By Christopher Wells
Today is the last Sunday after Epiphany. We will hear the story (this year from St. Mark) of Jesus ascending a mountain with Peter, James and John where he will stand with Moses and Elijah, transfigured. Jesus appeared for a moment, non-earthly and his clothes were “dazzling white.” Strange? Unordinary? You bet!
So, perhaps an explanation will be help-
ful for a departure from a normal, ordinary choice of repertoire for this Sunday: Larry King’s Transfiguration. This music is scored for “Chorus, Organ, and Prepared Tape,” although we play the latter through an iPod for convenience. You will find the choral parts to be rather standard, even the organ’s role most would consider within our repertoire’s status quo. The “tape” part however….
Think back to 1977. Think “Space Invaders” on a then-awesome Atari 2600. Think back to the Moog synthesizer of the late 60’s. And finally, think back to the actual “high” fidelity quality of an audio tape from the those days. Hopefully you will be able to appreciate this tape for the product it is from its time, a true period piece of church music from the 1970s.
May this be an unusual offering that heightens your experience of The Transfiguration this year.