GREGORIAN chant, for several young Australian Catholic musicians in vocal group Prima Luce, is more than just an aural souvenir from the ninth century.
The humble young Catholics with angelic voices have made it their mission to “resurrect sacred music” in the modern Church.
Their latest revival lies in the group’s second album, a mix of popular Christmas hymns like Away in a Manger, to Gregorian chants and four original compositions.
Prima Luce vocalist Ronan O’Reilly, of Sydney, said the Christmas CD’s wide range of musical styles captured the “ever-‘ancientness’ but the ever-newness” of sacred music, a quality that he believed has been forgotten.
“I think that’s something that can be forgotten if you’re on either extremity (of Catholicism),” Ronan said.
“You might think it has to be of this era, but no, the Church approaches and incorporates the whole of time, the whole of history.
“It’s awesome to be seeing things from the 9th, 10th century, right through to now – literally compositions written a couple months ago – but all in the same tradition.”
All tracks on the Christmas CD were recorded in St Mary’s Cathedral Crypt, Sydney, over two days in October.
With little funds and endless car troubles, Prima Luce’s creator Sydney musician James Doig said the CD doubled as a personal soundtrack of struggle, hardship and the pains of each musician.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
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