Inspired by the traditional evensong service, here is a richly textured musical meditation featuring the collaboration between keyboardist and vocalist, Jeff Johnson and classical singer, Janet Chvatal. Instrumental and vocal compositions segue with Taizé and Latin chants in this ancient - future, contemporary Celtic-tinged soundtrack.
Jeff Johnson: Keyboards, percussion & vocals
Janet Chvatal: Vocals & chants
Brian Dunning: Flute & whistles
John Fitzpatrick: Violin
Jozef Lupták: Cello
Tim Ellis: Electric Guitar
Phil Baker: Electric Bass
It will become quite clear from the opening piece that this recording does not intend to follow the traditional Vespers liturgy. Yet, the practice of marking the end of each day with the recitation of Psalms, music and prayer is one that all Christians can appreciate.
Vespers has always been associated with light. The name comes from a word for 'evening star' and for many years it was celebrated at the hour of sunset. Eventually, it was established at the twelfth hour (6:00 pm) of the offices of the day and the practice of lighting torches and candles became a powerful metaphor for what David once described:
If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,"
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
- Psalm 139:11-12(NAS)
So, while this is not a traditional Vespers liturgy, the collection of compositions here celebrates this "light into Light." As you listen, my hope is that the music will inspire you to a greater belief in God's faithfulness to all who have placed their hope and trust in His great mercy.
– Jeff Johnson
Music Reviews –
This time Johnson manages a coup with the vocal accompaniment of the great Janet Chvatal. And this album isn't all languid and quiet, either - the title track employs percussion and understated electronica along with familiar flutes, whistles, fiddles, and Johnson's trusty keyboard. Thoughtful - not unlike contemplative worship.
– Dave Urbanski/YouthWorker Journal
released April 12, 2005
Produced and engineered by Jeff Johnson
Recorded and mixed at The Ark / Camano Island, WA
Additional recording at:
The Kung Fu Bakery Annex / Portland, OR
The Jones Farm / Scappose, OR
Bakeman Studios / Portland, OR
Chartres Cathedral via Ark Mobile / France
Additional sounds by Spectrasonics
Mastered by John Golden Mastering
℗ 2005 Ark Records, Inc. / ArkMusic
© 2005 Sola Scriptura Songs (BMI)
Administered by www.musicservices.org
(see individual tracks for additional information)
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Cover art by Rudolf Brančovský (www.brancovsky.cz
Design by Court Patton (www.pattonbros.com
Thank you Janet, for your friendship and artistry; Brian, John, Jozef, Tim & Phil, for the inspired music; Kathy, for introducing me to many of these wonderful choruses; Don C., for Latin consulting; and Susie & Hailey, for your support, encouragement & love.
Dedicated to Steven Purcell with gratitude for your deep well of friendship, faith and artistic vision.
"Vespers" is also available on iTunes and Amazon.