About the music

My love for the Christian hymnody began when I was a child growing up in the Presbyterian Church. It was reinforced by my piano teacher, who taught sight reading by having me learn one hymn a week. Nurturing came by way of those long summer nights during the annual week-long outdoor revivals, held jointly by the Presbyterian and Methodist churches of my grandmother's small East Texas town. As an adult I began playing piano, and later synthesizers, in small contemporary worship ensembles, first in an Episcopal, then a Lutheran, and later a Celtic Christian congregation. It's been around 65 years now; and my passion for the hymns of the Church continues to grow ever stronger.

The Hymnancipation! hymn series is all about that passion. These musical gems that have been handed down to us through the generations have withstood the test of time and will continue to inform, enrich and inspire Christian souls for centuries to come. They are a staple element of our worship life. And for that reason, I believe they are often taken for granted. Sure—we may say, "Oh, I like this one," as the introductory lines are played some Sunday morning, but do we ever take a closer look at these hymns to discover the full measure of their richness and beauty? How many times have you sat down and just read through the text of a hymn? Doing so makes for a concise, yet relaxing personal meditation—much like reading a psalm (from where the hymn form originated). Have you ever hummed or whistled hymn tunes while working? If not, I invite you to try it. You will discover their quiet, powerful ability to refresh the human spirit.

These digital transcriptions of hymn tunes are definitely unlike the settings played (most often on an organ) for Sunday worship. And that is by design. They were created in an effort to encourage the listener to re-evaluate, to rediscover and develop a new relationship to these treasures of our Christian heritage. I have taken liberties with both the rhythms of melodic lines and their underlying accompaniment. In some cases it is a radical departure from the original genre. In others, it may come closer to the original—for many of our hymn tunes began as folk melodies. Volume 1 contains hymns of Advent, Volume 2: Christmas & Epiphany, Volume 3: Pentecost & the lesser festivals, Volume 4: Lent, Holy Week & Easter.

Starting in 2015 with an original environmental anthem, I decided to include in this website the songs that I wrote between 1970 and 1990. New in 2017, CONFESSIONS OF A GAY CHRISTIAN (a triple album) presents these songs in chronological sequence as a musical memoir (concept album) of the formative years in my spiritual journey as a gay Christian - in and out of the closet, and in and out of the Church.

New in 2018, OF PURPLE AND PASSION, the fourth album of hymns is available for digital download only. After a 12 year deferment, I finally found the energy to produce my improvisations of hymns of Lent, Holy Week and Easter.

Over 30 years ago, I purchased my first synthesizer, along with a relatively unsophisticated sequencing program that ran on an Apple IIe computer. It was just before MIDI became the industry standard; but, rudimentary as it was, it opened up a new world of musical possibilities for me ~ arranging for multiple instruments. The Apple IIe has long since become obsolete and been discarded; and I sequence on a laptop, now. I finally ditched the old Rhodes Chroma synthesizer when moving cross-country a couple of years back, and have upgraded with synthesizers that are much more capable of expressing every nuance of the musical spectrum. But while the technology behind the music, and music itself, continues to evolve, at least one thing remains constant. Music is one of the few things on this planet that has the ability to excite and to soothe and to draw the human community together into a common, life-enriching experience. I am very fortunate, indeed, to be a minute part of that experience! I hope you enjoy listening to the music I hear.


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