New-Fashioned Hymn Series – A new collaboration!
I’m so excited about this new-fashioned hymn series which we are launching today! I’m excited because it represents a collaboration between two artists, a composer and a visual artist.
But First – Big Copyright News!
First let me tell you why this is even possible and why you may be excited about it! Many of you have asked about where you could get this book (shown on the right) or the pieces in it, but they have been sold out and out of print. So we asked and were given the copyright back from Augsburg Fortress for all my sacred piano arrangements in the “How Sweet the Sound” collection. Now that I own the copyright again, we are releasing these in a fresh way, the way I wanted to release them years ago!
You might be able to guess that I was horribly disappointed in the artwork that Augsburg Fortress used for the original book (we usually don’t get any input as composers). It certainly went well with their series of sacred music (which is what they wanted and their right to do), but certainly did not communicate the spirit of the pieces that I intended.
Announcing the New-Fashioned Hymn Series Artistic Collection
So when we got back the copyright, I wanted to do the right thing with the art. I wanted to work with an artist to not only provide beautiful music, but covers that could in themselves make you say, “Wow! Isn’t God amazing?”
So I began to work with a real artist that has spent hours getting to know all of these pieces in this collection and coming up with separate artwork for every piece that truly communicates the spirit of the piece.
Today’s release of “This is My Father’s World” is the first example of this collaboration!
So what is happening in the new art on My Father’s World?
The covers in this new series are visual perceptual events. This means that they are designed so that your experience of the event differs from the physical stimulus in a meaningful way. This mirrors the intention of the music: to provide a new experience with the familiar words and melody.
The sensory perception of brightness that you experience when looking at the center of the image is as real as if the center were lit. We can sit and analyze whether the inside of the shape is really the same color as the outside or whether it is really brighter or not. But the experience of brightness that you experience when you look at it cannot be dismissed. It is my hope that it brings you joy and delight knowing that there is more to this world than just the physical.
If you are interested in the artistic effect, you can learn about the Erhenstein illusion here.
The problem of disengaged church goers
So assuming you are a church musician, I know you know the problem. It’s easy to play a lovely piece during church only to have thoughts of pot roast or the local restaurants filling the thoughts of your audience members. It’s really hard to keep pew-sitters engaged in every second of your piece. Plus, it’s even harder to play music that actually causes the listener to think of God’s attributes or giving glory to God. Of course, the experience of music (without words) in itself can give praise to God, but often church music begins to sound the same, making it easy to tune out.
Three typical responses to church music
When I was a teenager, I began paying attention to how church-goers interacted with piano music that was played as offertories, preludes or “specials.” I noticed that most music performed had one of three effects on people:
- It excited them, often by the volume or virtuosity of the performer
- It soothed them, many times to the point where they became disengaged
- It engaged them, causing them to listen intently
My goal became to write music that accomplished the latter of these effects: to engage them throughout the piece and cause them to experience the music and the words in a unique way.
I knew that one of the secrets to doing this was to write music that was different. Not crazy different. I didn’t want to try to lose the listener in a series of oddities that were distracting, but enough different that people would listen, cock their head slightly and stay engaged with the music all the way through it.
Of course, my music doesn’t always accomplish this goal, but if you’ve experienced enough of the All is Calm, All is Bright collection, I think you know what I mean. That 6/8 piece that’s set in a syncopated 4/4 (see It Came Upon a Midnight Clear). That 4/4 piece that’s set for a few measures in 7/8 (see God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen).
And now I present “This Is My Father’s World” with just a tad bit of 5/4!
This is My Father’s World – In Time for Earth Day!
This late intermediate to advancing arrangement contains beautiful juxtapositions of old and new harmonies and meters and the subtle shifts in these can bring a new spiritual experience to the listener and performer. Your interest is piqued in the first three measures of 5/4 meter, but shifts quickly to something soothing and calm. Throughout the piece, there is just enough of something new to cause those old words to come to your mind in a fresh way.
The cover of This is My Father’s World was created by an artist who spent hours understanding the spirit of this piece before using a unique visual effect to create a sunny cover. Does the cover appear to glow to you? Is the center of the sun a different color than the outside of the shape? These subtle effects are the kind of thing that make you stop and look just one more time in the same way the music makes you stop and think of the words just one more time.
Bundle More Sacred Music and Save!
Purchase the popular Celtic Hymn Arrangements Be Thou My Vision and Brethren We Have Met to Worship together and save! Clavier Companion gives these to pieces an official “thumbs up!” Artina McCain reviews these pieces saying, “…these two solos will not disappoint: Stevens gives students enjoyable music with great pedagogical value….Full of immense joy and character, and they are a pleasure for the performer and audience members!”
Details of This is My Father’s World
- Level: Late intermediate to advancing
- Pages: 8 pages, 5 pages of music, cover art included!
- Style: Compelling
- Format: PDF instant download
- Series: New-fashioned hymn series (also found in the out-of-print “How Sweet the Sound” book)
- Bonus: Original artwork included
Here what teachers say about this piece:
Be the first to review This is My Father’s World! Leave a comment in the comment section and we’d be delighted to quote you!
What is a studio license of This is My Father’s World?
Studio License – When you purchase a studio license, you are permitted to print the item for use with students you directly teach for as long as you are teaching! This cannot be shared with or transferred other teachers, even within the same studio. See terms and conditions for full information.
Single License – When you purchase a single license, you are permitted to use the item for only one person at any time. You may not transfer the license to another student or person at any time. So if you wish to use this piece for two students, even if they will be working on it in different months or years, you will need to purchase the studio license. See terms and conditions for full information.
Do you offer license upgrades?
We don’t offer upgrades from single to studio licenses, but if you are a teacher, we are confident that you and your students will love what you are purchasing so much that it’s 99.9% guaranteed that you’ll want to use it again and again. Most teachers purchase the studio license because of this.
How can I get the best price?
I’m happy to tell you our “sale secret.” When a new piece comes out, we put it in our newsletter and run at least a 3 day sale. This is almost always the best price you’ll ever get on the piece, and we like to give it to best fans. So just sign up for the newsletter and then be sure to open it quickly each time and you’ll see the best sales on new pieces.
If you are interested in pieces that are not new, then the best price is definitely the studio license. Imagine how much money you spend over the course of your years of teaching on a popular piece! At $3.99 a piece, if you purchase it for 10 students, then you’ll be spending $39.90. But if you buy the studio license, you’ll have it for only $8.99 or $9.99 You’ll save hundreds of dollars in the next few years of teaching by purchasing the studio license so that you never have to purchase the piece again!
~ Thank you for complying with U. S. copyright laws!