When a singer decides it's time to record Christmas music, it usually is recorded during a time that is unnatural to sing Christmas music! It can take several months to well over a year to make a CD. In order to have an album ready for Christmas, the singer is in the studio during a time when all the lights, candles, glitter, Christmas trees, and decorations are all packed up and put away. This project was no exception. We recorded "Sacred Christmas" in the middle of very hot, humid months of summer in the Heart of Dixie, Birmingham, Alabama. I decorated the studio with a Nativity scene, 1950s style Christmas lights, and candles. They certainly helped as holy reminders as to why we were making such a special recording.
Singers are musicians with the complex job of communicating the story and attitude of the text of each song, not to mention all the technical things like rhythm, pitches, phrasing and dynamics. Christmas means different things to many people. For me, it's a holy time. I wish it was a contemplative time for all Christians, but we all get caught up in the business of the season. I chose music that stirs within me peace, joy and holy awe - and I want to share that music with others.
Why so many different languages and genres of music? For Christians, we understand that God sent His Only Son, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, for ALL people. All colors, all ages, rich and poor, and people of all languages. My only regret is that I didn't know carols that were Asian, African or anything other than the basic romance languages! May all listeners have a broader appreciation for God's love and ultimate sacrifice for all His children all over the world.
A little about my background, I was raised with an appreciation for people of very different worlds. My father was born into extreme poverty in 1917 near Hazard, Kentucky. Growing up in the Appalachian Mountains made him a hard working man with an appreciation for family, his country, and his Maker. He listened to mountain music for entertainment and inspiration. Eight days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Daddy volunteered and joined the Army. As an infantryman, he was shipped out to the South Pacific Theater. While stationed in South Australia for only a month, he met my beautiful mother. Born in Italy in 1921, she and her parents emigrated to South Australia around 1925. Speaking Italian in the house and English out in the world, Mom grew up listening to Italian opera for entertainment and Catholic hymns for inspiration. After the war, Dad asked Mom to come here to marry him in 1947. I have been blessed with family and music from several different cultures. It was my mother who encouraged me to take piano and voice lessons and to carry on what she knew and loved. Poor Dad. He wanted me to learn how to sing Bluegrass. That's a talent I wish I had!