Slow down, and listen…

Robert Burton’s version of one of the great Advent hymns

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Click on the arrow to listen to a setting of O Come, O come Emmanuel


was taking a break from writing and recording music for my debut CD. The music is very far away from what I am known for (rock and jazz guitarist and drummer) and more contemplative and meditative. As I am rehabbing my shattered and reconstructed elbow the pattern would be to conceptualize the music, play, usually on a piano, and record it with only the use of only my left hand as my right arm would be in what is called a “Dynamic Splint” (basically a very uncomfortable device designed to stretch my muscles, tendons and related connective tissue back to their pre-trauma lengths). Later in the day if I needed to play a little guitar or percussion on a track I would do so with the splint off.

Coming back from church on Advent 1, Adelle and I were talking about Jamie’s homily and how we need to stem the tide of hyper-activity associated by many at this time of year.

O Come, O come Emmanuel is one of the few songs (let alone hymns) I attempt to sing, and at that I get choked up just trying. Maybe it is the ancientness of it resonates in me? Ironically I used a very 21st century way to create this version, on a computer using sampled string sounds. Now that gets me to the dance but how I played each key got the various types of sounds and expressions, how I arranged the harmonies and parts is still a very human act. It is purposely a slower tempo and takes its time to develop hopefully to slow us down at this time of year.

When Robert Burton isn’t working on arrangements of Advent hymns, he keeps himself busy running River Heights Music.

One Response to Slow down, and listen…

  1. Byron says:

    Sweet, Mr. Burton!

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