Anthem 6 – Hear me when I call

Welcome to Anthem 6 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.

It’s been another tricky week – at least in terms of composition. It’s also been my birthday which went rather better. I’ve bought myself a pipe organ virtual instrument that will be making its debut on next week’s anthem, I think.

In the Church of England, we have entered ‘Ordinary Time’, between the end of Christmas (Candlemas) and the beginning of Lent. I had a look at what psalms were set for this week and chose some verses from Psalm iv (4):

Words for Anthem 6:

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness:

thou hast set me at liberty when I was in trouble;

have mercy upon me, and hearken unto my prayer.


O ye sons of men, how long will ye blaspheme mine honour:

and have such pleasure after leasing?


Know this also, that the Lord hath chosen to himself the man that is godly: when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me.

As I have mentioned before, writing plaintive music makes me feel low and this week’s composition was no exception. However, I fought my way through many different iterations of this anthem and deleted a large number of phrases until I finally settled on something I think works – just about. It’s in a much more atonal style where I’ve tried to concentrate only on the sounds, not on the technicalities of harmony. There are dramatic crescendos and gaps and I have tried to end with a resolution of sorts – the music ends on an E major added ninth chord (I think) with the dynamic instruction to fade away to nothing (a niente). Given time to revise this piece after leaving it for a considerable time, I imagine I will extend it or re-shape it in another way but it’s the first proper anthem I have completed in a non-traditional harmonic style.

Reproduction in Musescore is fairly bad. For example, I have had to put in spurious slurs to even out some silly, bumpy quavers and the ritardando (slowing down) at the end just doesn’t happen so it’s not possible to hear that effect at all. Unfortunately, I’m still struggling with the Epic Choir virtual instrument in Logic so this anthem may sound decent with a real choir – or maybe even worse – but it’s certainly been a useful learning process this week. I wonder what you’ll think of the results.

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 – and a new anthem – only 46 to go – but until then the question remains – will I make it to Anthem 52?


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