Each month over the coming year we'll feature a composer who writes paperless music! While you may recognize a few names from our song collections and workshops, we're especially excited to share new compositional voices bringing breadth, depth, and richness to an evolving body of music sung without paper. Each composer has generously agreed to offer a free piece to the MMC community; others can be purchased from the composer directly or found in existing resources. We hope you'll enjoy the videos, audio clips and sample scores, and find many new songs to share with your community.
About Debbie Holloway:
Debbie Holloway is a congregant and sometimes-composer at St. Lydia's Dinner Church in Gowanus, Brooklyn. St Lydia's is where she was first introduced to paperless congregational songleading, which meshed naturally with her other musical proclivities and interests.
After working by day in Operations at the Museum of Food and Drink, Debbie enjoys exerting creativity in her side gigs as a freelance film critic. But her first love was music; whenever she can, she loves to make music with her husband or siblings, participate in choral singing, and support the music of other artists. Congregational songleading holds a special place in her heart because of its nonperformative aspect, simplicity, and the trust and camaraderie it builds within a community.
While these songs are her first few efforts, she hopes these will be the first of many.
My Soul Waits ©2016
This poignant prayer song is based on Psalm 62:1. The melodic shape, gentle use of dissonance, and breath between repetitions give the song a feeling of confident stillness.
At St. Lydia's, many congregational songs are accompanied by a shruti box, a small instrument that sustains a drone. My Soul Waits is especially effective with a drone on F and C. Harmony can also be improvised.
Click here for a sample score. Click here to find a recording on the MMC Soundcloud page. Debbie is happy to have you share the piece with your community!
Lament for Zion ©2016
MMC presenter Jacob Slichter serves as resident percussionist and music guru at St. Lydia's. As the congregation came into a season focused on justice and advocacy, he invited several song leaders to write new songs for the movement. Debbie's Lament for Zion was one of these efforts and it's a rousing gathering song based on the questions posed in Psalm 13: 'How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?" The piece is layered with two interlocking parts. As you teach it, be sure to give time for community to settle into the angular melodic shapes and the syncopated rhythm.
Lament for Zion can be accompanied by shruti box or another drone instrument (on C and G) and percussion.
Click here to find a recording and suggestions for teaching the song on the St. Lydia's website. Debbie is happy to have you share the piece with your community!
Walk Humbly with Our God ©2016
Debbie's joyous setting of Micah 6:8 was also written for St. Lydia's Dinner Church in Brooklyn. The piece has a strong waltz feel and the unexpected melodic shape and text stresses help this well-known verse speak with power and directness. The piece could be used as a gathering song, a response, or sending song. It's would be equally effective at a protest or march.
It's best accompanied by shruti box or another drone instrument (on C and G) and percussion. Harmony can also be improvised.
Click here to find a recording on the MMC Soudcloud page. Debbie is happy to have you share the piece with your community!