Friday, November 29, 2019

Merry Christmas

My third album, titled "Christemasse" is the old Middle-English spelling, coming from the Old-English "Christes maesse", literally - "Christ's mass". It contains mostly ancient Christmas carols of medieval origins, and it was recorded over a two week period in late November/early December of 2010.

"O Come, O Come Emmanuel" was originally written in Latin text in the 12th Century, but it's medieval origin may date to 8th Century Gregorian monks. This is the only song I've ever done that has no piano part - I used harpsichord instead, to bring the feel a bit closer to the medieval origins of the song.

"Hark! the Herald Angels Sing" was written in the 18th century by the great hymnist Charles Wesley.

"Away in a Manger" was originally called "Luther's Cradle Hymn" and was credited to Martin Luther, although that claim has never been verified.
"Es ist ein Ros entsprungen" ("A rose has sprung up"), most commonly translated to English as "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" or "A Spotless Rose", is a Christmas carol and Marian Hymn of 16th century German origin.
"God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" is a English carol of unknown origin, probably originating in the 17th century.
"Stille Nacht" is my version of "Silent Night", in the original German language.
"The Wexford Carol" is a beloved traditional Irish Christmas carol that dates to the 12th century.
This album is very special to me - I love that time of year, and I adore the traditional Christmas carols, and look forward to hearing them every Christmas season.


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Music, especially gospel music is part of my life blood. Some of my earliest memories involve Sunday afternoons singing and playing gospel music with my family. My grandma, Annie Ruth Krienke was a multi-instrumentalist, and we all sang and played the piano. My Dad, Arvid was the choir director and music leader at our Church in South Bend, Indiana. He sang in many gospel quartets over the years, and even had an album published with The King's Quartet.
Having grown up in the 70's, my biggest musical influence was Elton John, who's piano playing and singing I worked diligently to imitate. Then, during middle school & high school I got involved in a partying lifestyle that pulled me far away from my Christian roots. It was then that I began composing my own songs. Later, in the mid 80's I played the local nightclub circuit as keyboardist/singer with the band Justus.
But God comes in places unlooked for - unexpectedly.
After committing myself to the work of the Gospel, I served for three years as Praise & Worship Leader at a local church. During that time I began writing and recording songs during my rehearsal time in a home office/studio that I had set up. One thing led to another, and then with the expert guidance of an old friend, Paul Ellis, I learned how to mix and master my recordings.
My first album, "Up from the Roots", released independantly in April of 2010, was the outcome of those first recordings, and is a mixture of original variations of classic hymns, interspersed with some of my own compositions.
I continued to improve my recording technique, and released "Songs from 7th Street" later that year, followed by "Christemasse".
The next year I released "The Hymnal", followed by "Climbing Higher".
In 2012 I put together "Out of the Dark", which is a compilation album that contains all of my original compositions.
In 2019 I released a new album, consisting of thirteen of my early practice recordings, remastered as new releases, entitled "In the Sanctuary".


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