The following short songs and chants have emerged from either my work at Ghost Ranch and Casa del Sol or out of the rich inspiration of an organization called Music that Makes Community. The idea behind “paperless music” is that by dispensing with the hindrance of physical scores, not just the hands but the entire body can be freed to immerse more fully in the experience of group singing. We can look up, engage the people around us in immediate and intimate ways. So the scores here are intended only for the “leader,” who ideally learns them by heart and then teaches them by modeling, call-and-echo, etc.

Leading a song at a Music that Makes Community Retreat at
Santa Maria de la Vid Norbertine Abbey in Albuquerque

Blessed Are You (optional 2, 3 or 4-part canon)

The text is based on John Philip Newells’s paraphrase of the Beatitudes.

Espiritu de Dios (2-Part)

An invocation of the Spirit. Setting is in Spanish only but an English translation for meaning is provided.

God Loves Things (opt canon with guitar and handbells)

Written for the 2019 Universal Christ Conference, a setting of a remarkable phrase from Fr. Richard Rohr’s The Universal Christ.

Hope Is Deeper than Despair (opt 2, 3, or 4-part canon)

A lilting round based on a line from John Philip newell’s Celtic Treasures.

I Have Called You by Name (2-part)

Inspired by Isaiah 43:1, a simple chant of reassurance

Living Water (3-part)

“Where do we get that living water,” the text asks; the answer–“together at the well.”

Love and Faithfulness Shall Meet (2-part canon)

A setting of Psalm 85:10.

Love is Patient (ostinato for 4-part assembly)

Based on 1 Corinthians 13, the simple 4-part ostinato was intended to underlie the verses, best delivered (presumably) by a cantor with the score in hand.

Made in Your Image (unison or 2-part with optional drone)

A meditative, repetitive chant based on words from John Philp Newell’s Celtic Treasures.

May We Know the Harmony of Heaven (2, 3 or 4-part canon)

An uplifting canon based on hopeful words from John Philp Newell’s Celtic Treasures.

May We Walk (2 or 3-part canon with optional drone)

A setting of the well-known Navajo Prayer invoking beauty before, behind, above and beneath us.

Open My Ears (3-part)

A simple, swaying gospel-style invocation.

Open Our Hands (2, 3, or 4-part canon)

Written for a 2016 World Food Day celebration and used annually since then.

Take Nothing for the Journey (2 or 3-part canon)

Based on Luke 9: 3, an urging of simplicity and trust.

That which You Seek (2-part canon)

A prophetic statement of reassurance from the Persian mystic and poet Rumi.

The Heavens Declare (2-part canon)

Adapted from Psalm 119 with a buoyant, lilting tune.

Truly God Is in this Place (3-part)

Another chant created for the 2019 Universal Christ Conference marking the release of Fr. Richard Rohr’s powerful The Universal Christ.

You Have But to Remember (3-part with vocal or instrumental drone)

A brief counsel borrowed from the Quo’ran urging remembrance as a path to enlightenment. The setting is intended to be driving and “ecstatic” in the manner of the Zikr from the Sufi Muslim tradition.