Friday, April 24, 2020

Notations On Our World (Special Friday Edition): In Honor #EarthDay2020

Stay Home. Save Lives : Help Stop Coronavirus

As we join Google in honoring our Healthcare Warriors,  please enjoy this courtesy of Paul Winter which we hope all enjoy--Please #StayHomeStaySafe and remember, #WeWillGetThroughThisTogether


"And a little later on, your friend. . . goes out to the moon. And now he looks back and he sees the Earth not as something big, where he can see the beautiful details, but now he sees the Earth as a small thing out there. And the contrast between that bright blue and white Christmas tree ornament and the black sky, that infinite universe, really comes through, and the size of it, the significance of it. It is so small and so fragile and such a precious little spot in that universe that you can block it out with your thumb, and you realize that on that small spot, that little blue and white thing, is everything that means anything to you - all of history and music and poetry and art and death and birth and love, tears, joy, games, all of it on that little spot out there that you can cover with your thumb. And you realize from that perspective that you've changed, that there's something new there, that the relationship is no longer what it was."

- Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart

Dear Friends,

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we are happy to announce the release of a new film of our Earth Mass, entitled Missa Gaia in Maine. It is a full concert performance by the Consort with a choir of 175 voices, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Portland, Maine.

The Earth Mass is the Consort’s ecological, ecumenical celebration of “Mother Earth,” in the form of a mass. Its alternate title, Missa Gaia, comes from the Latin Missa, for mass, and Gaia, the Greek name for “Mother Earth.”

This is the most comprehensive video ever done of the Earth Mass, and the concert also includes seven songs from the Consort’s program "In Celebration of the Earth."


  1. Adoro te Devote
  2. Canticle of Brother Sun 
  3. Beatitudes
  4. Kyrie
  5. Mystery
  6. The Promise of a Fisherman (Iemanja) 
  7. Agnus Dei
  8. Sound Over All Waters 
  9. Stained-Glass Morning 
  10. Sanctus and Benedictus
  11. Sun Singer
  12. The Blue Green Hills of Earth 
  13. Joy
  14. The Rain is Over and Gone
  15. Wolf Eyes
  16. Let Us Depart in Peace 
  17. Air
  18. Icarus
  19. Common Ground

Missa Gaia in Maine features renowned gospel singer Theresa Thomason; long-time Consort cellist Eugene Friesen; a multi-cultural rhythm section with players from Bulgaria, Colombia, France, Taiwan, and the U.S.; and I am playing soprano sax. 

Paul Winter Consort
Paul Winter/soprano sax
Theresa Thomason/voice
Eugene Friesen/cello
Tim Ray/piano
Peter Slavov/bass
Michael Wimberly/drums
Maxime Cholley/percussion
Juan Mejia/percussion
Janet Yieh/organ

with the voices of
Wolf, Whale, Wood Thrush, Bell-Bird, and Harp Seals

The Earth Mass was originally created by the Consort in 1981, and premiered at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Mother’s Day (for “Mother Earth”) that May, with David Brower, founder of Friends of the Earth, as the featured speaker.

However, the Earth Mass is truly a child of the space age, born out of those adventures that enabled humans to view, for the first time in history, our planet home. This grand embrace began when the astronauts of Apollo 8, on Christmas Eve, 1968, sent back from the moon the Earthrise photo (which we have reproduced on the cover of our new DVD). The roots of the aural-vision and music of the Earth Mass go back to then, with the founding of the Consort in 1968, and my first encounters, that year, with wolves and with the songs of the humpback whales; and to my inspiration, then, from the first Whole Earth Catalog, which featured this Earthrise photo on its cover.

Among the seminal experiences of the next dozen years was our fortuitous connection with astronaut Rusty Schweikart, the first man to walk in space without an umbilical. Rusty became our friend and mentor, from the mid-‘70s, and his inspiration was integral to the emergence of the Earth Mass as a celebration of the Earth as a sacred place: our home.

This full back-story, along with my essay on “The Making of a Mass” can be read on my website here>>

The Missa Gaia in Maine film is available to stream for free on my website here>> 

Physical copies of the DVD are now available for purchase through Bandcamp; however, due to a production delay, we will not have the DVD's until next week and will not ship until then. Click here to purchase a DVD>>

We hope that watching and listening to the Missa Gaia in Maine concert will be an uplifting experience for you, perhaps on some evening during this time of quarantine. 

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