Tejido a Tierra
Canto creyente desde las entrañas
Cristóbal Fones, SJ
Intended for personal and communal prayer, the 13 songs address various aspects of Christian life, from sacraments and suffering to conversion and prayer using folk styles, acoustic guitar and rich, Scripture-inspired texts.
Introducing Jesuit Father Cristóbal Fones! A native of Chile, this highly gifted composer "seeks to announce the joy and hope of the Reign of God through music." His OCP debut, Tejido a Tierra (Woven in the Earth), does that and more.
Folk styles, acoustic guitar and rich, Scripture-inspired texts
Intended for personal and communal prayer, the 13 songs address various aspects of Christian life, from sacraments and suffering to conversion and prayer. The folk styles, acoustic guitar and rich, Scripture-inspired texts make one think of another religious Chilean musician: Hermana Glenda. Fans of her music will love this new collection.
Beautiful arrangements, many featuring Andean panpipes
His simple, beautiful arrangements range from settings for solo guitar to small ensembles with piano, cello, clarinet, flute, bass and mandolin. Many songs feature the zampoña or Andean panpipes and Latin American percussion. The songbook and CD booklet contain insightful pastoral and performance notes (in Spanish).
Music that whispers, murmurs and sighs
In his notes on "Aquí Estoy, Señor," Fones instructs musicians to play the song without "fuss," with simplicity, almost "en el susurro" (in a whisper). A wonderful example of Spanish onomatopoeia, "susurro" is the perfect way to describe the entire collection. Consistently gentle, it whispers, murmurs and sighs.
Songs with indigenous Chilean rhythms
His notes for "El Mismo Sol" explain that the indigenous Chilean rhythms reflect his land of origin, which is "colored by fruits, earth, mountains and rivers." Use the song for meditation and intimate prayer, he suggests, and play it "al aire libre, si es possible" (in the open air, if possible).
Poetic texts rich in metaphor
The texts reflect a metaphorical way of seeing, reminiscent of yet another Chilean, the poet Pablo Neruda. "El Mismo Sol" is a poetic reflection on the "same sun" that rises on both good and evil: "The same sun delights the simple eye of the righteous / and frightens with his light the indifferent. It turns off the world's house so that the tired may rest."
Lyrics by fellow South American Jesuits
Most song texts are by fellow Jesuit priests: Amado Anzi, Jorge Méndez, Alejandro Labajos and Francisco Jiménez, and two each by Benjamín González Buelta and Pedro Casaldáliga. "Oración al Cristo del Calvario" is Fones' setting of a poem by Gabriela Mistral, the Nobel-Prize winning Chilean poet. "From Death into Life," the only song with lyrics in English, is a short but powerful prayer attributed to St. Peter Faber.
Bonus track honors the Mapuche people of Southern Chile
The CD includes a bonus track, "Nütunge, Ñidol, ka llowtunge." The text is a translation of the traditional prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola into Mapudungun, the language of the Mapuche people in southern Chile. The song, Fones says, is one way "of making present to the Church the life and wealth of our indigenous brothers and sisters."
"A believer's song from the innermost heart"
The collection title comes from Fones' image of God as an Artist who "weaves in us true bonds of love and fire." The subtitle is even more revealing. Loosely translated as "a believer's song from the innermost heart," it expresses well the profound transparency, spiritual depth and intimacy of these songs.
Tejido a Tierra is an outstanding debut and a superb new Spanish-language resource for prayer, reflection and worship.