Get Your Chant

Just for Fun Jul 16, 2009

As is evidenced by my posts, I have a very active (read: wondering) mind. Focus is not my forte, but what I’ve found helps to stifle my brain is to give it some media to munch on while I work. The problem is, of course, I’m a musician. This makes all music really interesting and I’m often taken ill by my own antidote. But I found a workable solution: Gregorian chant.

I have always loved Gregorian chant, but I found it particularly useful as study music. Rhapsody has a free, streaming channel of Renaissance music. This is where I discovered my love for all things musically renaissance. I simply cannot get enough of it. It’s beautiful, serene, uncomplicated and you can listen or not. It’s perfect for the easily derailed student.

Yesterday, Josh wanted to stop at Classical Millennium to pick up some recordings of his Britt music. While he was shopping, I riffled through the used stacks and found Chant by the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo De Silos. I recognized the cover from Rhapsody. It was selling for $4.59. I found the same CD in the new pile for $16.98. I bought it (okay, I bought a second CD, as well, but I couldn’t resist another Chant collection for $4.50).

As Josh drove us home, I opened my new treasure to find the most bizarre, commercial insert I have ever seen in my life.

There’s even an order form on the back (As a precaution, I blacked out the contact info):

The real question is, who wouldn’t want a mock, Monk-habit brown, hooded pullover, long-sleeve, 100% cotton t-Shirt for only $19.95? Being a Bible college student this is an especially attractive offer.

Maybe they thought that young whippersnappers like myself would see their awesome CD cover and think, “Man, I wish I had a Monk’s habit.”

I’m not sure who they’re trying to reach with “Get your Chant”. I’m assuming they think that slogan is pretty valuble since they assign it as a trademark. Did they mean mean, “Get your Chant On”? As in, “Get your game on?” May be it would have been better to go with something like, “All the Habit; None of the Commitment” or “Monkware: For those who care” or better still, “Share your Gregorian pride with the world!” No matter, it seems like any creative marketing slogan would be blunted by the seven adjectives they use to describe a hoodie.

Flagrant commercialization aside, I am pleased to report that the music far surpassed the merchandise –not a particularly high standard, but worth mentioning. So I was pleased to coat my workday in the sonorous hum of Latin verse.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus (Come, Holy Ghost,)
et emitte caelitus (send down those beams,)
lucis tuae radium. (which sweetly flow in silent streams
from Thy bright throne above.)

Veni, pater pauperum, (O come, Thou Father of the poor;)
veni, dator munerum (O come, Thou source of all our store,)
veni, lumen cordium. (come, fill our hearts with love.)

(Translation by John Austin)

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