Ooolitic Music Presents
Hymnody of Earth
CD Only
Ooolitic Music OM 1111 (1999)

A Ceremony of Songs for Choir, Hammer Dulcimer and Percussion.

Hymnody of Earth
Buy CD $15
Malcolm Dalglish Hammer Dulcimer, Vocals
The Ooolites Vocals
Glen Velez Percussion

There are moments in nature when wordless poetry washes over me, and I feel lost in the rhythm of a pure sound or vision. Hymns gather together people, words, and music to memorialize these transcendent moments in our lives. I found the poetry of Wendell Berry and the mysterious and primitive sound of the dulcimer, frame drums and shakers to be ideal collaborators in this broadly defined Hymnody.

Malcolm Dalglish

"The music is comprised of wafting, zephyrlike emanations. Berry's words are lifted like feathers on the slimmest slivers of melody. A stirring experience."
Herald Times

"...a brilliant achievement...the American counterpart to Benjamin Britten's 'A Ceremony of Carols' ...a moving and inspired work"
Dan Gawthrop WETA-FM

Order the score for Hymnody of Earth

Find out more about the scores in our sheet music section


1 Psalm of Solstice: processional. Melody taken from an old Belgian fiddle tune.
Hear in RealAudio Hi-stream or Lo-stream

2 The Dark Around Us: a rousing call to meet in a sacred place where "All the Earth Shall Sing."
Hear in RealAudio Hi-stream or Lo-stream

3 Over the River: the flight of a few swallows over a flooded river becomes a hymn.
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4 The Wild Geese: brings together vast and intimate images of autumn, depicting a poetic connection with the land.

5 Throw the Window Open: dulcimer percussion duet that ends in an improvised cascade of voices.
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6 Finches: a very short a cappella tone painting of finches in the "cold sun and frost of dawn."

7 Window Tree: song to a tree outside a bedroom window.

8 For the Future: a five part round connecting trees, birds, singing, and the future.

9 To the Holy Spirit: a short prayer for guidance and grace through life's vast array of opposing forces.

10 Thrush Song: a harmonious meditation on the wondrous grace that in Berry's words "moves through earthly forms."

11 Come Life Shaker Life: improvisational dulcimer, bodhran duet based on a shaker dance song.

12 Walking at Night : love song in which marriage is a common place of natural wonders rather than an institution.

13 Great Trees: an anthem to the glory of trees.

14 Hunger and Thirst: a shaker song rejecting materialism while affirming a vast appetite for true righteousness and peace.

15 Shake These Bones: a hymn in praise of the senses and life's mortal and sacred joys.

16 How Long Watchman: based on two hymns of Armageddon, explores
destructive forces in the human psyche.

17 Lay Me Low: a Shaker song, begins with a spoken reference to the river of lanterns that commemorate Hiroshima Day.

18 Paradise: a solitary prayer grows to a broad declaration of thanks and a commitment to bringing "heaven on earth".

19 Hosanna: dulcimer, percussion, and choir come together for a resounding "Amen"

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