Creating, publishing, and producing Catholic worship music is a collaborative and humbling process that begins the moment the Holy Spirit stirs a composer with a tune, a text, or a theology. It continues throughout the editing, recording, and marketing decisions of a publishing company, but is not complete until a song comes to life in the full, conscious, and active participation of a worshipping assembly. By the time a song is sung, no single person can really claim sole ownership of its creation. It is the fruit of many gifts.
For the past twenty plus years, I have had the privilege of collaborating with many talented pastoral musicians. A number of these collaborations began when I invited other composers to arrange some of my music, including Gerard Chiusano, Craig Kingsbury, and more recently, Rick Modlin. Additional collaborative encounters took place, when I began creating intercultural worship music and invited colleagues from various cultural backgrounds to transliterate an existing English text into their own language. Eventually I realized that the best collaborations occur when composers start together at the very beginning.
The concept behind In the Sight of the Angels: Songs of Collaboration intentionally builds on my experience of collaboration to create a collection of liturgical music that extends, deepens, and celebrates all aspects of musical, textual, and liturgical collaboration. As a friend remarked, "If the collaboration goes well and the two composers openly share their gifts with one another in a spirit of trust and kindness, then the artistic product that emerges can only be better than the departure points from where they started." I couldn’t agree more!
This collection of songs presents a wide-range of musical styles from multiple cultures and pastoral contexts; such as African American gospel (In the Sight of the Angels), Asian pentatonic (God of Mercy), cathedral/organ (Laudato Si! and Saints of God), children's choir (Blessed Are You! Mapapalad Kayo!), Praise and Worship (How Sacred the Ground of Your Love), contemporary (Hopeful Longing), and Tri-lingual (Flos Carmeli). The languages include English, Filipino, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. These songs are offered to inspire and remind us of the gifts that can emerge when artists and communities work together to bear fruit, rather than draw divisive lines. It is my hope that this collection will invite all worship communities into a collaborative journey of intercultural dialogue that will foster new ways to share our gifts, encounter Christ in one another, and musically express our praise and glory to God!
Ricky Manalo, CSP
March 7, 2016
Saints Perpetua and Felicity
Fr. Steven Bel, CSP
Listen to Tracks
1. Laudato Si'! Be Praised, O God! (with Gerard Chiusano)
2. Hopeful Longing (with Dan Schutte)
3. Blessed Are You! Mapapald Kayo! (with Jesse Manibusan)
4. God of Mercy (with Bob Hurd)
5. How Sacred the Ground (with Sarah Hart)
6. Flos Carmeli (with Jorge Monterroso, O Carm, & Ray Valido)
7. Saints of God (with Suzanne Toolan, SM)
8. In the Sight of the Angels (with Steven E. Bell, CSP)