Friday, September 01, 2006

Awake my Soul

The much-talked about documentary Awake my Soul arrived yesteday, and it is beautiful. Anyone who is interested in what this Sacred Harp stuff is all about could hardly find a better introduction. Experienced singers will enjoy seeing old friends (including the magnificently whiskered brother of a favorite Quaker blogger friend of ours).

I was especially taken with the interviews with Raymond Hamrick, who I've not met but whose compositions I love to sing. (Especially this one, which came to him in a dream that he describes in the film.) He had presence and dignity, and a gentle accent, that reminded me of Pete Seeger.

The DVD is 75 minutes long, giving it enough time to introduce many aspects of the tradition: origins and history, musical theory, interviews with contemporary singers, dinner on the grounds, and lots of well-recorded singing. I recommend it without reservation.


Liz Opp said...

Hey, Paul.

It appears Netflix doesn't carry it. Can I borrow the DVD from you sometime... assuming you've purchased it and are willing to loan it out?

Not to mention, our queue at Netflix has passed 100 films!

Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

Songbird said...

Paul, thanks for the heads-up. I just ordered a copy!

Phil Grove said...

If somebody with a special interest in Sacred Harp singing were to organize a showing at a local Quaker meeting house or some other convenient place, it might be well attended.