Today I received official approval from the Committee on Divine Worship of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to publish my settings of the Revised Grail Psalter with the ICEL refrains. The Audubon Park Psalter will consist of four volumes: one for each of the liturgical years (A, B, and C) and a fourth for Solemnities, Feasts and other holidays. Each volume will be 60-70 pages and contain over 50 psalm settings.
After several years of leading very eclectic music programs, I felt the need for a psalter that could be adapted to many different settings. The Audubon Park Psalter is designed to be useable in the traditional organ and cantor setting, but also by the contemporary ensemble with piano, guitars, and even drums. Any attempts to find repertoire common to both groups, would usually lead to complaints from one or the other, so when creating these new settings, I endeavored to use a harmonic language that will be interesting to the highly trained musicians and yet accessible to those with less formation.
The verses are written most often in a one pulse per measure chant style (like Gelineau) so that a drummer could play continuously through the psalm (instead of dropping out for non-metrical chanted verses). The verses are also written in traditional four-part harmony so that a choir could sing them (if desired). Having chant style verses makes the singer’s task of learning multiple verses easier than a through-composed setting, but by keeping a pulse, it is possible to have much more interesting melodies than a common 3-5 note chant settings would offer. These settings are designed to be singable, interesting and achievable for most any parish music program.
Look for more information to come as I finalize the drafts for publication.