March 19, 2023 3:00 PM to 4:30 PMUptown Campus
Sacred Nine Project: Beautiful Isle of Somewhere
or, please sit; we have questions
March 19, 2022, 3:00 PM
As you know, the genesis of Sacred Nine Project was seated in the mindset of the white antebellum Southern non-Catholic. Those are my roots, and, all things considered, the successors of that demographic are really not so different today. In my experience, there has been no real room for uncertainty among Evangelicals, and questioning things can often rise to the level of heresy for some.
I can’t think of too many hymns that ask existential questions. However, “Farther Along,” asks the “butt-hurt” question of why wicked people seem to prosper more than the faithful. The title song, “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere” is a curious religious sentiment; the word “somewhere” seems too elusive to describe a place that the whole New Testament seems to hinge on. “Precious Memories” uses that same word for where “unseen angels” come from. Also, who can withstand the vulnerability and innocence of the beloved Spiritual, “Over My Head, I Hear Music in the Air,” in which an Enslaved Person determines that “…there must be a God somewhere,” as Givonna Joseph, founder of OperaCréole, muses.
Of course, there are many hymns that ask literal questions. “Softly and Tenderly” wonders, “Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading…for you and for me?” “Deep River” incites, “Oh don’t you want to go to the gospel feast?”
Come sit. We have questions. Let this concert help us normalize the acceptance that having all the answers is impossible, and not even desirable. Enjoy our beautiful, new and “curious” arrangements of these well-known gospel hymns, and Spirituals.