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Hymn (from America)


by

Tom Atwood

 Genre: Classical

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Description
This is the 3rd movement I have posted from the orchestral piece titled "American Plain." There is one more part still being written that I will upload soon, but this is the final movement.

Most of "Hymn" is original, performed by a virtual brass choir, but you will also hear woodwind variations on two actual hymns. The first, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," is one that I sang growing up in the First Baptist Church of Du Quoin, Illinois. The second, "Near the Cross," is another popular hymn I found in a tattered compilation, "The Modern Hymnal," which belonged to my grandmother. My father was the choir director at our church.

Hymns are probably the single most powerful musical influence in my life. I believe they are still part of the fabric of America, although that fabric admittedly is growing worn and frayed, like my grandmother's "Modern Hymnal."


Artwork: Great Vigil of Easter 2005
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
Edwardsville, Illinois
Photo by: Carl Slaughter © 2005

songs from the american plain
now available
the lost records™
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Song Stats
Hits: 5866
Comments: 33
Fans: 11
Plays: 463
Downloads: 265
Votes: 21
Uploaded: Aug 22, 2005 - 04:01:35 PM
Last Updated: Nov 30, 2005 - 08:55:47 PM Last Played: Mar 25, 2019 - 10:24:24 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Casio Privia PX-300
G5
Software:
GB2
Jampack 4: Symphony Orchestra
Comments
Peter Greenstone said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
Too Quiet...
Just kidding. (inside joke)

This is very moving in its melancholy, sombre way. Excellent
arrangement. You got good performances out of those JP4
instruments. This is a wonderful addition to your "America".
I can't wait to hear the whole thing in entirety. I hope you
will put this and your other series on CD's. Each is deserving
of the full package and presentation. You could do a box
set. Each one tells such a wonderful, rich story.
Check out my latest song called Iridium Flare (2013 Re-Release)
Tom Atwood said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
Too Quiet...
Thanks, Peter. And thanks for the use of your ears when this was first posted.
I couldn't tell if the overall volume was too low or not. (Needed a younger set
of ears.) I thought about pulling it and resubmitting until you and SGF
assured me the level was okay. Young whippersnappers!
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
MidiOrleans said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
Bravo
BRAVO! Tom, what a fine choice of instruments and the
man
who made sure there was the proper reverb & EQ
to make it all sound so wonderful! Clear and simple with
the great respect for silence to follow...
scotty
all>10s
Check out my latest song called Vieux Carré Prelude
Tom Atwood said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
Bravo
Thanks, Scotty, for your comments, and for the generous scores. And thanks,
too, for all the fine orchestral pieces you have posted over the past weeks and
months. I listen, and I learn.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Cori Ander said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
Soothing
Thank you Tom for this one!

I needed this right now! I am sitting late at night macjammin
around and almost getting speedy. The sound of this piece
kind of waked my up to discover I have a life to. A made bed
waiting for me, and that this room is quite serene ... or ... it
was like it became serene when your music started!

I'll just listen one more time ... then good night! (10101010)
Check out my latest song called O store Gud
Tom Atwood said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
Soothing
Glad I could help you relax, Johannes. You have been busy cranking out one
fine piece after another lately. I plan to listen to Polska Fran Medelpad as
soon as I reply to these comments. Thanks for the comments and vote.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Mystified said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
Serenity in Reverence
Anchored. Serene. Assuring.
While I've noted these traits in your compositions before, Tom, nowhere are they more apparent than in this piece.
To me, this is almost like a sermon--not at all 'preachy,' but affirming, assuring. Steadfast. Hopeful.
Your reverence and love for these hymns is apparent in your treatment of this composition--in the instruments you have chosen, the resonance, the dignity.

A beautiful, beautiful piece.

Thank you for this.

Check out my latest song called Elevated--Miss Chaos/Mystified vox
Tom Atwood said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
Serenity in Reverence
Your comments, Mysti, make me feel like I have done something right. I
guess I was hoping someone would have the reaction you had to this.
Especially the part about hope. This is a rather melancholy piece in places,
but to me, it is not sad. It is full of hope and assurance. Thanks, Cat. And
thanks for your help along the way, too. You have excellent eartoes.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
ledebutant said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
I've found
that magical put me back to sleep in the middle of the
night music. Thank you, Tom. How absolutely soothing
and completely moving this is.

This is my favorite of the America movements so far and I
adore, adore, adore the use of "What a Friend We Have in
Jesus."

The whole shebang, Tom. It's all here.
Tom Atwood said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
I've found
Thanks, ledebutant. I am glad you find this moving, and most of all, soothing.
I know that you, like Cori Ander, need to catch up on some sleep. It would
make me happy if this piece calms your mind in the middle of the night, or
even during the day, when your fingers are flying on the keyboard, trying to
keep up with your brain (something I have trouble keeping up with
sometimes...)
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
White Hawks said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
very emotinal moving pieace
Tom!!! I really like it, I love this pieace. You have put your
original hymn and "What a Friend We Have in Jesus,", "Near
the Cross," very well. thanks for sharing:o) I love it!!!!

- Jemimah
Check out my latest song called Shepherds Out in the Field
Tom Atwood said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
very emotinal moving pieace
Thanks, Jemimah. I had a feeling those old hymns would mean something to
you, and I am glad they do.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Cameron said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
I knew this was one of yours...
...as soon as I saw the title on "rating picks" tonight, for
some reason. I just KNEW it was going to be another
composition by one of my favorites, Tom Atwood!

You have a real talent for brass writing, in particular.
We've already discussed transcribing these pieces for
publishing sometime; I'm sure that many brass groups
would like to play your compositions, so I do hope you
pursue this, "in your spare time", LOL. I'd be glad to help
you with that, if you'd like.

The opening phrases are immediately captivating, in the
first sixteen bars with the brass. The next section with the
woodwinds loses some momentum; I would cut those bars
out and proceed directly to the next section where the
brass comes in again, with those interesting chords.

After that, the next section with the winds again loses
some direction, which then picks up once more with the
high notes in the brass for the final phrase.

Does it sound like I'm a bit prejudiced about brass? (ha ha)
But the sections with the brass writing are your finest in
this piece, in my opinion.

The ending could have been a little more elongated,
perhaps with more of a "cadence" of chords, such as the
one ending the middle section.

I like the woodwind sounds here, they sound very
pleasant, but this piece might even be more effective if it
were scored just for brass choir. Since the strings occur
only once; you might as well not have them.

Now that I've picked this piece apart (but I truly hope you
know that I enjoyed listening to this piece very much!)
these are just suggestions to tighten up the structure a
little. It is a beautiful composition, creating a very happy,
peaceful mood.

Nice submission, Tom!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Tom Atwood said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
I knew this was one of yours...
Cameron, comments like this one are what set you apart from almost every
other artist on this site. Very interesting to me that you suggest scrapping the
'variations' by the woodwinds and making this a brass-only piece,
because I considered doing just that--dropping the wind parts (the hymn
adaptations) and writing an original hymn for brass choir. But in the end, I
felt like it needed some variety, plus I really wanted to include those favorite
hymns. But -- I just want you to know that I agree with your thoughts. In fact,
I may revise this someday just the way you have suggested. Also, I am glad
you like the brass parts. I love brass choir -- and I'm an old sax player.

Thanks again, Cam. So glad you are here.

Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Cameron said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
I knew this was one of yours...
And Tom, I wish to thank you for being so open to suggestions. I am not
surprised that you are on the "same page" with this...I must have been
picking up on your thought processes as you created this piece.

Again, I do encourage you to someday publish the music you have written for
brass. It is very good.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
bronco said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
A Virtual Master
Another beautiful song from the man who has mastered
GB more than any other. You truly can make electronic
instruments sound like the real thing. I would defy anyone
who didn't know to tell the difference here. I hear such
complete use and mastery of the software from you and
Johnny K. and Peter Greenstone and so many others that it
makes me feel like I should never post here again.
Check out my latest song called Stenosis Commitosis
Tom Atwood said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
A Virtual Master
Thanks, Tom. But what you hear as 'complete mastery' of GB is more like a
'complete struggle' to me. However, I have the same feeling you do when I
listen to Greenstone, Katchoolik, Midi Orleans and others. Whatever you do,
bronco, don't stop posting. Or I will have to come down to Austin and track
you down...
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Stun Nutz said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
Just wanted to stop by...
...and pay my respects to this piece... great work,
Tom.
Check out my latest song called stagnation
Tom Atwood said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
Just wanted to stop by...
But Eric, you pay your respects when somebody dies...
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Stun Nutz said 5046 days ago (August 24th, 2005)
Just wanted to stop by...
I guess that is true, yes... maybe it was the somber mood of this one
that subconsciously made me write that!
Check out my latest song called stagnation
Ed Hannifin said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
Tom...
...I find this piece deeply comforting and deeply moving...

You would not have to title it for anyone to know it's
sacred music...

The composition is very sweet and deep...I'll leave it to
keener ears and skills like those of Cameron or Tobin to
know what bits to tweak...for me it works emotionally
right now...

The recording is phenomenal...You manage to get virtual
instruments to inhabit real space in your pieces...the brass
in particular here sounds like real instruments in a real
space...and probably a well built church...

I really like this, Tom...

(How's this 'retired from MacJams' thing workin' out for
ya?)

Ed
Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
Tom Atwood said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
Tom...
Watch your back, Ed. I am gaining on you. Soon I will be hovering high above
on the Loser's List, looking down at you, ledebutant and the rest.

Retirement? You had to bring that up didn't you? Take a knife, stick it in, and
twist it.

All that aside, thanks for your kind words about this piece. I have found that
certain instruments in Jampack 4 are more 'real' than others. And so, those
are the ones I tend to use. In this piece, as in many others of mine, the
'french horns' are actually the JP4 Tuba, played much higher than its intended
range. (Don't tell Cameron!) Thanks again.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
thetiler said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
Real nice Tom
I was doing some nice reflecting when I was listening.
Well done indeed!
Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
Tom Atwood said 5047 days ago (August 22nd, 2005)
Real nice Tom
Thanks for stopping by, BIll. I have had the same reflective feeling, mixed
with envy, listening to many of your pieces, too.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Tadashi Togawa said 5047 days ago (August 23rd, 2005)
When continuing
Grandmother, father, and you.
The song of the prayer rises to the sky.
At the prayer of Atwood family.
Check out my latest song called Mexican taste
I.G.M. said 5047 days ago (August 23rd, 2005)
Quiet enough!
After all that crash, boom, bang last night I`ve felt like going crazy, but this tune, Tom, is like a light in the darkness!

I.G.M.
Check out my latest song called Reflexions
said 5047 days ago (August 23rd, 2005)
BLASPHEMOUS!
Praise the beast! Nice relaxing jive! SLippy slaughter house! Barfoogle hippenblogger!
trackies said 5045 days ago (August 25th, 2005)
emotional
this song realy gets to you inside it is such an emotion felt song
brutunz said 5044 days ago (August 26th, 2005)
good!
Good job...
Thequalitykiller said 5043 days ago (August 26th, 2005)
asdfaw
this song is really fantastic, i love the musicianship and the talent of the band. this truelly is good music, also it is very original.
this might be one of my favorite songs along with a couple others on here.
very great super duper work guys.
keep up the fantastic super great work and im sure you'll go far
Check out my latest song called Brand New No Seatbelt
yngwie12 said 5041 days ago (August 29th, 2005)
woah
thats such a weird pic but ykool yo yah and weird song abut cool kidna idk wayht im acutally talking bout but thought i would comment that is all peacxe and late froever
RickW said 4960 days ago (November 18th, 2005)
Excellent
Thank you Tom for this wonderful movement. Immediately I could feel it
being played in church during a quiet prayer time.

Excellent work!

Check out my latest song called Catherine
Roxylee said 4918 days ago (December 30th, 2005)
Magnificent!
Hymns are timeless and inspiring, and putting them together as you
did here is a great idea. I'm not a real musician, so I can't describe all
the technical stuff you do to make this a piece of art, but my ears sure
like it.
Check out my latest song called Emma, by davisamerica
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Name: Tom Atwood
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I guess I could be a 'poster child' for MacJams. I joined the site on New Year's Eve 2004, after several years of not making much music at all. A long dry spell. Since then, I have posted more than 50 songs here, collaborated with some wonderful arti... [see more]

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