Bright Shiny Things is releasing VOICES IN THE WILDERNESS

In a world-premiere recording of eighteenth century a cappella music conceived by and written for members of the Pennsylvania Ephrata community, Bright Shiny Things introduces the listener to American music by members of a Pietist community of celibate men and women that flourished during the 1700’s in Colonial America.

Dedicated to a simple life of work and worship, the self-sustaining Ephrata community, founded in 1732 by Conrad Beissel, encouraged the talents of its residents, among them Christianna Lassle, two of whose compositions are heard in this album.

Over 126 works, eleven of which are performed in this recording were unearthed, transcribed and edited by musicologist Christopher Dylan Herbert, who acted as both musical director and producer of the recording.

The results could hardly be improved upon. The flawless engineering, mastering, and mixing, the thoroughly informative liner notes, and the handsome packaging are all in service of the music, which proves to be beautiful and eminently accessible on first listening. The writing is straightforward, unembellished, true to the texts, and obeying a no-nonsense compositional code established by Conrad Beissel, the founder and director of the Ephrata Community.

In spite of the severe aesthetic of Beissel, the response of this listener was one of enchantment with the purity of the music and enormous respect for the various works and the dedication of its creators and the excellence and artistry of a superb quartet: Soprano Elizabeth Bates, Male Alto Clifton Massey, Tenor Nils Neubert, and Bass Steven Hrycelak.

VOICES IN THE WILDERNESS (BSTC 0141) is available from Bright Shiny Things ( www.brightshiny.ninja )

Rafael de Acha