Music is the best. So it was an important part of an already-very-important day: our wedding in July 2008.
My wife chose the first two pieces for the ceremony, and two traditional songs (Amazing Grace and Just a Closer Walk With Thee) for the reception, and was content to leave the rest of it to me. We began the ceremony with Cesar Franck’s Panis Angelicus, sung by Andrea Bocelli. This was followed by my wife’s procession song, the Bach-Gounod Ave Maria, sung by Sarah Brightman. Both singers filled the church with lovely melody. As if the moment wasn’t emotionally-charged enough…
After the ceremony, while we committed our marriage to paper, our guests heard three songs: Lux Refulget (Shining Light), a luminous 12th-century Acquitanian song from the women of Sequentia; my own Nimai’s Song, the text of which is a traditional Sanskrit prayer; and Reverence by Nancy Rumbel, from the Tingstad & Rumbel album Pastorale.
For the reception and dinner, I programmed three hours of my favourite songs, starting with a meditative chant song recorded by my teenage daughter and two of her friends. This was followed by three songs by my old friend Robert Bruce: All of My Tomorrows, Face the Sun and The Tenderness of Eden, and my own Lacrimosa and Venus Nova.
Other highlights included two from Tingstad & Rumbel: Magnolia (one of my favourite songs ever) and Secrets of the Big Sky; two from Jack or Jive: A Girl in a Field and A Song for Asia 2; acoustic guitar gems Country Poem by Pat Metheny and Happy Home in Kathmandu by Will Ackerman; the ecstatic Dark Night of the Soul by Loreena McKennitt; i carry your heart by my old hero Michael Hedges; and a medley of downloadable clips from a wonderful Ukrainian band, AtmAsfera.
Inevitably, some songs had to be left out due to the time factor:
Liz Story: Wedding Rain. An old piano favourite.
Jack or Jive: Principle of Positive and Negative. Chako’s like a good friend, we just haven’t met in person. Yet.
Carl Orff: Veris Leta Facies (from Carmina Burana). The classic Jochum recording.
Dead Can Dance: American Dreaming. “I’m in love with an American girl, ‘cause she’s my best friend…”
Tingstad & Rumbel: Alligator Alley. A playful jaunt.
Steve Roach: The Memory. This piece reminds me of my wife. An emotional afterimage, so to speak. If I ever get time to work on cover pieces, this will be one of the first.
Coda: Nancy Rumbel told me she was honoured that I included Reverence in our ceremony. That one runs deep for me. A wonderfully heartfelt melodic piece, written in tribute to her father just after his passing. Thanks Nancy! She and Eric are like a couple of old friends. Hopefully we’ll get to meet them someday. That musical connection is a strong one for me. I sent Nancy a copy of Lacrimosa, so maybe it will begin to run both ways…