to ebb and flow at the whim of whatever music, painting or drama happened to be passing by.

The answer may not impress Rowan or Richard, but I know what the conductor means. J. S. Bach’s music is one of the high points of Western Civilisation; partly because of Bach’s genius and partly because of the subject of much of Bach’s music. As Bach said, “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul”. Bach’s music conveys so effectively the feeling of someone who has experienced the glory of God that the listener himself is drawn into the composer’s vision of that glory.

When I was a but a callow youth rebelliously espousing a convenient existential atheism in order to relieve myself of moral restraint, I first listened to Bach’s B minor Mass. I found Bach’s expression of God’s glory sufficiently convincing that it started me on the long path from atheism to theism to Christianity. My experience of God through Bach was an aesthetic one: that is to say, I saw what Bach saw, I didn’t see God directly. And this is why the conductor mentioned above can believe in God while conducting Bach and set the belief aside later.

This also illustrates why a congregation listening to a church choir may be experiencing the aesthetic rather than the divine – assuming the choir is any good, of course.

Tolstoy in, What is Art, said it well:

Art begins when one person, with the object of joining another or others to himself in one and the same feeling, expresses that feeling by certain external indications. To take the simplest example: a boy, having experienced, let us say, fear on encountering a wolf, relates that encounter; and, in order to evoke in others the feeling he has experienced, describes himself, his condition before the encounter, the surroundings, the woods, his own lightheartedness, and then the wolf’s appearance, its movements, the distance between himself and the wolf, etc. All this, if only the boy, when telling the story, again experiences the feelings he had lived through and infects the hearers and compels them to feel what the narrator had experienced is art. If even the boy had not seen a wolf but had frequently been afraid of one, and if, wishing to evoke in others the fear he had felt, he invented an encounter with a wolf and recounted it so as to make his hearers share the feelings he experienced when he feared the world, that also would be art. And just in the same way it is art if a man, having experienced either the fear of suffering or the attraction of enjoyment (whether in reality or in imagination) expresses these feelings on canvas or in marble so that others are infected by them. And it is also art if a man feels or imagines to himself feelings of delight, gladness, sorrow, despair, courage, or despondency and the transition from one to another of these feelings, and expresses these feelings by sounds so that the hearers are infected by them and experience them as they were experienced by the composer.

April 5, 2009

B minor Mass. Et expecto

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 1:16 pm

From Bach’s B minor Mass, Karl Richter

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