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About Feathers of Green Gold:
The Office of Compline and Ten Psalms
Under the direction of Peter Hallock, the Compline Choir set off a liturgical revolution in 1956 with their singing of the ancient Office of Compline. Every Sunday night since 1956, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle, is packed with people to hear the half-hour service in a darkened church. This recording of the service is followed by ten Psalms for men’s choir by Peter Hallock. Mysterious, beautiful, and timeless, this choir’s Compline service has become the catalyst for a worldwide revival of this ancient liturgy.
- Recording Engineer: Roger Sherman; Digital Enhancement: Philip Howe
- Calligraphy / Design: Glenn Yoshiyama; Booklet: Katherine Crosier
- Recorded at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle, Washington
- Label: Ionian Arts C-7003 (now fully owned by The Compline Choir)
- Release date: 1994
Recording Artists for Feathers of Green Gold
The Compline Choir
Peter R. Hallock, Director
- Charles Sherwood, officiant
- Kenneth Peterson, cantor
- Peter R. Hallock, organist
Original Liner Notes (Edited)
As director of the Compline Choir in Seattle since its inception, I am often asked to explain its large and faithful following. I have no sure answers; I can only offer two observations. First, the presence of such a substantial congregation, both those persons in the cathedral and those listening to the radio, is telling us that a need is being met in the singing of this service that isn’t being met otherwise. Alan Watts identified this need when he wrote, “…it simply amazes me that for so many generations the spiritual discipline of millions of ordinary Christians has never except by chance, involved interior or mystical silence.” Silence and time for interior reflection are often identified as the most powerful and moving characteristics of the Compline service.
Second, and more remarkable, the interest in and attraction to the Compline service exists within the context of a society in general, and the Christian Church in particular, that has become increasingly secularized. Throughout the past years, however, the singing of Compline has attempted to speak of other values. With its ministry directed toward spiritual values that nurture the soul, I see us engaged in a radical (from the Latin radix, meaning root; getting to the root of things) activity. In a real sense, we are called to act contrary to the icons of contemporary society—money, power, material comfort. These values cannot sustain or nourish the soul.
The Rev. Ralph Carskadden has said it eloquently:
If we are to grasp the message of the gospels;
if we are to understand the teachings of Jesus;
if we are to be faithful disciples, then we must realist what we are called to be:
called to act counter to the prevailing culture which surrounds us.
To express musically our concern for the nurture and care of the soul is what we of the Compline Choir are about. We must recognize and respond to the hunger for the numinous and transcendent presence of God in our lives. It is to this end that we dedicate this recording.
—Peter R. Hallock, 1994
Due to licensing restrictions, the portion of liner notes regarding the Psalms found in the original printed booklet for Feathers of Green Gold is not included here.
© 1994 IONIAN ARTS, Inc. and The Compline Choir.
International Copyright Secured. All rights reserved.