Notes from John Michael Talbot:
This is my 50th original recording. I can't believe it! It seemed like yesterday that I was working on my most popular albums in the 1970s and 80s. I do not personally keep track of them. I just keep composing and performing. I will make recordings as long as God gives me the music, and people still enjoy listening to me. It's kind of like walking. You just put one small step after the other. After a while you realize that you have walked a long distance. The same is true of a recording artist's life. You just keep recording, and pretty soon you reach one milestone or the other. I am very grateful to God and all those who have helped me through the years. I would never have thought that I would actually record this many projects in my music ministry.
The material ranges from my traditional meditative songs to more expansive and challenging material that has a more sophisticated feel. They all retain my traditional sound, but I am very pleased with the more challenging material. Chronologically, I wrote some of the songs in the late 1980s while still living at the old Franciscan Alverna Retreat Center in Indianapolis. Others are more recent, like the Gloria I wrote at the Hermitage a couple of weeks before we laid down the orchestra tracks. I especially enjoy Lord Send Forth Your Spirit; we have used it as the responsorial psalm for our Easter Vigil at Little Portion Hermitage since the mid 1990s. The remaining Mass parts are part of a Requiem I am still composing. I felt that they worked better here.
All the songs have a story. The Mass parts are familiar to most all historically based Christians, as are the Psalms and New Testament Canticles used in the Liturgy. They follow a progression similar to a standard western liturgy. We begin with a song of praise from the Easter Vigil, Send Forth Your Spirit, move to a Kyrie as a time of repentance, followed directly by a Gloria celebrating the forgiveness God gives us in Christ. After that comes some basic scripture and challenge regarding the gospel of Jesus Christ, followed by a reflection on the immensity of the Spirit of God. This leads us into then awe and wonder of the Sanctus, and deep gratitude for Jesus as our Lamb of God in the Agnus Dei, usually sung before receiving the Lord in Communion. After Communion come songs calling us to really receiving Jesus into our lives. Come Home Little Children is especially dear to my heart as one who has wandered wide on occasion, and have experienced the love of the Father through Jesus when I come back to my spiritual home. Then we conclude.
So listen and enjoy. This recording is special for me, and I hope that it will be for you as well. I know that we had a great time creating it.