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M. Dale Prins

Mommy says I may only talk about handbells.

59 posts in this topic

I can officially release the first semi-professional recording of one of my handbell arrangements, which is now available in sheet music format for $3.95 from the ultra-nice folks at GIA Publishing (i.e. the largest Catholic music publisher in the U.S.). Yay me.

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins

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That's beautiful, Dale. I really enjoyed listening to it.

And by the way, I love the song title, but I would have to say that the title of this thread is one of my favorites of all time.

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Let me be more clear and mention that this song I've given the MP3 for is not "CH!FtSP!"; the MP3 is of a completely different song that can be purchased here. I just didn't feel like starting another handbell thread because, well, no one cares about them here but me.

Okay, so here's another title query: In the spirit of Sufjan's "50 States" and Kieslowski's "Decalogue," I'd like to do a series of handbell works based on...something. Criteria for this something includes:

* It has to have a finite number of entries, ideally between five and 15. Planets, good. Stars, bad. Oceans, good, if a little low. Rivers, bad.

* I would prefer something that is somehow based in Christianity or, at minimum, can at least have a marginally religious spin thrust upon it. "God's Nine Planets" -- too corny for me, but otherwise okay.

* It has to be cool and ideally a little more unique than planets or seasons.

Ideas, please?

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins

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Are you asking for the "something", or for the title?

If "something", maybe continents?

I don't really know; I don't know much about handbells.

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I am asking for the something, and continents is an interesting idea. Hmm.

And knowing anything about handbells doesn't help or hurt those coming up with theme ideas.

Dale

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kitchen appliances. like... the stove... the microwave... the fridge... the... electric spice rack. yes! this is a great idea!

and I saw this guy duck tape a bowl face down on a carpet, with a microphone concealed inside. it makes the coolest sounding hand drum. its like... bom BOOM ping.. ping pat BOM! is it friday yet?

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How about sacraments? That's, er, somewhere in the region of seven, I believe. Although it wouldn't work if they were Protestant handbells, as you'd only have two sections, and they wouldn't really believe in either of them anyway. They'd have to convert to Catholicism for the duration of the piece (rather like high Anglican priests when they discover they're gonna ordain women) in order to boost the count to seven and garner the appropriate levels of sincerity and belief in their efficacy, etc.

Good, that's that sorted then.

Edited by stu

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Dude. Dude! That is such an awesome idea. You win, man. I don't know what you win, but you win.

This is even better than you think because the piece I'm working on (the one that prompted this question) has sort of a joyous water theme going for it, and I never made the leap from "happy river" (my mental image for this piece) to "hey, baptism involves water and is a jovial occasion."

My only concerns are trying to make confirmation somehow more accessible to Protestants who don't infant-baptize (and, for that matter, how to express confirmation musically) and how to compose marriage without just throwing in the wedding march for half the song. But whatever: This is absolutely the idea I'm going with.

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins

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Gosh.

Glad to be of service. Hate to admit this, but I couldn't actually name the seven sacraments. Er, marriage, baptism, confirmation. Um, something about 'unction'. Death isn't one is it? No, it can't be. Oh, Mass! Of course. I am still two short, assuming you allow me 'something about 'unction''...

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Stu, my new best friend:

: Although it wouldn't work if they were Protestant

: handbells, as you'd only have two sections, and

: they wouldn't really believe in either of them anyway.

No, no, it's all good. Baptism is fine. Marriage is fine. Communion is fine. (Obviously there are differences in beliefs, but how I could musically express the rift between transsubstation and representation, I haven't a clue.) Holy orders is probably fine, since all Christian denominations have some sort of minister-initiation process. (Titling the piece might be a bit tricky, however.) Penance is fine, since, again, all non-wack Christian denominations are in favor of confessing your sins to God (either directly or in-). Confirmation is, well, a little tougher, for reasons stated in the last post. And last rites is emoting a common enough sentiment that I think most Protestants could relate without a problem.

In short: Your idea is better than you think it is.

Dale

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Um, for the record...

Here is how they are listed in the CCC:

The Sacraments of Christian Initiation:

* Baptism

* Confirmation

* The Eucharist

The Sacraments of Healing:

* Penance and Reconciliation [i.e., confession]

* Anointing of the Sick [FKK Extreme Unction or "last rites"]

The Sacraments at the Service of Communion:

* Holy Orders

* Matrimony

Edited by SDG

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So, um, pretty much what I said, yes?

Dale

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Also, I need some ideas for percussion that sounds like an industrial plant but yet is readily available and cheap.  Thank you.  But only if you are the person who gives me the ideas.

Dale

have you tried old drums from washing machines / dryers ? should be available from scrapyards or recycling centres and they tend to sound metallic and bassy at the same time when beaten with something resembling a drumstick or bass xylophone mallet..

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Another one of my occasional posts where I link to MP3 files of my new handbell music, as performed by my piano-playing computer.

* "Baptized in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" (part one of the musical, um, septlogy discussed in previous posts)

* "Fantasie on 'Forty Days and Forty Nights'" (based on the hymn tune HEINLEIN)

Both are currently under review by publishers, by the by.

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins

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Not that anyone cares, but yesterday I received notice that my another of my handbell pieces has been accepted for publication, increasing that number to four.

Dale

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That number is at something like 15 now, but that's not why I write. "Comrades, Haste! Faster the Steel Press!" will be released on Bells of the Sound's CD Signatures in early December (along with 10 songs that have nothing to do with me). There's a short sample mp3 of the piece here.

Dale

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That's very cool! As a composer, is it weird to hear a performance of your piece? Did they do it the way you imagined?

tw

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So far I've only heard the 30 seconds that they have online, but yeah, that bit is pretty similar to what I imagined.

Matthew

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I don't think I've posted any of my recent pieces to A&F recently, so since my biggest fan MLeary asked, I'll post a few over the next couple days.

* an MP3 of my handbell/piano piece "12"; it's actually the first of three movements, but I don't have the other two handy

* an MP3 of an excerpt of my Christmas arrangement, "The World in Solemn Stillness Lay" (which will be performed by at least two high-quality handbell groups this Christmas, neither of which affiliated with me)

* an MP3 (with fake violins playing the vocals) of an original SSA/harp piece, "Sleep! Holy Babe"

* an MP3 of a little ditty that ended up becoming part of larger work that I don't have any MP3s of

I've written upwards of five dozen pieces, but I've probably taken the time to make MP3s of no more than a dozen, and I only have live recordings of three (a number which should be doubling or more in the next few months).

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins

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I don't think I've posted any of my recent pieces to A&F recently, so since my biggest fan MLeary asked, I'll post a few over the next couple days.

I have to agree with MLeary - these are quite nice.

Ryan

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Thanks. I wouldn't mind a full CD when you finally decide to sell out. This handbell stuff fills a void left by overlistening my Steve Reich CD's.

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M. Dale Prins, handsome though he is, gave us...

* an MP3 of my handbell/piano piece "12"; it's actually the first of three movements, but I don't have the other two handy

Well. I now also have an MP3 of the third movement of the piece for which "12" is the first movement; I will for now call the movement "Third." (It's submitted to a contest right now, so I'm going to be slightly vague on titles for the time being.)

Second movement maybe in a bit; it's the hardest to turn into an MP3.

Dale

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My Christmas present to you: The world premiere performance of my (10-minute) Christmas arrangement for vocalist and handbells, "The World in Solemn Stillness Lay." The Austin Handbell Ensemble is on handbells; Beth Watson is the vocalist.

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins

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