MOUNTAIN MOJO PROGRAM NOTES

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) was an Irish composer, music teacher, and conductor.  Born to a well-off and highly musical family in Dublin, Stanford was educated at the University of Cambridge before studying music in Leipzig and Berlin.  His “Justorum Animae” provides a good Irish foundation for the Appalachian portion of our program and just the right amount of proper pomp to propel MOUNTAIN MOJO off the ground!

Translated from the original Latin:
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God;
there shall no torment or malice touch them.
In the sight of the unwise they seem to die,
but they are in peace.





Moses George Hogan (1957-2003) was an African-American composer and
arranger of choral music. He was a graduate of the New Orleans Center for
Creative Arts and Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio. He was best
known for his very popular and accessible settings of spirituals. Hogan was a
pianist, conductor and arranger of international renown. His works are highly
celebrated and performed by high school, college, church, community, and
professional choirs across the globe today. He died at the age of 45 of a brain
tumor.

I'm gonna sing 'til the spirit moves in my heart.
I'm gonna sing 'til Jesus comes.
(Sing, Oh my Jesus, 'til he comes.)
It was grace that brought me.
It was grace that taught me.
It was grace that kept me.
And it's grace that will lead me home.
I'm gonna pray 'til the spirit moves in my heart.
I'm gonna pray 'til Jesus comes.
(Pray, Oh my Jesus, 'til he comes.)
Can't you feel the spirit movin'.
I'm gonna shout 'til the spirit moves in my heart.
I'm gonna shout 'til Jesus comes.
(Shout, Oh my Jesus, 'til he comes.)
I'm gonna sing 'til my Jesus ('til He comes.)

Spirituals originated with the slaves who heard Bible stories from their masters and identified with the promise of a heavenly reward for believers. Mixing the pentatonic scale, call and response, and rhythms of their native African music with the limited English phrases they were taught brought about the characteristic spiritual musical vocabulary. Spirituals were encoded with double meanings that were hidden to the uninformed. Heaven became a code for escape to the North, crossing the River Jordan
for crossing the Ohio River to freedom, and the spirit moving for following the Underground Railroad. The poignant fact that many slaves only escaped through death was ever at hand.





"Black Is the Color (of My True Love's Hair)" is a traditional folk song first known in the Appalachian Mountains region of the United States in 1915, but most probably originating from Scotland, as attributed to the reference to the Clyde in the song's lyrics.  Many different versions of this song exist, some addressed to females and others addressed to males.

Black is the color of my true love's hair
Her lips are like some roses fair
She has the sweetest smile the gentlest hands
And I love the ground whereon she stands

I love my love, and well she knows
I love the ground whereon she goes
I wish the day soon would come
When she and I will be as one

And black is the color of my true love's hair
Her lips are like some roses fair
She has the sweetest smile the gentlest hands
And I love the ground whereon she stands

I go to the Clyde and mourn and weep
But satisfied I never shall be
I'll write her a letter with a few short lines
and suffer death a thousand times

And black is the color of my true love's hair
Her lips are like some roses fair
She has the sweetest smile the gentlest hands
And I love the ground whereon she stands
I love the ground whereon she stands
I love the ground whereon she stands

These words are set to two distinct melodies, one of which is traditional and the other was written by the Kentucky folk singer and composer John Jacob Niles.  Niles recalled that his father thought the traditional melody was "downright terrible", so he wrote "a new tune, ending it in a nice modal manner." This melody was used in the Folk Songs song cycle by Luciano Berio (and our recording found here.)





One of the few of Gustav Holst's early works to survive his own self-editing is the short Ave Maria for eight-part female chorus. Written in 1900, this composition was first performed in 1901 and is dedicated to the memory of Holst's mother, Clara Lediard Holst, who died when he was a child. A simple yet elegant a cappella piece, its modes and harmonies are reminiscent of the sacred works of Monteverdi and his contemporaries. The fluidly singable phrases of the flowing counterpoint show Holst's practical abilities as a composer, even at this early stage in his writing. The effective building of lush, if straightforward, harmonies from the contralto line through the upper voices creates an uplifting feeling appropriate to the time-honored lyrics. Holst's creative setting in eight parts gives the statement and response effect of a double choir. Originally composed for women's chorus, the cascading harmonies, forthright style and floating musical line of this work are also well suited to boy's voices. Barely four minutes long, Holst's Ave Maria is a small but brilliant jewel in his large and influential body of work.
Robert Miller’s brass arrangement splits parts between two choirs (choir one:  3 trumpets and trombone; choir two:  two trumpets, trombone and tuba.)





"Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" (or simply "Motherless Child") is a traditional Spiritual.
The song dates back to the era of slavery in the United States when it was common practice to sell children of slaves away from their parents. An early performance of the song dates back to the 1870s by the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Like many traditional songs, it has many variations and has been recorded .
The song is clearly an expression of pain and despair as it conveys the hopelessness of a child who has been torn from his or her parents.  Although the plaintive words can be interpreted literally, they were much more likely metaphoric. The “motherless child” could be a slave separated from and yearning for his African homeland, a slave suffering “a long ways from home”—home being heaven—or most likely both.

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
A long ways from home
A long ways from home
True believer
A long ways from home
Along ways from home

Sometimes I feel like I’m almos’ gone
Sometimes I feel like I’m almos’ gone
Sometimes I feel like I’m almos’ gone
Way up in de heab’nly land
Way up in de heab’nly land
True believer
Way up in de heab’nly land
Way up in de heab’nly land

 Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
A long ways from home
There’s praying everywhere





"A Foggy Day" is a song composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, introduced by Fred Astaire in the 1937 film A Damsel in Distress. It was originally titled "A Foggy Day (In London Town)", and is often still referred to as such.

I was a stranger in the city
Out of town were the people I knew
I had that feeling of self pity
What to do, what to do, what to do?
The outlook was decidedly blue
But as I walked through the foggy streets alone
It turned out to be the luckiest day I've known

A foggy day in London town
It had me low and it had me down
I viewed the morning with much alarm
The British museum had lost its charm
How long, I wondered, could this thing last?
But the age of miracles hadn't passed
For, suddenly, I saw you there
And through foggy London town
The sun was shining everywhere

A foggy day in London town
It had me low and it had me down
I viewed the morning with much alarm
The British museum had lost its charm
How long, I wondered, could this thing last?
But the age of miracles hadn't passed
For, suddenly, I saw you there
And through foggy London town
The sun was shining upside-down!

We figured by this time, the listener might feel the need for some Gershwinian wit and humor to counteract the heavy emotional weight of the first third of our project!





Samuel Barber (1910-1981) followed an unusual career path for a composer, starting as a singer rather than as an instrumentalist.  At the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, his initial interest was in training his baritone voice, and as a young man he accepted a number of singing engagements, even giving recitals on NBC radio.  But his talents as a composer soon won out – before graduation, he won a $1,200 prize for a student composition, the Overture to The School For Scandal, still a concert favorite.
However, Barber's training as a singer had a lasting effect on his work as a composer – namely, in the long lyrical lines that characterize most of his music.  Because of this lyrical gift as well as his conservative harmonic language, Barber was often termed the last of the American romantics.  Concert audiences still find his music among the more readily accessible of 20th century American composers.
Barber was also highly regarded by his colleagues for his elegant craftsmanship, refined taste, and mastery of instrumental color and technique.  He won many honors – two Pulitzer prizes, the New York Music Critics Circle Award and membership in the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  He also received commissions from the Metropolitan Opera, Martha Graham, the Boston Symphony, the New York City Ballet and the Library of Congress.
"The Coolin" is based on a favorite Irish love song.  The word "coolin" refers to the little curl grown by young women at the neck line.  Thus, "little curl" or "coolin",
came to mean one's sweetheart.   A lifted, lilting compound triple-meter helps to create a pastoral scene while gentle harmonic and chromatic inflections and tone painting create a sonic image of two lovers tenderly speaking.

(Lyrics, by James Stephens, 1882-1950)
Come with me, under my coat,
and we will drink our fill
of the milk of the white goat,
or wine if it be thy will.
And we will talk,
until talk is a trouble, too,
out on the side of the hill;
And nothing is left to do,
but an eye to look into an eye,
and a hand in a hand to slip;

and a sigh to answer a sigh;
And a lip to find out a lip!
What if the night be black!
And the air
on the mountain chill!
Where all but the fern is still!
Stay with me, under my coat!
and we will drink our fill
of the milk of the white goat,
out on the side of the hill!





“Hij Komt, Hij Komt” by Joris van der Herten

Translation from the composer:

He is coming, he is coming,
the nice good Sint (saint, as in “Saint Nicholas”),
my best friend, your best friend,
every child's friend

My little heart is beating,
my little is beating so happily,
What is he bringing you, what is he bringing me,
What is he bringing you and me?
Those who were sweet, cake
Those who were naughty get the rod

The Dutch language also uses Simple Present in some situations where the English language normally employs Present Continuous ("hij komt" is actually the same conjugation of "komen" as "he comes" is of "to come" in English). "Hartje" is the diminutive form of "hart" (heart).
The word "Sint" is an abbreviation for "Sinterklaas" in the context of the Sinterklaas song "Hij komt, hij komt" (otherwise it just means "Saint" actually, like "Sint-Pieter" means "Saint Peter"). From Wikipedia:
"Although he is usually referred to as Sinterklaas, he is also known as De Goedheiligman (The Good Holy Man), Sint Nicolaas (Saint Nicholas) or simply as De Sint (The Saint)."
"Hij komt, hij komt" is a traditional song sung by children when Sinterklaas (what American’s call “Santa Claus”) is coming to enter the room, the lyrics tell about Sinterklaas, the melody is borrowed from Schumann's piano piece.

Joris van der Herten is a Belgian composer who is known for his razor-sharp cutting edge musical wit.  His “Hij Komt, Hij Komt” was conceived as a musical joke to poke fun at traditional Sinterklaas arrangements by pairing a traditional melody (the child-like innocence of Robert Schumann’s Fröhlicher Landmann/Happy Farmer melody) with an equally-yet-oppositely bad boy piano accompaniment (in the style of famous Russian jazz composer Kapustin Nikolai's Concert Etude Op.40 No.3 Toccatina.)  van der Herten takes Schumann’s melody, pairs it with a Nikolai-style frantic accompaniment, adds his magic touch of harmony, then allows Robert Miller to adapt it to brass.  And what was originally meant as a musical joke to demonstrate drastically contrasting styles turns into a light and delightful frolic.





"All the Pretty Little Horses" (also known as "Hush-a-bye") is a traditional American lullaby from the United States.
The origin of this song is not fully known. Most commonly, the song is thought to be of African American origin. The author Lyn Ellen Lacy is often quoted as the primary source for the theory that suggests the song was "originally sung by an African American slave who could not take care of her baby because she was too busy taking care of her master's child. She would sing this song to her master's child". However, Lacy's book Art and Design in Children's Books is not an authority on the heritage of traditional American folk songs, but rather a commentary on the art and design in children's literature. Still some versions of "All the Pretty Horses" contain lyrics that make this theory seem viable.
One such version is provided in Alan Lomax's book American Ballads and Folksongs, though he makes no claim of this:

"Way down yonder, In de medder, There's a po' lil lambie, De bees an' de butterflies, Peckin' out its eyes, De po' lil lambie cried, "Mammy!"" Another version contains the lyrics "Buzzards and flies, Picking out its eyes, Pore little baby crying". The theory would suggest that the lyrics "po' lil lambie cried, "Mammy"" is in reference to the slaves who were often separated from their own families in order to serve their owners. However, this verse is very different from the rest of the lullaby, suggesting that the verse may have been added later or has a different origin than the rest of the song. The verse also appears in the song "Ole Cow" and older versions of the song "Black Sheep, Black Sheep".

This is an example of a current version with the lyrics "All the Pretty Little Horses":
    Hush-by, Don't you cry
    Go to sleep a little baby
    When you wake you shall find
    All the pretty little horses

    Blacks and bays, dapples and grays
    Coach and six a little horses
    When you wake you shall find
    All the pretty little horses

    Hush-by, Don't you cry
    Go to sleep a little baby
    When you wake you shall find
    All the pretty little horses

The Mojo Brass version appearing here is a cornet trio, arranged originally by American composer Aaron Copland, then further harmonically altered, enhanced and performed by Robert Miller, to reflect his Appalachian heritage.





Jacob Handl (1550-1591) - Aliases: Jacobus Gallus, Jacobus Gallus Carniolus, Iacobus Gallus.
Handl (equally well known as Gallus) was born as Jakob Petelin ("rooster", which translates to Handl in German and Gallus in Latin) in 1550 in Slovenia. He is best known for his sacred music. A Cistercian monk, Gallus travelled in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia, and went to Melk Abbey, in Lower Austria. He was a member of the Viennese court chapel in 1574, and was choirmaster to the bishop of Olomouc, Moravia between 1579 and 1585.  He used the Latin form of his name, to which he often added the adjective Carniolus, thus giving credit to his home land, Carniola.
“Pater Noster” is fine example of Gallus going for the Venetian vogue.  It is in eight parts, pitting four UPPER voices (in the left channel) against the four LOWER voices (in the right channel.)  Common practices of antiphonal music of this time would typically pit two equal SATB choirs against each other.  With the canonic opening in the upper two parts and the subsequent sonorous homophonic episodes, it is a rousing setting of the Lord’s Prayer, and ends with a wonderfully florid Amen.





Adolphus Hailstork (born Adolphus Cunningham Hailstork III, Rochester, New York, April 17, 1941) is an American composer and educator.  He grew up in Albany, New York, where he studied violin, piano, organ, and voice.
Hailstork is of African American ancestry and his works blend musical ideas from both the African American and European traditions.
“Crucifixion” was based upon the old spiritual "He Never said a Mumblin' Word"
This is a work of great power. A master of counterpoint and of sustaining prolonged emotional engagement and tension, Hailstork has written here one of his finest choral works (and one of the finest choral, and musical pieces written.) The sentiment sung over and over again in the original lyrics, the “he never said a mumblin’ word,” is sung with anger, sadness, resignation, and even a sense of defiance at the end.  This is a superb example (per arranger Robert Miller) of an emotional choral piece being so perfectly crafted, that the removing the emotional content of the lyrics doesn’t diminish the collective emotional level of the piece (a rarity!)





"Ten Little Indians" is a children's rhyme. The song is typically performed to the Irish folk tune "Michael Finnegan".
The modern lyrics are:

    One little, two little, three little Indians
    Four little, five little, six little Indians
    Seven little, eight little, nine little Indians
    Ten little Indian boys.

    Ten little, nine little, eight little Indians
    Seven little, six little, five little Indians
    Four little, three little, two little Indians
    One little Indian boy.

The original piece, then called "Ten Little Injuns", was written by songwriter Septimus Winner in 1868 for a minstrel show and was much more elaborate:

    Ten little Injuns standin' in a line,
    One toddled home and then there were nine;

    Nine little Injuns swingin' on a gate,
    One tumbled off and then there were eight.

    One little, two little, three little, four little, five little Injun boys,
    Six little, seven little, eight little, nine little, ten little Injun boys.

    Eight little Injuns gayest under heav'n.
    One went to sleep and then there were seven;

    Seven little Injuns cuttin' up their tricks,
    One broke his neck and then there were six.

    Six little Injuns all alive,
    One kicked the bucket and then there were five;

    Five little Injuns on a cellar door,
    One tumbled in and then there were four.

    Four little Injuns up on a spree,
    One got fuddled and then there were three;

    Three little Injuns out on a canoe,
    One tumbled overboard and then there were two.

    Two little Injuns foolin' with a gun,
    One shot t'other and then there was one;

    One little Injun livin' all alone,
    He got married and then there were none.

“Ten Little Native Indians” is part of a group of intermediate piano studies that are based on childhood tunes Rick Bartlett grew up with and composed several years ago. The studies focused on left hand chords while the melodies are in the right hand. Each piece had some variant that gave piano students an opportunity of more contemporary observation of a familiar tune.  Bartlett, a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University, primarily focuses on choral music for more experienced HS, College and Community choirs. He has received ASCAP awards since 2004, is currently published exclusively by Lighthouse Music Publications and has received numerous awards and recognitions in choral composition. Performances of his choral music may be found on Youtube and ScoreExchange.com.





Do a Google search for composer Arnold Freed and the only information you will find is that he was born in 1926.  Yet his “Dance Alleluia” dramatically leaps off the manuscript page with rhythmic spirit and a dignity and soul that certainly deserves much more respect.  Robert Miller’s Mojo Brass arrangement hopes to help rectify this with an armament of three cornets and tuba.





"Dueling Banjos" is an instrumental composition by Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith. The song was composed in 1955 by Smith as a banjo instrumental he called "Feudin' Banjos", which contained riffs from "Yankee Doodle". Smith recorded it playing a four-string plectrum banjo and accompanied by five-string bluegrass banjo player Don Reno. The composition's first wide scale airing was on the 1963 television episode of "The Andy Griffith Show" featuring the music of "The Darlings", otherwise known as "The Dillards", a bluegrass group. The show was aired in season four, production number 96 which aired in 1963, "Brisco Declares For Aunt Bee".
The song was made famous by the 1972 film Deliverance, which also led to a successful lawsuit by the song's composer, as it was used in the film without his permission.  "Dueling Banjos" was arranged and performed for the film by Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell and was included on its soundtrack.  When Smith was not acknowledged as the composer by the filmmakers, he sued and eventually won, receiving songwriting credit as well as royalties.
In the Mojo Brass arrangement playfully entitled “Dueling Brasses”, we find trumpeter Robert Miller dueling it out with tubaist Jeff Fleuw, with humorous consequences.





Moses Hogan's compositional style is dominated by the text of the melody he is setting. He does not churn out just another spiritual arrangement, but writes unique pieces as different as the texts. The melodies of the various pieces seem to also influence the arrangement's gesture. They are usually quite difficult, but because they are so brilliantly written they are always worth the effort to learn. Dominated by a sense of improvisation and an outpouring of belief in what he is setting, they are filled with warm, sensitive harmonies. Many are powerfully set, almost as if they come from another world. His use of "blues-like" notes and intervals, coupled with jazz-like rhythms, makes them sound spontaneous, almost improvised in their gesture. Because they are so well written, singers easily develop a stylistic interpretation of the score. Often his music starts simply, building in complication harmonically, contrapuntally, and rhythmically. Most of his pieces end with a feeling of finality with open harmonies and straightforward rhythms.
“My God is So High” skillfully ties together Hogan’s many concept of  spiritual, gospel and soul music into an iconic wall of sound, gleefully and soulfully recorded by Robert, Ryan and Jeff.





William Mundy (c. 1529–1591) was an English composer of sacred music. He was the father of John Mundy, organist and composer. Little is known about his life, except that he was appointed to the Chapel Royal in 1562–1563, and was replaced in 1591, presumably following his death.
 “Adolescentulus sum ego” takes its text from Psalm 118, vv. 141-44.  Sections of the same psalm were also set by Tye, White and Parsons, thus suggesting the possibility that these works were composed in collaboration and intended to be performed in succession (such is the case in the setting of In exitu Israel which Mundy had composed jointly with Sheppard and Byrd.) 
Latin text:  Adolescentulus sum ego, et contemptus: justificationes tuas non sum oblitus. Justitia tua in aeternum: et lex tua veritas.
English translation:  I am immature and despised: [but] I do not forget your precepts. Your justice is eternal: and your law is truth.





“Elijah Rock” is another well traveled song with countless variations. Not only did the slaves use songs to communicate covert intentions, they also used them to coordinate the rhythm of their heavy field work particularly when harvesting. Though they were not allowed to read or write, they absorbed the Bible stories.  The prophet Elijah raised the dead and brought fire from heaven down upon the rich and powerful, an appealing concept to the oppressed.  Spirituals were created extemporaneously and passed on orally.  Call and response lyrics blended with multi levels of harmonies and rhythms creating a rich tapestry of sound.

    Elijah rock, oh Elijah rock
    Elijah
    Elijah rock, oh Elijah rock
    Elijah

    Come on sister help me to pray tell me my Lord don pass dis way.

    Elijah rock, Elijah rock
    Elijah rock, oh Elijah rock
    Elijah
    Elijah rock, oh Elijah rock
    Elijah

    Elijah rock shout shout
    Elijah rock comin' up Lord
    Elijah rock shout shout
    Elijah rock comin' up Lord

    Satan ain't nothin but a
    snake in the grass
    He's a conjur, he's a liar
    Hallelujah, Lord.

    Elijah rock shout shout
    Elijah rock comin' up Lord
    Elijah rock shout shout
    Elijah rock comin' up Lord

    If I could I surely would
    Stand on the rock where Moses stood
    If I could I surely would
    Stand on the rock where Moses stood

    Elijah rock, oh Elijah rock
    Elijah
    Elijah rock, oh Elijah rock
    Elijah
    Hallelujah Jesus, Hallelujah Jesus
    Hallelujah Jesus, Hallelujah Jesus
    Rock Elijah, Rock Elijah
    Rock Elijah, Rock Elijah
    Comin' up Lawdy, Comin' up Lawdy
    Comin' up Lawdy, Comin' up Lawdy
    Oh oh oh Elijah, Oh oh oh oh
    Elijah
    Oh Elijah
    Elijah rock Elijah rock shout
    comin' I'm comin' I'm comin' up Lord





The Mojo Brass spins two different arrangements of “Elijah Rock”, surrounding Edward Boatner’s (1898-1981) rousing “I want Jesus to Walk with Me.”





Eijah Rock vers. 1 is a Robert Miller arrangement of the traditional spiritual driving hard toward gospel and soul.

Elijah Rock vers. 2 is a Rowly/Miller arrangement that truly evokes the daily life of the slave:  hardship, hard work, a hard painful life, yet curiously with defiant dignity, pride and joy.



And now a message from our sponsor:
Mojo Brass: making your wedding as unique and special as you!
  [Visit our wedding website]
 Free MP3 download:  Mojo Brass Wedding Demo - all songs arranged by Robert Miller

And now we return you to your regularly scheduled Mojo Brass music, already in progress:

All music arranged and/or adapted by Robert Miller (ASCAP)

Mojo Brass:
*Robert Miller - trumpets/cornets
Lawrence Wiley - trumpets/cornets
*Brad Schock - french horns
*Ryan Miller, trombone
Heather Gibson, bass trombone
*Jeff Fleuw - tubas

* = personnel appearing on this recording

(Jeff Fleuw appears courtesy of Fantom Records)

Special guests on this project:
Jessica Fleuw, piano
Johnny Chrysler, drums
Lawrence Wiley, finger snaps
Residents of New Carlisle, Ohio: cars, trucks, motorcycles, and assorted rusty mufflers

PRODUCTION NOTES:

Recorded April - May 2013, in Mojo Brass Studio, New Carlisle, OH (Robert, Ryan and Brad),
and Fantom Studios, Los Angeles, CA (Jeff, Jessica and Johnny)

using CAD studio mics, Tascam hardware, Cubase and Sound Forge software, and a lot of love.
Polk Audio and Sony Reference Monitors and Sony Master headphones used for this project.

All arrangements and performances © 2013 Mojo Brass - All rights reserved.