LONDON (CNS) — British musicians recorded the classic Irish hymn, "Sweet Heart of Jesus," in a calypso, disco style and sent it to Pope Benedict XVI on an iPod nano.
Pope Benedict might like it, or he might become the first pontiff in history to throw an iPod into the trash.
The musicians’ intention, however, was to soften the pope’s attitude toward modern church music.
The gift is from contemporary Catholic songwriters Jo Boyce and Mike Stanley, and it features a new album of classic hymns reworked in modern forms of music. The duo has used instruments such as pianos, saxophones, guitars, drums and synthesizers to recreate centuries-old works in laid-back gospel, folk, funk, soul and lounge-music styles.
The album, "Age to Age," was downloaded onto an iPod and sent to Pope Benedict in the hope of gaining a "papal seal of approval," said a Sept. 4 press release by the Catholic Communications Network of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
The Pope already has an iPod Nano given him by Vatican Radio.
Though the white iPod nano is tiny, it still made an impression on the pope. When the head of the radio’s technical and computer support department, Mauro Milita, identified himself and handed the pope the boxed iPod, the pope was said to have replied, "Computer technology is the future."
The pope’s new 2-gigabyte digital audio player already was loaded with a sampling of the radio’s programming in English, Italian and German and musical compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Frederic Chopin, Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky and Igor Stravinsky. The stainless steel back was engraved with the words "To His Holiness, Benedict XVI" in Italian.
After his first iPod Nano loaded with classical music and getting his new one – after listening to it he might take it too the local Apple Store Genius Bar and complain that there is something wrong with it "The music sounds familiar but the sound has gone horribly wrong. Can you fix it?"
For some reason I’m now imagining the arguments over the authenticity of these iPods nano as second-class relics a millennium from now, especially if he doesn’t take kindly to disco (they should’ve stuck to simple calypso imo).
“It says ‘To His Holiness, Benedict XVI’ in Italian right on the back! It’s got to be the one we heard about from the 21st century.”
“No way. Everybody knows he was no fan of the secular art styles of his time.”
I’m boggled. I know “Sweet Heart of Jesus” very well, having been reared on it for Corpus Christi processions, and to do it in a calypso/disco style – ouch.
It’s a good old fashioned hymn, but a bit ordinary. Not bad, just ordinary. Fancying it up like this, though, sounds like turning it into really terrible music.
Now, unless they mean that even Haagen/Haus sounds better by comparison with their ‘improved’ version, I cannot see this making the Pope more sympathetic to ‘modern church music’.
LOL! The Pope isn’t going to change his stance with “reworked music.” You’d think the people who sent him this new ipod would have known better, lol.
Somehow, when I saw an article abt this, Jeff, I knew you’d be on top of it! 🙂
Sacred music has its place.
Profane music has its place.
Why is this so hard for some people to get?
I am not familiar with the hymn, I just like the statement: He might become the first pontiff in history to throw an iPod into the trash.
A calypso version of an Irish hymn? I dunno…
Doesn’t Papa have a lot of Mozart on his own iPod?
Pipe organ and opera singer intoning, “Tu es Petrus….”
*happy appreciative Pope*
Rock praise music starts up with singing in English
*Pope puts on his “offering this up” face*
LOL, Maureen. No doubt.
Another way of saying “The music sound familiar but the sound has gone horribly wrong”:
It is clear that these opportunities for artistic creativity and the adoption of secular tunes brought danger with them. Music was no longer developing out of prayer, but, with the new demand for artistic autonomy, was now heading away from the liturgy; it was becoming an end in itself, opening the door to new, very different ways of feeling and of experiencing the world.
The Spirit of the Liturgy