Anthem 25 – Ponder my words O Lord

Welcome to Anthem 25 in my attempt to write a new choir anthem every week for a year. I’m Kevin Mulryne and I hope you will enjoy listening to my progress throughout 2024. Please do visit the website Anthem52.com, follow along on x.com – @realanthem52 or Instagram – @realanthem52 and send me a message to show@anthem52.com.

This week marks the beginning of the busiest – and the calmest – time for me so far this year. It’s my wife and my 30th Wedding Anniversary and we are going on the ‘trip of a lifetime’ to The Maldives. This means that I am in the process of writing and organising anthems to ensure there isn’t a gap in my progress towards Anthem 52. Clearly, time has been squeezed and so I haven’t been able to create a Logic Pro version of this week’s anthem, nor will I be able to for the next two weeks either because I will be out of the country and have to set everything to publish while I am away automatically.

So there will be new anthems in these 3 weeks but the content published will be more minimal than usual. I also intend to ‘cheat’ by using the anthem I wrote earlier in the year for the composition competition as Anthem 27. I hope you don’t mind.

Anyway, this week I completed Anthem 25 using Psalm V (5), set for this week in the Church of England Lectionary.

Here are the words:


Words for Anthem 25:

Ponder my words, O Lord : consider my meditation.

O hearken thou unto the voice of my calling, my King and my God : for unto thee will I make my prayer.

My voice shalt thou hear betimes, O Lord : early in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

For thou art the God that hast no pleasure in wickedness : neither shall any evil dwell with thee.

It was time for another accompanied anthem and it turned out to be a dramatic one, once again. I used a lot more words than usual and tried to add some unusual intervals and approaches to the vocal parts including a very rare (for me) unison passage or two.

I like using the organ to repeat the vocal lines at times and I change this at other times to preserve a bit of interest. I also added in some ascending flourishes at one point, just for fun (although I’m unsure if the second one is playable on an organ).

The usual agnosticism towards time signatures crept in as did contrast in the form of abrupt key changes and a tempo increase. I think a lot of the sections contain good ideas and I like the way they flow into each other but I think most sections could do with some revision and refinement. I found myself simplifying and shortening several passages that seemed to be repeating ideas too often and other passages are probably too dense, especially in the vocal parts.

Sadly, the reproduction of the score on MuseScore means that the unison repeated notes shortly before the end are machine-gun like and annoying but time beat me again, as I’ve explained above.

I was pleased with the ending of the anthem and its patchwork of choir versus organ.

Anyway, see what you think:

Well, what do you think? Let me know on X.com @realanthem52, Instagram @realanthem52, as a comment below or via email show@anthem52.com

I hope you will join me next week for a new episode (perhaps featuring my second interview – will I ever record another?) – and a new anthem – only 27 to go – but until then the question remains – will I make it to Anthem 52?


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