by Ellen Oak
A DOOR OPENS – I first encountered the early chant of the western church in a music history course at Swarthmore College. Professor Peter Graham Swing introduced the topic with descriptions and interpretations of the chant as a precursor to polyphony. But my mind could not travel with him. I had fallen in love with the chant at first sight, and desired to stay.
For singer, composer and conductor Ellen Oak, the practice of Christian chant has been a way of life for over 30 years. In a poetic and passionate article, Oak shares her knowledge and experience of this mystical tradition, and her own development of a long disused practice rooted in the chanting of the ancient Hebrews and other near-eastern peoples.
(Image © 2012 John Teti Sr, lightsongstudio.com)
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